and the toilet shall unite us!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Haha, I don't even know where to begin this post. These past three days have been the most fun I've had in a long time and it's all because of a toilet.

On Tuesday the weather was crappy and I decided on a whim to give potty training a run for it's money because we were going to be stuck inside all day. To be honest, I had really low expectations, but knowing that potty training can be a beast, I decided to tackle it cold-turkey style. Evelyn got up that morning, we did away with the diaper, put the undies on and waited and waited. "Evelyn, if you have to go tinkles* tell mama and we'll go to the potty, ok?" I think I repeated that phrase every 2 minutes for the first part of the day. We had one accident. Then two. But the third time was the charm! By noon we were yippin' and hollarin' over that toilet seat, both peering into the bowl with excitement as Evelyn shouted "YAY!!" We clapped and jumped up and down and gave big hugs and kisses! Evelyn has always been an excited spirit, so to see her so energized was nothing surprising, but what was different was her sense of courage. This was probably the first time ever where I saw her exert sheer bravery, shedding her hesitancies behind and really trusting that she could do this. I could be there to help her through, but in the end it all came down to her. Yesterday was day #2. She had NO accidents. We even went to a friend's house and she didn't let her guard down. PRIDE, people! So proud of her!

Potty training has been the best thing for our relationship. We've been struggling lately to really mesh together, and this toilet thing united us! It has felt so incredibly rewarding to be her cheerleader, to share in something like this together. And it has been so fun. Last night right before bed, Evelyn said she had to use the potty. We quickly scurried to the toilet and sat her down. As soon as she started to tinkle, she cocked her head up at me; her eyes grew wide, and a smile stretched from ear to ear. Her lips parted to make way for words to utter... and with ebb and flow fluctuation she exclaimed "..oooOOOoo ccaaAANNNdddyyyy!" I burst into laughter immediately. She was reminding me of Rumpelstiltskin turning hair into gold, except the hair was urine and the gold was candy :) Much less fairytale-esque. She hopped off the toilet, and was rewarded with two jellybeans. This girl is spunky! You are rockin' it, Evy Rae! 

*i've never liked two words: pee and panties

bum squish is the best kind of squish, unless you're not a baby, then bum squish is the worst kind of squish

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Aside from his dumbo ears, Warner's chubby chubby bum cheeks are my favorite.
It's the one thing I look forward to about diaper changing time, when I can cup that bum in the palm of my hand and jiggle the heck out of that thing. Creepy, no? But I can't get enough of the squish!!

The other day when I was doing the dinner dishes, Jared started chuckling from the other room and called for me to take a look. I peered over the counter, and the big dubster was up on all 4's, rocking like crawling was going to be his business in no time! Talk about a shot to a mother's heart! Jared was ecstatic, egging him on, assisting Warner in his efforts to become more mobile and independent. I, on the other hand, scolded Jared for wanting him to move along because a) the moment Warner starts crawling my life is going to get more difficult and b) I'm not ready to give up my baby! At 7 months, this kid still falls asleep on me like a newborn.  He's magic! He started sitting up independently 2 weeks ago, and that has actually been helpful. But crawling!!! Put it off, my son. Just stay firmly planted and let more of that squish build up in your thighs. Don't worry about my squish accumulating; your sister is the energizer bunny and gives me plenty of exercise throughout the day :)

a drive up north, and sorts around the district

Monday, April 22, 2013

We had such a fabulous time in Gettysburg. Actually, I don't think I can say fabulous because what happened here is very un-fabulous, with all the carnage and tragedy and what not, but we did find ourselves leaving more educated and better patriots than when we arrived, so that's always nice. And Evelyn enjoyed riding in Grandpa's shoulders for a majority of the day, while Warner obviously was thrilled about being snuggled in Grandma's arms.
I do love the charm of the district. I'm a sucker for old turn of the century buildings with porticos, mansard roofs, and colorful worn brick. 

Now that Grandma and Grandpa have gone, we're getting in to the groove of real life again. Which kinda stinks, but the fact that the trees are swaying with green leaves now helps to brighten the mood. I've already got so many summer trips up my sleeve, it's insane!

when grandma and grandpa come to town!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

For the past week now, we've had Grandma and Grandpa Oakden (or as Evelyn says "Banga" and "Paca".... don't know how she arrived at that pronunciation but it's unique and cute nonetheless) visiting us! With Grandma and Grandpa never having been to DC before, we played tourist yet again with them and visited some of our favorite must-see sites. The weather could not have been more perfect for our outings. Whenever we have guests come and stay with us, it makes me regain a greater appreciation for where we live. There is so much to do and see here.

The kids have been in heaven having two extra pair of hands to dote on them. I never seem to mind being far from our families until our families come to us and then I realize what we're missing out on by not living close by. Our kids have two sets of fabulous grandparents!

bloomin' fun!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

If you would have asked me last week if I liked DC, I would have had a long list of reasons to say "get me outta here!" But the past 3 days it has been summer, and my winter blues and tantrums about being cooped up inside have now fled, and all I can do is just admire this beautiful land that is in bloom. I literally cried tears of sadness when I missed the Cherry Blossom Festival last year, so I am so over the moon that the kids and I were able to trek down there today and witness that fairytale garden around the Tidal Basin. I ditched the double stroller in an effort to have Evelyn walk her energy out and secure for herself a guaranteed looooonnnngg nap, but it seems the joke was on me and I am the one in need of a nap after carrying a baby, toddler, backpack, and camera around for 2 hours, and the energizer bunny of a gal is still talking to herself in her crib after an hr and a half. Oh, the agony of having a youngin' who is too young to give up a nap!

Recollections of Early Childhood

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I was sitting in a creaky chair on the third floor of my London flat, surrounded by some 20+ girls, and I dare say we were all being entertained by our Professor, who was enthusiastically bearing his soul of the grand eloquency of the verbage in William Wordsworth's poem Intimations of Immortality and Recollections of Early Childhood. I remember hearing the passion in my professor's voice and feeling the power of the words that were written, and I thought "good grief, I want to remember these words. this feeling. this rapturing response to prose that has tickled me down to my bones and caused me to plead for time to stand still and with any stretch of possibility go backward to be child again." It is awing to me now, being a mother of two, how quickly my mind is drawn back to this poem. Have you ever read  Recollections of Early Childhood? It is rather long, but I will share my most favorite stanzas:

THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
    The earth, and every common sight,
            To me did seem
    Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.         
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
        Turn wheresoe'er I may,
            By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
    Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
      We will grieve not, rather find
      Strength in what remains behind...

I often long for the days when everything was so magical. Everything had purpose. Adventure and discovery were around every corner. A tire swing could wondorously turn into a wayward ship tossed on the billowing waves of a maddening sea storm. A grove of three trees would suddenly become a jungle abode with pulleys and secret passage ways and all would seem so swiss family robinson-esque.The garden was such a delight, with the flowers that talked and gladly imparted the garden gossip. And nothing was more thrilling and acrobatic than going down the hill on your bike with no hands, people! Bad A, right there, baby. Bad A.

I'm getting tired of getting tired of things. I wish I could again assume that ability to just...imagine. Tire swings now seem dull, trees look dead, gardens seem like a lot of work, and no hands! - well, that is just plain hazardous. I love the comfort in the last line of that stanza above, though, about not grieving but finding strength in what remains because I am so ever grateful for those eyes that taught me to see the world in another way. And it makes me so incredibly eager and envious for what I know is in store for Evelyn in this coming year. This world is going to bloom magnificently before her eyes, and while I can help foster that imagination, she is going to take it and run with it all on her own.

adventures of an eastering weekend

Monday, April 1, 2013

What a bang-a-langin-hippity-hoppin' weekend! I am 100% Eastered out. I never thought the day would come when I would look at a bag of cadbury mini-eggs and want to hurl, but I am entirely candied out. The inside of my mouth has been raw since friday, but that's probably more due to the fact that I've been suffering from a sinus and minor ear infection the past 5 days. What a drag that has been. But luckily we weren't stopped from enjoying the festivities on Friday with an egg hunt amongst friends. Jared had the day off and was the only dad present amongst the sea of moms, which was kinda funny to see and to realize how I have this different social life outside of him.

Saturday was gorgeous. We so desperately wanted to give Evelyn her first kite flying experience, and I guess for her it sufficed because she was done after 1 try of holding the string, but the wind was not on our side that day. Oh well, good thing we didn't buy the kite but rather rescued it from the bushes it was ensnared in, brought it home to patch it up and released it back into the wild, only to then realize that it was a sucky kite and validated it's originial owners abandonment.

Sunday morning we opened up Easter baskets. Evelyn was chanting "candy, candy" all day. The girl is hooked on the sweet stuff. The day was rather exhausting. To be honest, this was probably the worst weekend ever. Despite the cheer of the photos, spirits were low and bodies were tired and sick. I've felt so exhausted that I haven't even had the energy to rejoice in the reason for Easter, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Life has seemed to be drowning me lately. I hope I can swim out of it on top.

And Warner in suspenders?!?! Sheesh, talk about heart throb!!