Hot and cute

It is so hot here today that I feel like I might melt every time I step outside. It is absolutely yucky out. Forget about feeling a little uncomfortable during a run, the heat makes it downright dangerous to exercise outdoors. Yuck. Blech. Did I mention it is hot? I couldn’t even let The Boy wear his new “I do all of my own stunts” t-shirt today because it is black, and since they will likely venture outdoors at daycare I felt it was inappropriate to dress him in the hottest color available in his wardrobe. He did wear his brand new Stride Rite “running” shoes though, as that was my final bribe to get him out the door more quickly. Who knew he would be so enamored by his shoes that he would practically fly out the door to daycare rather than meandering or worse whining about it. Anyway, I hope the heat breaks soon because I’m done with summer. I’m ready for fall, have no need for hot weather and high humidity. Of course I want fall to last for 6 months and be more of the Indian summer variety than the frigid Northwoods variety, but I digress. I was getting into a nice little routine of running outside immediately after work, but now I’m hunkering down in the basement to run on the treadmill which is not nearly as interesting. Oh well, I’m sure the weather will change eventually, it can’t stay hot forever since this is the frozen tundra after all.

Apparently I have run out of all interesting things to write in my blog, as I’ve now resorted to blogging about the weather. I’m not sure what that says about me, but to make it not completely about the weather I will add a little potty training update. After I complained about The Boy not being potty trained, I decided to hand the task of training him over to DH. DH accepted the task, read the Potty Training for Dummies book, and has now developed his own game plan. He has decided that we need to teach The Boy how to get dressed/undressed on his own before we make the leap to potty training. The Boy seems fairly interested in dressing himself, but since I am impatient and often running late for work I really have to force myself to let him do it himself. He often gets his shirt partly on, then exclaims “Mommy do it.” It is so much easier to just do it for him, but I must persevere, and I must just gently assist rather than doing it for him. Hopefully DH is right and this new skill will translate to being more ready for the big potty training adventure. With any luck the boy will be self-sufficient in no time. I mean he already wakes up on Saturdays does a quick pass through our bedroom to see if we are awake (I pretend to be asleep of course), then returns to his room, turns on his light and plays with his trains for a while. I figure he gives us an extra 30 minutes of sleep, so I’m all for it. He sometimes makes a detour through The Girl’s room, and will wake her up if she is sleeping. At first I wasn’t thrilled with this, but last weekend he woke her up and kept her entertained for a good 20 minutes. When I finally went in her room to investigate (they were having WAY too much fun), he was in her crib and was prompting her to play with various toys he must have thrown over the side of the crib before he climbed in. So.incredibly.cute.words.cannot.express.just.how.cute.it.was. I now have dreams of the two of them heading downstairs on their own, getting their own breakfasts, and letting me sleep until after 7 am on a Saturday! It is only a dream, but man it is a good one.



It is summer, and *newsflash* there is nothing on TV. Seriously – nothing. Yes, we get by with a few recorded episodes of The Closer, Monk, and let’s not forget a new season of Entourage, but this is the far cry from the hum of the DVR during the rest of the year. What happens in our house is that the television stays mostly off until the children go to bed, I turn to good old reliable HGTV, and then surf the internet on my laptop. I don’t even really watch any shows, just keep it on to keep me company while DH is in the other room playing a computer game or reading a book. Of course it has now gotten so bad that I have seen almost all of the shows on HGTV more than once, so it doesn’t even qualify as background noise anymore without annoying me. The Discovery Channel has been getting more airplay lately as a result. I’ve always liked Myth Busters, and have now really started to enjoy Dirty Jobs, and some other show about crab fishing in the waters off of Alaska –who knew the price of Alaskan king crab is actually justified. Of course all of this mindless TV airplay makes me feel slightly guilty that I don’t have a more productive use of my time after the kids are in bed and before I go to bed. I suppose I could take up knitting, but who am I kidding. It is actually really relaxing to just sit and do nothing for an hour or so every day. I’m thinking I shouldn’t mess with it.


Racing again

After a long hiatus I have decided to run a race again. If memory serves, the last race I ran was Grandma’s Marathon in 2004. I’m not sure why I haven’t run a race since then, other than maybe the fact that I got pregnant with The Girl just a few months later. Of course The Boy was just 4 months old when I ran my first race after his birth, and Grandma’s was almost exactly one year after his birth. This time around I didn’t feel compelled to prove that I could get back into shape so quickly, so I haven’t pushed myself too much. Yes, I was running just 2.5 weeks after The Girl was born, but I haven’t run anything over maybe 9 miles since that 2004 marathon. I suppose it is time for me to test the waters again. I’m registered for a 10 mile race in early October, so I have some incentive to start increasing my weekend long run again. I would like to finish in 90 minutes or less, but I don’t intend on fretting about it too much. My new motto is that running should be my stress-release not my stress inducer. I hope I can increase my mileage and keep it fun. My Type A personality just likes to kick in and find training plans online though…so far I haven’t even Googled it, any bets as to how long it takes me to do so?

There is some sick twisted sense of pride that kicks in when I meet/exceed a running goal. However, I never felt that pride when I finished either of my marathons. Training for the marathons was like having a second part-time job that I didn’t enjoy very much. I had training plans in Excel looming over me, and Hal Higdon words of wisdom ingrained in my head. Both experiences left me saying something to the effect of Why in the hell did I do that to myself? I know I am capable of working towards a running goal without torturing myself, and I intend to try it once again.


Potty Training Drop Out

I like to think that I am a reasonable person (which of course doesn’t make it true), so am I being unreasonable to think that The Boy is ready to be potty trained? He is three, and my newly purchased copy of Potty Training for Dummies seems to imply that all rational people start the potty training process at the age of two (yes I actually bought a Dummy book for this task). I decided to skip the readiness chapter, because he is three for Pete’s sake! We have had some form of a potty since he was maybe 18 months old and I had silly illusions that he would magically potty train himself by 2.5. Sadly it didn’t happen. The Girl was born last year, so we followed the much touted advice of “don’t even bother training him now because he will just regress when the baby is born,” and it has worked well in that for the past 14 months we have been busily diapering two children. It is getting old, and since I can have long conversations with The Boy I’ve decided he is certainly capable of emptying his bladder and bowels into the toilet.

So the fun begins. I should add that a younger boy at daycare started wearing big-boy-underwear to daycare last week, so perhaps I felt like a slacker for not being more proactive about The Boy’s potty progress. Anyway, I’m basically clueless and so is the ever helpful DH. I got some advice online and from our wonderful DCP that perhaps in The Boy’s case we would just need to switch him to big-boy-underwear (which I will now refer to as BBU so I don’t have to type is anymore!) to see what happens. Hmmm, what happens is that The Boy pees all over your living room couch while watching Toy Story for the 1000th time, and I have a little fit about it and put The Boy back in diapers. The Boy is not fazed.

I read that some children are really excited to wear BBU. BBU is not all that attractive to The Boy, even special Disney Cars BBU, not all that interesting to The Boy. Pull-ups and the like are treated just like diapers, and lets face it they are just diapers that can be pulled down and he knows it. We tried a sticker chart, with the ultimate reward being a new Thomas line train…not fazed. We have tried bribing each attempt at pottying with food (most recently gummy worms), not fazed. He’s been watching us pee for years, but apparently this has done nothing except to lower my privacy standards when I’m in the bathroom. Of course he has been watching DH pee, which has led to The Boy’s new insistence that “I stand,” which is so far from ideal it makes me shake. I mean he is pointing everywhere but in the toilet when he stands, imagine the mess if he actually manages to pee!

We recently purchased an anatomically correct boy doll that drinks and pees when you press his tummy (handy…if only The Boy would do the same). The Boy loves the peeing doll, but I don’t know if it has made much difference in his willingness to use the potty. All I have left in my arsenal is a whole heap of positive talk and reinforcement, and the idea of having a potty party at some point in the future. The Boy went to daycare in a Pull-up this morning because I was too tired to try to make him pee before we left. I am a potty-training drop-out. It turns out that diapering is just easier. Perhaps if we wait until The Girl is ready it will be easier to just train them both at the same time? It is so odd that something we just take for granted can be so difficult to teach a child. The book makes me feel like an insensitive ass for even having some negative thoughts when The Boy pees himself not 2 minutes after being on the potty and producing squat. I am supposed to praise his efforts, and reassure him that I am not upset about the wetting (I’m really struggling with this one since I am in fact upset!). I’m supposed to tell him, you are trying so hard, I’m sure someday soon you will be able to use the potty just like a big boy! Ugh, all I keep thinking is “Do or no Do, there is no try” –Yoda

So the big question is, do we buy a potty video to add to the arsenal, or am I just grasping at straws now?



If you have ever taken a Myers-Briggs inventory or something similar you know that we can all be classified into various personality types. I don’t remember my type exactly, but I do know that the first choices are between I and E (introvert and extrovert). I am most definitely an I. I have learned to become more extroverted over the years, and in work situations you might not even realize that I prefer to sit quietly and soak things in before weighing in on matters. However, that is my comfort zone, in certain social situations I revert to my “shy” ways of the past. It is not that I am afraid to speak, or even feel uncomfortable speaking, just that my internal processing doesn’t always allow me to speak out in a timely manner. I get irritated when people shine a negative light on this trait, especially when I can see my son following the same path. The world has too many extroverts already, people who speak first without thinking, people who need external validation in order to function. I’m perfectly content to know that the only validation that really matters is personal validation. I know that I am my own best supporter and best critic, and at the end of the day my voice is the only one that really matters to me.

I hope I can steer my son away from people that tell him he is shy, and try to force him to speak when he isn’t comfortable. I hope he can grow up knowing that there is nothing wrong with needing a few moments to process things internally before speaking out. I refuse to label my son with a term like shy. His own grandparents keep using this term, and I need to nip it in the bud. Yes, it takes him a while to warm up to people he doesn’t see on a regular basis, but I find this endearing and helpful in that I don’t think he is apt to talk to strangers. Yes, the world needs outgoing extroverts to blaze new trails, but it needs the introverts to get down to the details and actually get things done. My son is not deficient (nor am I) because he functions better as an introvert. I firmly believe that the more you label and try to change the more introverted people become…it is a defense mechanism. The more you encourage and accept the less people need to be introverted. So there, that is my new tidbit of wisdom for the day (or month).

All of the above stems from my recent realization that I have very few friends in my life that I haven’t known since forever. I wonder if I would be happier if I took a few more risks and just put myself out there more. I do find myself wanting more strong friendships, or even a few more casual friends. I’ve found some great friends in online environments, people I consider to be true friends, but sadly geography keeps us from doing things in person. I suppose it was an initial risk to put myself out there online, and it has paid off…just need to do it “in real life” as well. I suppose it doesn’t help that my one hobby, running, is a very solitary activity. Yes, there are running groups, but I really do prefer to run by myself, even really long runs. I’ve tried running with others, and it is okay, but running alone is usually better. I may just go to a Mom’s club meeting…it can’t hurt too much can it?