Monday, March 29, 2010

A Toddler, a Tub and a Tur....

It rarely happens, but with Littles, there is an occasional... um accident... in the tub. In fact, it happened just this evening. So here are my steps to taking care of the situation:

  1. Get everybody OUT OF THE TUB! As quickly and calmly as possible. Please do avoid gagging, shrieking and general freak-out behaviors.
  2. Calm toddler, who is nearing hysterics at the horror he is experiencing over his accidental, um... deposit. Wrap in a towel and hold close while making "shushing" sounds.
  3. At the same time, calm seven year old who is nearing hysterics at the horror of being in the tub during the accidental pooping. Reassure him that nobody ever died from a little poo.
  4. Once everyone is relatively calm, put the toddler into a diaper and have the seven year old put on some undies. (Wait. Strike that. I was strictly informed this evening that boys do not wear "undies.") Decide that this is definitely blog-worthy.
  5. Get children involved in playing or looking at books. Go to kitchen to get paper towels and disposable shopping bag. Trust me. Do not skip this step. Consider whether to grab camera... blog posts are always better with photos, right. Decide against it. Probably too graphic.
  6. Return to bathroom. Assess damage. Procrastinate using one of the following strategies:
    1. Call husband (who is conveniently out for the evening)
    2. Tweet commentary on the incident (in 140 characters or less)
    3. Check email on iphone. Email friend about incident.
    4. Run out of "legitimate" reasons to avoid the bathtub.
  7. Steel yourself for what comes next. Submerge hand in water to pull the plug. Shudder. 
  8. Pull out toys and place in tub-toy keeper. (See WFMW for more on this.) Shudder again.
  9. Wait for water to finish draining. Briefly consider whether it might be easier to set tub on fire...  Scrap that idea on the grounds that the insurance agent would not likely understand.
  10. Use paper towels to pick up the... offensive deposit. NOTE: You will be tempted to use toilet paper, but I strongly urge you to use paper towels. The tub will be wet; the poo will be wet. Toilet paper does not hold up in very wet situations (unless it's that very thick, scratchy notebook-paper-type stuff they use in public school restrooms). Trust me. Use the paper towels. Place the um... waste... in the bag. Shudder again.
  11. Take bag out to garbage can; grab cleaning bucket on your way back to the bathroom.
  12. Check on children. 
  13. Return to bathroom knowing that the worst part is now behind you. Scrub (and I do mean scrub) contaminated bathtub with Scrubbing Bubbles, Kaboom! and bleach. Please be sure to rinse after each chemical so as not to fill your house with toxic fumes (even though you might wish for a little something to take the edge off right about now...)
  14. Repeat scrubbing. Seriously. It might not be necessary, but you'll feel better.
  15. Start shower, gather children and put them back in shower. Reassure toddler who is less than excited about returning to the scene of the crime.
  16. Give everyone a good scrubbing. (Ignore temptation to use bleach and steel wool.) This part should be quick and as happy as possible. Try singing a song.
  17. Remove children from shower - use clean towels to dry children. Don jammies and settle in for a bit of extra snuggling.
  18. Place children in bed. Pray, give kisses, turn lights out. Return to bathrrom. Realize that as long as you've got the cleaning bucket out you might as well give the whole bathroom a once over. 
  19. Gather all towels. Consider starting a bonfire in the back yard. Think better of it as the fire department would likely not understand. Start a load of towels (even though it's not towel day), being sure to use extra hot water and non-chlorine bleach if you've got it.
  20. Collapse into chair. Knit. Or read. Or blog about the entire experience in very graphic detail.
And since blog posts are, in fact, better with photos, I will share with you this photo I took this evening... post cleaning.
Shiny! (and completely poo-free!)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Secret Decoder Ring...

Remember the movie A Christmas Story? Remember how Ralphie ran home from school every day to check the mailbox? How he waited with bated breath for his Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring?

I've been just like Ralphie for the last 11 days.

Every day I race home from work to check the mail & see if the thing I've been waiting for has come.

Every day for 10 days I was disappointed.

And yesterday, on the 11th day, it was there. In my mailbox. We were very excited.

Hmm? What's that, darling? Oh! You're wondering what on Earth could be so exciting?


This is our new sponsor packet from Compassion International.

I posted a link to this fantastic organization a few weeks ago. I heard about them when this blogger and this blogger went on a fascinating journey called Blogging Through Kenya. I watched their journey through terribly impoverished areas. I read the stories (and watched the videos) of young adults who were sponsored as children, and the difference their sponsors made in their lives. I studied their photos of the landscape, the conditions and - most importantly - the faces. The children, living in slums, hungry, and... smiling.

My heart was moved. I wanted to do something. How could I not? I saw those faces, the hope... and I was moved. Matt & I talked at length. He had all kinds of very logical, manly questions. Why help a child in some other country & not one in the U.S.? How do you know this is a reputable organization? What percentage of the money we send monthly goes to actually helping the child? (It's a little above 80%, by the way, which is a high percentage for international aid.) I anticipated these questions, and had done my homework. I also prayed for my husband's heart to be moved the same way mine had.

And so, we decided that we would sponsor a child. God has blessed us. We felt compelled to give something back. So, we went to the Compassion International website to find a child to sponsor. I must admit that this part was a challenge. How could we choose just one? Also, it felt... odd... to look through all those photos of children in need. It felt a little like "shopping" for a child. But we prayed for God to show us which child He would have us support. We knew we wanted to sponsor a child who is about the same age as Tyson. We knew we wanted to sponsor a child from a relatively small family so that we could be sure to send enough stickers, etc. for all the children in the family to share. We hoped to find a child who's profile would suggest that we could find something in common, something to share.

And then we saw her. Her name is Michelle. She is seven years old. She loves to sing. How perfect is that? When I looked at her eyes, I couldn't help but think that I was looking at an "old soul." We felt pulled to sponsor her. And so we did. And I waited with bated breath for the new sponsor packet so that we could send her our first letter.

So, what does it mean to sponsor a child through Compassion?

Sponsorship means sending $38.00 per month to Compassion, who in turn sends it to the mission project in that child's community. The workers in that community act as case managers. They work with the child's family to determine what is needed. Food, clothing, a home, vocational training for the parents, etc. In addition to this monetary support, we also get to send letters to our child. Our plan is to mail her a letter, plus photos, pictures from Ty & Riley, stickers, etc. once each month. As sponsors we are encouraged to share with Michelle encouragement, stories of our faith and prayer requests. The program is one of discipleship, and although the children and their parents are never required to choose a walk with Christ, they are given opportunities to attend church, learn about Christ, and develop a relationship with him if they choose to do so. We started raying for Michelle and her family the same night we made our commitment.

There are many opportunities to help this organization improve the lives of these children. From one time gifts, to child sponsorship, to being a correspondence sponsor (which means you sponsor a child with encouraging letters), Compassion makes it easy to make a real difference in the life of a real person. A real child. I hope that you will visit their website. I hope that you will pray. I hope that you might be moved, as we were, to give something of ourselves to help a child in a place where help is so scarce.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Turning Two!

On Wednesday, my Baby...
...turned TWO!

He's such a big kid now...
He can open his own snack baggy...

...and then shove his snack into the cracks in the driveway.

 He's a busy guy...

..and always on the go!

He loves to run around like a Wild Thing...

... and play with the big kids...

...and do everything that his Daddy & big brother do!

He's silly...

...and snuggly...


We love him!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ahhh... Life With Boys!

Here is a conversation I had with Tyson today. We had just left the book store, where he spent a gift card from Christmas (Thanks, Grammy & Pappy!). We were in the car, and from the backseat I heard:

Ty: Mom, why did that boy have the diarrhea?

Me: (thinking some poor kid had to leave school early today) Who had diarrhea?

Ty: That boy.

Me: Honey, I don't know which boy you're talking about. Did someone get sick at school today? (And also wondering why on earth bodily emissions are so fascinating to little boys.)

Ty: No Mom. You called him the "diarrhea kid" at the book store.

Me: Tyson Norman! I am quite certain that I did not, in fact, would not call anyone a name as offensive as that! It would be very rude and hurtful and I am pretty sure that particular phrase would never, ever cross my mind. (Thinking that we might have to pull a consequence from the jar when we get home)

Ty: But, Mom. You kept saying that about the boy on the book. That red book I got. I showed you the book and you said you heard of this diarrhea kid book.

Do you want to know what he was talking about?

My very sweet son didn't hear "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." He heard, "Diarrhea the Wimpy Kid!"

I laughed so hard I nearly had to pull the car over!

And then I wondered: Why on earth did he want to buy a book about a kid with diarrhea?

I think the answer is probably: Because he's a boy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Crafty Creations - a Carnival!

This post is a lot later in the day than I had hoped. I had planned to write it right after breakfast, but then my dogs did battle with a groundhog (& lost) and there was blood to clean up, wounds to attend, and a vet to go see.

Thankfully all is well. Just a few scrapes. And two bruised K9 ego's.

And I have a few minutes to share with you something that is totally cute and crafty!

Over at MADE, they do some pretty amazing stuff, and last month they celebrated the BOY. It was all boy craftiness all month long. (If you have a boy, then you know that sewing and crafting projects for them are usually in short supply.)

My favorite thing of the month was freezer paper stenciling (which really could be great for a girl or a boy, depending on whether you go with something like frogs or something like flowers).

Here's the link for the original freezer paper stencil post.

And here's another example of the same idea.

(photo borrowed from MADE)

I cannot wait for the school year to end so that I will have a little more time for crafty stuff. I really think this is a great idea that could save us a little money on clothes and would definitely be a fun activitiy for my 7 year old. I'm sure he will enjoy making requests for various sayings & pictures. Hopefully I'll be able to deliver!

Plus, who knew freezer paper could be so very awesome?

For more Crafty Creations, visit the very sweet Maddielynn!

Friday, March 5, 2010


One of the most amusing things about being a mom is the amazing (& sometimes strange) running dialogue in our home. When we were a young married couple with no kids, the house was filled with talk of politics, weather, funny friend stories and where we should eat out (Because, dude. I seriously could not cook).

Enter the children, and even the grownup conversations seem to center around snot, school kids, bowel movements, who put which new scuff mark on the previously freshly painted walls, and oh-my-gosh-how-can-we-be-out-of-milk/bread/toiletpaper-already?!?!

The best stuff is what we hear out of our kids. So, without further ado, I give you some of the strange things we have heard around our house this week:

From Tyson:
"I hate to tell you this, but..." (this is his new catch phrase, and it could be followed by anything from "these bananas are squishy," to "Riley is stuffing buttons up his nose.")

"That is soooo inappropriate" (uttered to his little brother)

"He's not making good choices. Again." (uttered about his little brother)

"Mommy, what does your colon do?"

"Everyone needs to be quiet, because I need to tell everyone this...." (this preceded a big announcement at dinner - see the next in the list)
"...we made a home for worms yesterday!" (Worm homes are apparently quite important..)

"Mom! You just said the 'Nerd-Word'!" (I admit to needing an explanation of what exactly a "Nerd-Word" is...)
"Wow! Mom, you have got to come here [to the bathroom]. I just dropped a BOMB in there!" (Do I really need to elaborate? Suffice it to say that boys are strange, and sometimes icky, little creatures.)

From Riley (with translations)
"Momma! Rotcoe [slurping noise] [licks hand] Ewwwww! [touches face]" (Mom! Roscoe the dog just licked me all over the face when you weren't looking and it was gross, but that won't stop me from going back over so he can do it again.)
"Uh-oh. Momma! Uh-oh! Wiwey may mess meowk. Momma! Meowk coe!" (Uh-oh! Momma! Uh-oh! Riley made a mess [with] milk. Momma! Milk [is] cold!) (Uh-oh! Mom, you're not gonna like this, but I just spilled an entire cup of milk all over myself, the cabinet front, the floor and the dog. Oh, and the milk is cold.) 

"Wiwey no yike Daddy caw rrrmmmmmmm." (Riley no like Daddy's car [that goes] vroom.) (I do not like Daddy's Mustang Cobra, as it is quite loud, and the emissions from the tailpipe could easily kill an elephant unfortunate enough to be behind it.)

"Momma! [grins] Wiwey oohh. In oohh." (Mom! Riley ear. In ear.) (Mom! I have stuck several peas into my ear. Good luck getting them out because peas are really squishy and I have the smallest ear canals ever seen on a human toddler.)

"Jfjiilllll. Wiwey fhfhfhpplththth." (I have no idea. Seriously. Sometimes he just lets loose with a string of very excited, but completely unrelated phonemes, then nods his head as if he has made his point. He then waits for us to give some sort of appropriate response. Thankfully, a "really?" or "Oh, I see" from us is sufficient.)

"Momma! Wiwey weh. Neenee. Wiwey wike neenee. Weh."(Momma! Riley wet. Candy. Riley like candy. Wet.) (Mom! My diaper is wet. It's barely wet. Okay, maybe it's not really even wet, but you've been giving me a mini M&M every time I come & tell you that I'm wet. I really like candy, and we hardly ever get any at all, so I'm gonna go ahead & cry "Wet!" so that I can get a little candy. By the way, we both know that you will give me the piece of candy, and then take me to the bathroom to change said diaper. And that's when I'm planning to make my escape. The minute my feet hit the floor, I'm going to do the "wet noodle" & drop to the floor, then I'm going to do a "triple sow cow with an extra twist" to wiggle away from you. I'll finish my program with a full on naked-from-the-waste-down sprint around the house during which time you'll be thinking about how my diaper wasn't really that wet & I'll probably end up peeing all over the house as you chase me. Good times, Momma. Good times.)

What kinds of things do you hear in your home?