Places You’ve Never Been

March 7, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Posted in Bun, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday | 17 Comments
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Prickly pear.


And just for fun …

Potty training!

“Each moment is a place you’ve never been.” — Mark Strand

What moments filled the first of your March days? Do you hike in magenta butterfly wings and a pink Panama hat? And don’t you wish you had some aqua choo-choo undies?


“P” is for prickly pear and potty training and places you’ve never been … See more Ps at Jenny’s.

Jenny Matlock


Hot, Cross Buns

August 26, 2010 at 6:00 am | Posted in Giggles | 28 Comments
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You know how I feel about McDonald’s.

Yet I found myself there this week, with kiddos and Purell in tow. We ate nuggets from chickens who had no doubt lived in a bad, bad neighborhood before they met their untimely end. We had chocolate milk with a dash of rBGH. And we rolled on the germ-laden floor pretending to be two dogs named Arf and Arfie.

Yo quiero Taco Bell indeed ...

Then Giggles had to pee. Lest he relieve himself in his shoe again, I whisked him away to the bathroom while a friend watched Lollipop and Bun. When we walked into the restroom — the “family-friendly” kind where you lock the door behind you — the automatic hand dryer was blowing.

Giggles freaked out. I tried to explain the noise. I tried to tell him it would go off by itself in a minute. I tried to use my soooooothing voice. Still, he freaked out.

I thought I’d distract him by getting to the business at hand. But while I was helping him onto the toilet seat, it sensed our movement and flushed itself.

Giggles freaked out. Again, I tried to explain the noise. I tried to tell him it would go off by itself in a minute. I tried to use my soooooothing voice. Still, he freaked out.

I asked if he wanted to pee in the sink instead. (Maybe you can sense my desperation.)

I hoisted him up. And as I tried to find a comfortable position for him on the edge, the water came on automatically and dripped down his back.

Giggles freaked out. You’re sensing a theme here.

He cried and begged to leave the bathroom. He said he wanted to “pee-pee at home! At home! At home!!

I cursed the automation age and carried him outside, where I hoped I could convince him to take a quick pee. But our endless days of brutal August heat had fried the grass. Giggles deemed it too crispy to squat on.

Just as I thought it was hopeless, just as I was gearing up for a shoe-pee, just as tablespoons of sweat burned my eyes, I spotted the answer. There, in the distance. Just a parking lot away.

We made a run for the border.

Taco Bell. Where they have paper towels in the bathroom. Where the toilets require you to flush them. Where the sinks have actual knobs. Or at least I prayed they would.

They did. We peed. We flushed. We Purelled our hands. For the 32nd time that day.

And as we walked back to the golden, trans-fatty arches (in dry shoes), I had a thought I’m fairly certain I believed I’d never have …

God bless Taco Bell.

They really do think outside the bun. Or, in our case, um, outside the buns.

Have you ever been thwarted by technology? Found a creative solution to a tough toddler situation? And which do you prefer, McDonald’s or Taco Bell??

Haiku Friday

July 16, 2010 at 10:47 am | Posted in Giggles | 21 Comments
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Haiku Friday: Choo-Choo, Pee-Pee

The boy loves his trains.
It’s not wrong to use that, right?
As pee leverage.

Giraffe diapers gone.
In their place: Train underpants.
Three pairs. One big smile.

Thomas and his friends,
They don’t like to be messy.
So stay dry, okay?

Just two weeks in and
he’s sold: He drank my Kool-Aid.
(And then peed it out.)

Errands are a blast.
He says, “Pee!” I say, “Let’s go!”
We do. Drop by drop.

He’s so very pleased,
Shuffling his feet and clapping:
A potty two-step.

My sweet Giggles with
Choo-choos on his chubby cheeks?
A big boy now. Sigh.

How do you interest your kids in potty training? How do you celebrate successes? Is there any other milestone that’s as monumental as this one?


Haiku Friday

My Amazing Race

July 14, 2010 at 1:21 am | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop | 29 Comments
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Let me tell you about my day.

First, I wake up to my alarm. (You know it’s going to be a long one when you have an infant in the house and need to wake before he does.)

Lollipop has an oh-dark-thirty swimming class. Then preschool. Then Bun has a doctor’s appointment. And I am taking all three kiddos. Everywhere. With Giggles in underpants for only our third diaper-free outing since training began in earnest last week.

I gather changes of clothes. And snacks of many textures. And sippy cups, vaccination records, a bottle of Purell, a back-up bottle of Purell, and the required goggles Lollipop still won’t wear. I even remember the white T-shirt she needs for tie-dye day at school.

I wake the children. Yes, I wake them. Yes, that seems wrong somehow.

I cook Eggos and cut cantaloupe while my husband starts Bun’s bottle. I shower (hooray!). I herd Lollipop and Giggles into the potty, into their shoes, into the car while my husband loads Bun.

We pull out of the driveway exactly three minutes after swim class starts.

Victory! Over Goggles and Tuesdays.

When we get to the pool, the stupid key card that never works for me doesn’t work for me. I rattle the door and curse. Someone lets us and the five dandelions and three rocks that Giggles has somehow acquired into the pool area.

Lollipop joins her class, generally ignores all instructions that involve putting her face in the water, and tells the teacher she is cold 147 times. Giggles has to pee. Then he has to pee again. Bun stares at the clouds and the water and the trucks passing by. He kicks his newly discovered feet a few times.

Class dismisses. With the help of a strategically placed pool chair and blue alligator towel, I help Lollipop change out of her wet swimsuit and into her school clothes. I beg Giggles not to throw his toy car into the pool. I clean some spit-up off my arm and pants.

Into the car. Just past the first stop sign, Giggles has to pee. I debate whether he really needs to and decide not to chance it. We pull over. He pees on the sidewalk under a tree at the neighborhood park. Twice. Back into the car.

I drop Lollipop off at school and quadruple-check that I have remembered the T-shirt for tie-dying. I have. I give myself a mental woot-woot. I drive through Starbucks and inhale a grande white chocolate mocha before we leave the parking lot.

Off to the doctor. We arrive early. (Early!) Giggles has to pee. I situate him discreetly in the parking lot landscaped bushes. He goes. Twice.

We head inside. Wherein Giggles has a mini-meltdown because he hates the doctor’s office. I assure him he is only there as moral support for his baby brother. He asks if he can have Bun’s conciliatory post-vaccination sticker. I agree.

We Purell and head into the waiting area. Wherein Giggles attacks the toys with gusto. I shake the words “staph” and “strep” out of my mind and offer up a silent prayer for mercy to the diarrhea gods.

Bun wakes from a car-induced catnap and sputters his displeasure at the fluorescent lighting. Wherein Giggles informs me he has pee in his shoe. Since he has peed seven times already and it’s barely 10 a.m., I am dubious. Alas, he offers me proof.

He takes off his black croc and shakes pee onto the floor, much like an expert swimmer emptying his ear of water after a record-setting relay. I blink. Bun sputters. Giggles continues to shake.

I sit Giggles in a chair. I grab some wipes to clean the floor while deftly offering Bun his nummie. I am about to strip Giggles down and clean him up when Husband arrives. He takes Bun into the bathroom and gets him changed. The nurse calls us back to the exam room.

We do the usual weighing and measuring and question-answering. Giggles attacks a basket of books. The nurse leaves. She comes back. She asks to re-weigh Bun because, surely, that can’t be right. But it is. He’s a chub. Off the charts. My heart smiles as and I squeeze a chunky thigh. Giggles races his toy car around the room.

The doctor comes in. We talk. Giggles interrupts a few times. I ply him with assorted crunchy snacks. He throws a few pretzels on the floor. Husband attempts to bottle-feed Bun, who is onesie-less, chilly, and cranky. The doctor gives us a handout about making sure Bun lays on all parts of his head equally. So as not to get a dent. Because he’s that big. Giggles attempts to eat a pretzel off the floor.

The nurse comes back. Shots are administered. At least three people in the room cry a little. Stickers are chosen, follow-up visits scheduled. Husband goes back to work.

I take the boys to Target for a few things. Giggles has to pee. Twice.

We head to a favorite sub shop for a bite to eat before picking Lollipop up. The line is too long. We drive through McDonald’s instead. Giggles says he has to pee. We pull into a spot and I reach into the diaper bag for this little gem. It’s not there. In my mind, I see it sitting, forgotten, on the toilet at Target. I try to convince Giggles to pee on the curb. He will not.

We get to Lollipop’s school, and I haul the boys inside to the bathroom. Where Giggles pees. Twice. Lollipop pops in to say hello, giddy at having almost all of her family there at school with her. We bob and weave through a gaggle of children carrying spaghetti-laden plates to the compost bin. We get back in the car.

I debate. Go back to Target for the training potty or not? The thing is amazing. I will surely buy a replacement. And to avoid spending money on something that might or might not be lost, I decide to risk the tired eyes in the backseat and delay nap time juuuuuust a little bit longer.

I pass chicken nuggets to Lollipop and Giggles on the way. They inhale them. I try not to think about what’s in them that makes them so tasty.

We arrive at Target. I herd everyone to the bathroom. No potty. I herd everyone to the service desk. I tell the lady what we’re looking for. She looks at me like I have green hair. But she says she’ll check. And she comes back holding our beloved little red training potty. Lollipop shouts, “Hurray!!” I might have, too.

I herd everyone to the concession area where I divvy up the McDonald’s French fries. I order a small fountain drink so I don’t feel so guilty about bringing in outside food. I am equally amazed by the tiny cup the clerk hands me and the large amount he tells me I owe.

I chug a cupful of Coke. Lollipop and Giggles trade each other fries based on some criteria I cannot identify. Bun snoozes and whimpers in his car seat. I chug another cupful of Coke.

Back into the car we go. Home. Clothes, snacks, cups, shoes, bags, and stickers get dumped in a heap by the door. We read books. We sing songs. We pee. Twice. I blow kisses and close doors. I feed Bun and rock him to sleep. I ignore the pile by the front door.

And I listen. To the silence. Finally.

The day wasn’t perfect. I mean, we peed in our shoe. And I had caffeine for breakfast and lunch. But I did it. I did it.

And I’m beat. Night-night.

Ever had a day like this? What’s your best toddler-herding strategy? Your go-to caffeinated beverage??

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