Saturday, May 31, 2008

Recent Gems

My favorite recent quotes from the girls:

Upon hearing that Grandma was on the phone Anna instructed me to "put her on speaker."

For the past few days whenever someone (ok, ME... and sometimes Anna) reprimands Rachel, she responds by wailing "You made Rachel cry!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Proof That Anna Is Daddy's Girl

A few mornings ago at the breakfast table Rachel sneezed. Anna was sitting quite close to her and she turned her head toward her little sister with a huge smile on her face. But instead of blessing her, she mocked the sound of the sneeze and then laughed. I turned to Dan who just laughed and immediately admitted that his DNA was responsible for that moment. Rachel of course just kept smiling. That girl is pure sunshine. Interestingly enough, no one is quite sure whose DNA is responsible for THAT.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Keeping Up With Dooce

I am a little late posting this but I am going to do it anyway because I really want to share this with those of you who haven't seen it yet. ABC's Nightline did a story on Dooce, otherwise known as Heather B. Armstrong, otherwise known as my favorite blogger ever. I fear I lack the words to fully describe the Dooce experience to you so if you aren't already reading this on a daily basis, you should click the link and get on over there and read like everything Heather has ever written because seriously she is just that awesome. Also, watch Heather on Nightline here. It's a heck of a lot better than the awkwardness that was Kathie Lee Gifford's Dooce interview the week prior.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Inside My Head

I recorded Sarah Jessica Parker's recent appearance on Inside the Actor's Studio and today while the girls napped I finally got to watch it. The interview inevitably turned to Sex & The City's wardrobe and Sarah Jessica discussed the show's designer Patricia Field.

SJP: She's so ins-
Me: -ane!
SJP: -pired.
Me: Oh.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


So potty training is going well. No really. I'm surprised at how well it's going and overjoyed that even Rachel is taking to it so eagerly. It's just that I had no idea it would be so completely exhausting. These kids have been spending every waking moment in the bathroom. If one goes the other has to go and watch and then try themselves. So every trip is a two-for-one deal on pee, come on down folks!

Ok I may be a bit deranged at this point. But can you blame me really? Oh wait, I haven't told you exactly how many times we went potty today. I know the number because this morning I gave the girls charts for all of their reward stickers. I gave them one sticker for every successful trip to the potty. I know some people give two for poopy but I didn't feel like differentiating that act because it wasn't an issue for the girls. So, how many stickers ended up on each chart? Take a look:

Rachel's chart is on the right. During her eleven waking hours today she went potty nine times. Only two accidents, not bad at all.

However. Please look to the left and take in the glorious splendor that is Anna's chart. Some of the stickers are smaller and harder to see so let me do the counting for you: twenty-two. She went potty twenty-two times today. Who in god's name does that? TWENTY-TWO TIMES!

Now one could reasonably argue that twenty-two times in eleven hours really only means that Anna went on average two trips an hour and what's so crazy about that? To which I would answer, she only got a sticker for each time she successfully went potty. What isn't visible on those charts is the twenty other times we ran into the bathroom, pulled down the panties, tried but nothing came out, switched so the other sister could have her fruitless attempt, struggled back into the panties (Rachel only), tried to finagle a sticker anyway (Anna only) and then got into a screaming match over who got to turn off the bathroom light.

I honestly never intended to become capable of writing in this much detail about the potty habits of toddler girls. And through it all they are so much fun, helping and praising each other. So if you haven't yet clicked away from this page in disgust, here is your reward. A few cute things my kids did today:

Rachel told me all day that she loves her big sister. Her lisp caused it to sound like "I love my big thither!" Paired with her wide beaming smile it was one of the cutest things I've ever heard.

At one point Anna insisted on holding my hand as we walked from the bathroom to the family room . When we got to the couch she stopped, looked up at me and said "we're home!"

I often call Rachel my little monkey and the other night while she was eating meatballs I called her my meatball monkey. Today Rachel was cuddling a large couch cushion on the floor (what, where are YOUR couch cushions?) and Anna said, "Look Mommy, a pillow monkey!"

Friday, May 02, 2008

My Diaper-Free Day

I decided to go hardcore with the potty training today. It was a long time coming for Anna who can and has used the potty but only very sporadically and for the past few months has flat-out refused to go in anything other than a diaper. Seriously, the girl would have to pee so bad she was in physical pain but instead of just sitting on the potty she would lay on the floor screaming for a diaper. Being her father's daughter she seems to automatically resist whatever other people want her to do. Rachel seems to want to do (or at least try) everything Anna does, and I am afraid she will start this potty refusal act too. I was quickly tiring of this battle of the wills - my refusing to give Anna a diaper and Anna refusing to pee in the potty. So today I made the girls go cold turkey. I figured if I'm doing it with Anna I might as well at least try it with Rachel. At almost two-and-a-half she's old enough to start potty training and she loves to sit on the potty chair and pretend. So I told the girls there were no more diapers, period. All gone. Here is a summary of my day, just for fun.

8:30 am - Girls wake up and I take off their diapers and give them panties.

8:39 am - Rachel cries as she pees and poops into her panties. I do the first of what will be many "it's ok, accidents happen, Mommy isn't mad" tear-wiping talks. After each of these accidents the girls sit on the potty.

9:03 am - Anna dances around singing a made up song about her beautiful big girl panties.

9:17 am - Rachel gives me an encore with another double shot in her panties. She then spends ten minutes happily sitting on the potty with her blankie watching Nick Jr.

10:30 - 11:30 am - Anna decides to eat non-stop for a full hour.

12:10 pm - The girls talk me into putting on The Little Mermaid.

12:14 pm - Anna tells me she wants to take a nap so she can put on a diaper. I remind her that there are no more diapers. She looks a little desperate and repeats that she doesn't want to go in the potty. I tell her that's the only option other than peeing in her panties.

12:26 pm - Rachel wets her pants again.

1:04 pm - Anna starts to cry "I'm going peepee!" from her perch on a couch pillow. I sweep her onto the potty seat but it's too late, she's soaked and there's a tiny bit of poop in her panties. She's beside herself and it takes a few minutes to calm her down.

1:30 pm - Girls go for nap. I put Anna down in her panties but sneak a diaper onto Rachel after I close Anna's door.

1:33 pm - I consider doing a load of laundry but decide to wait until Anna wakes up because I will surely need to wash her bedding.

1:34 pm - I consider starting to drink early but decide that I will need energy this afternoon so I have a glass of water.

1:40 - 3:20 pm - I watch About a Boy on my DVR and I actually find it kind of a cute movie.

3:40 pm - Anna wakes up TOTALLY DRY! I am so excited that I whisk her downstairs to see if she wanted to go to the potty but the resistance is back. I reward her for being dry with a Cars sticker (her choice) and she immediately demands a snack.

4:30 pm - Rachel wakes up and I sneak off her diaper before I bring her downstairs so Anna won't see. Rachel now suddenly decides she doesn't like the potty anymore. Fan-tastic. I reconsider the idea of alcohol but come to my senses before I can act.

4:30 - 6:00 pm - This time period is a blur of wet panties and crying toddlers interspersed with my attempt to feed them some semblance of dinner. Not a drop of pee lands in the potty. Anna starts the desperate pleas for a diaper. She's holding her crotch and crying and saying she doesn't want to go potty and she doesn't want me to be "happy" (this is her way of saying she doesn't want me to get all excited by any progress she may or may not make as the attention is apparently too stressful for her). She approaches the potty, acts like she's going to pull down her undies, then backs away and cries louder. This seems to go on forever and I chat with my sister for strength.

6:12 pm - Anna sits on the potty, cries for me not to look at her and finally, sweet Jesus, pees. I try not to get too "happy." She does accept the reward of 4 mini marshmallows, 4 chocolate chips and an Ariel sticker.

6:47 pm - Anna does it again without any prompting or fuss. She gets another sticker and even allows me to hug and kiss her.

7:00 - 8:45 pm - More peeing from Rachel, none of which goes in the potty. Large load of laundry started.

8:50 pm - Dan comes home from work and Rachel sits on the potty. And then she pees! That girl knows her timing. I reward her and wash out the potty seat.

8:53 pm - Rachel yells "I did it!" and brings me the potty seat which has a little more pee in it.

8:58 pm - Rachel yells "I did it!" and brings me the potty seat which has a little more pee in it.

9:02 pm - .... you guessed it. I crack up laughing as Rachel is apparently wringing out her bladder one drop at a time. I make her sit down and stay there and she pees even more.

9:30 pm - Anna pees in the potty again. I never in my life thought I would be this happy about it all. More stickers all around and wind-down time with Daddy as the girls bask in their victories.

10:00 pm - I start to take Rachel up to bed and she notices the potty and announces she has to go again. She sits down and lo and behold she's got more. I take her upstairs and put a diaper on for the night.

10:10 pm - Anna goes to bed with big girl panties, although they are the extra padded kind and we told her they are night time panties for big girls. Whatever, she went to bed happy.

If you've gotten this far you are clearly a glutton for punishment. Or the parent of a toddler. As if there's a difference.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Anna has long been obsessed with mermaids and most things ocean-related. She gets very excited whenever she sees whales, dolphins, fish - anything connected with life under the sea. Ariel herself is a semi-deity in our household. Even outside the house a spotting of the red haired mermaid on any item from a hair accessory to a box of fruit snacks is worthy of an oooh-aaah moment.

Rachel loves anything Anna does of course but she is definitely partial to Dora. Both of the girls have always enjoyed this show, but the very first note of Dora's theme song sends Rachel into throes of excitement and she gleefully shouts the name of every character as they appear. I've always thought it says so much about Rachel that her favorite character on that series is the mischievous Swiper the Fox.

Well two worlds collided recently and lo and behold Dora had an hour-long episode where she had to save the mermaids. At a certain point Dora actually transforms INTO a mermaid, with an actual TAIL and everything, Mommy, look look LOOK! To top it all off she gets to wear a CROWN like a PRINCESS! The sight of this transformation causes a flood of sighs and gasps to come forth from my children and it is this dramatic even upon the 87th viewing. The only way it could get any better for Anna is if there was chocolate involved.