The Children's Book Quote of the Day

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Thinking you can January 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 5:31 pm
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If the track is tough and the hill is rough,

THINKING you can just ain’t enough!

(from The Little Blue Engine by Shel Silverstein)

Today is my second day of potty training my son using a three-day method. Today has been okay. Yesterday was dreadful. Yesterday we went through ten pair of toddler underwear before the day was done. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt more tired than I did at the end of the day yesterday. Not even when he was a newborn.

So far the method seems to be going by the book (or rather, by the e-book  3DayPottyTraining.com) but I have a few minor complaints about the book. Number 1: The book says that though you will undeniably feel frustration, you are never to show this frustration, keeping at all times a positive attitude toward the process. Well, pregnancy hormones made this a nearly impossible charge. I found myself fighting back tears MANY times yesterday, from frustration, from fatigue, from my house smelling like urine… But I think it was worth it. He seems to be catching on here in day two, so maybe one day of hell is worth not giving up a year (or more!) to the roller coaster of potty training. Of course, this positive spin is completely dependent on the method working in the end, but my hopes are high.

Number 2: The book says don’t take your eyes off the child at all. All day long. Even if you have to go to the bathroom yourself. Well sure, I don’t want to miss the chance to catch him mid-accident and teach him to run to the bathroom, but the baby girl in my womb is kicking at my bladder constantly and my son gets so tired of trailing me to the bathroom every time I need to go. He’s very happy to play on his own and usually does so for lengthy bits of time. He was pretty tired of me being in his business all day long yesterday, and forcing him to be in mine. Also, he usually entertains himself while I take my daily shower. To make sure we weren’t separated for the length of a shower yesterday, I got up at 6:30am to take one and prepare myself for the day. 6:30 AM!!! My son usually gets up around 7:15, I give him a cup of yogurt and a granola bar or toaster waffle for breakfast and go back to bed until about 8:30. Like I said, he entertains himself. 6:30 is a dark and ungodly hour and it came back to bite me in the mid afternoon when I could barely hold my eyes open. It’s hard to keep your eyes focused on a toddler peeing time-bomb when your eyes want so badly to just close. Today I skipped the morning shower and just waited until a time when I was pretty sure he wouldn’t need to use the potty, planted him on a stool at the bathroom sink with some splash toys, and took a shower in the afternoon while he played. Much better.

I read a quote on Pinterest the other day that said, “The length of a minute depends on which side of the bathroom door you are.” When I called my husband yesterday before lunch and said, “This is terrible! It’s not working at all and I’m going crazy!” his response was, “Well, it’s only been four hours.” The length of four hours depends on if you are the one potty training a nearly three-year-old boy or not. I reminded him of this. He became much more sympathetic and showed up a little while later with a mocha frappaccino from Starbucks. God bless the man.

Last night, once the laundry was in the dryer (we had to have all those underwear ready for another day) and my baby was asleep (without a diaper), I  collapsed into a heap of utter exhaustion and prayed for the grace, patience, resolve, and strength for another day. I couldn’t honestly imagine doing it all again. But as I lay there, I thought of how lucky I am just to have him. I thought of all the things we go through as mamas: pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, diapers, sleep training, potty training, nightmare soothing, cleaning up messes.  It’s hard work, but some people would give anything they have to get to do these things. I know women who struggle with infertility, with miscarriage after miscarriage, with losing their children too soon.

It’s hard work. If today hadn’t been much better than yesterday (so far), I probably wouldn’t be writing this (because I couldn’t take my eyes off of him yesterday. Today he is actually napping!). Again, it’s hard work. It wasn’t enough just to decide to do it and pluck up my resolve, to say, “I think I can.” I needed more than that. I needed prayer. I needed that extra caffeine from Starbucks. I needed to be allowed to cry at some point. But at the end of a truly bad day as a mom, I’m still so grateful just to be one. I’m so glad I get to be his mama.

 

Adjusting January 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:37 am

We adjusted. We did what we always do when death comes calling:

We gathered together.

We started cooking.

We called the relatives.

We called our friends.

(from Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles)

I just got word that Liam has passed away. I hope you will keep his family, especially his mommy and daddy, in your thoughts and prayers as they start the process of adjusting. It is grief beyond imagination and I do not feel equipped to offer any trite words of comfort or pretend wisdom. It’s just hard and there are no words appropriate, so I’m just praying.

 

An awfully big adventure

Filed under: Chapter Books,Classics — Kristi @ 9:33 am
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Next moment he was standing erect on the rock again, with that smile on his face and a drum beating within him. It was saying, “To die will be an awfully big adventure.” (from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie)

 

Your own path January 15, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 3:39 pm

You must forge your own path for it to mean anything. (from The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan)

 

 

Yikes January 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 4:35 pm

Did you say yikes? Because yikes is not an appropriate response to this situation. (from Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer)

My spring semester starts next week. Yikes.

 

What your figure will be January 12, 2012

Filed under: Chapter Books,Classics — Kristi @ 3:04 pm
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“What your figure will be, goodness knows,” Ma warned her. “When I was married, your Pa could span my waist with his two hands.”

“He can’t now,” Laura answered, a little saucily. “And he seems to like you.” (from Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder)

This one made me smile. I’m glad my husband still seems to like me despite my greatly increased waistline. The bigger challenge for me is to still like myself (I mean, my physical self). It’s hard at times to accept a body that changes, even harder at a time when the public ideal is either skeletal thinness or body builder type muscle. It leaves the rest of us working incredibly hard to maintain something that at least looks okay when fully clothed.

I remember going to a museum a few years ago and seeing plaster castes of Renaissance era Greek statues–beautiful nudes of full-figured women lounging or standing. I couldn’t see any of their ribs, nor did a single one have defined abdominal muscles, but they were beautiful. At the time they were sculpted, they were the ideal of womanly beauty. In fact, many of them were the artists’ depictions of goddesses. It occurred to me then that the modern ideal of womanly beauty would look almost grotesque on a sculpture of that style. But that doesn’t keep me from yearning for a thinner, leaner figure.

I struggle to see the beauty in what my body has become–a heck of a lot closer to a Greek statue woman than a modern swimsuit model. I read a question the other day that made me laugh and sigh: If you could go back to your childhood or teenage years what is one thing you would do? My answer: I would wear shorts every warm day and appreciate my darling, thin, gorgeous legs. But I actually can’t go back to the summers when I had darling legs and wasted them, so what do I do with where I am now?

I take an honest look and force myself to be appreciative. My body has been good to me. It has done some incredible work. It grew up. It carried a baby (quite a good-sized one) and endured surgery to give him a safe entrance into the world. It provided his nourishment for the better part of his first two years. Now it is carrying another baby. It will endure another surgery in a few months. It is nurturing and growing an entire human who is growing at a remarkable rate. Once again it will produce milk to sustain the life of my child. My body is tired, but it keeps on giving to the baby. It is preparing for the next phase even as it does the good work of the phase we are in. It has a scar. It has more padding than it used to. But it’s a good body. It’s the body of a woman, not the body of a child. I’m actually pretty proud of it…even if I can’t wear shorts with much confidence anymore.

(Seriously, if you are sixteen years old, WEAR SHORTS every day that is warm enough!!!)

 

Grown-ups never understand January 10, 2012

Filed under: Chapter Books,Classics,Picture Books — Kristi @ 12:05 am
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Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. (from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

I didn’t understand that being the best mom possible would mean learning the truth that there is no such thing as a perfect mom.

I didn’t understand that it wouldn’t be my job to teach him patience; it would be my job to learn it by being his mom.

I didn’t understand that trains are more important than schedules, that dinosaurs will never be extinct in the minds of little boys, or that bacon is the real magic word.

I didn’t understand that the first tucking-in doesn’t always take. I didn’t know that sometimes you just have to say goodnight five more times with kisses and prayers.

It seems I rarely understand anything for myself and Benjamin is always and forever explaining things to me.