December 31, 2007

Things Have Changed.

And the award for most entertaining Christmas gift goes to... the Rubik's cube! Jaxon and Chris have figured out how to solve it.
Bonus: now I can say I am married to a genius. Yes!

We've got two and a half days left here in Reno. Where have these two months evaporated to?

It's proven very interesting- spending this much time back at home... for the first month and a half I was missing Oklahoma. But, wouldn't you know it, just the past two weeks I have been feeling very sad to leave here- to leave our family again.

These two months in Reno have been very emotional and hard and extremely good all at the same time. It has been a total gift to see Ezra get to know his grandparents and aunts and uncles. It's been an amazing time for my husband and I, as well. We've gotten time to ourselves, time with friends, time to wander around in stores together, and time to enjoy meals without the pressure of entertaining a toddler. That's a big part of why I am sad to leave- it's been a great (and much needed) breather for Chris and I.

Lots of things have changed since we've been here.

For starters, Ezra is now COMPLETELY and totally potty trained. (hallelujah praise the lord on high for He is good.) He is even staying dry at night. (Knock on wood. FEROCIOUSLY.) I haven't changed a diaper in two weeks, and I still don't think that the AWESOMENESS of all this AWESOME has sunk in entirely just yet. I mean, think about it... I don't have to be all up close and intimate with his poop anymore! This is earth-shattering stuff here, people. Completely life changing.

Consequently, Ezra is no longer a small baby child, but more like a young adult that has suddenly moved in in his place. He is hugenormous and the pants that were too long on him when we got here are now just right. When he talks, he doesn't need a mommy-translator; Anyone can understand him clear as day. Also, he's opened his own small business. He calls it 'Ezra's Toy Store', but I am working with him on that. I think it needs something catchier... something like 'Ezra's All Encompassing Game That You Must Play With Him Non-Stop Or Suffer The Consequences Of Total Toddler Melt-Down.' Or something like that.

The little dictator.

MoMar suffering the 11th hour of unending store play.

Things have changed with me, as well. I am more acutely aware of my fragility- more convinced than ever that I need to do something for myself. I can't describe my state in any better word than fragile. Have you ever been in this place? Where every song you hear stings your eyes with tears because you can find some way to relate the lyrics with your fragile state of being? So silly. That's me the past two weeks. Even the simplest songs get me choked up. And don't even get me started on Robbie Seay's new album. WATERWORKS, I tell you. The whole ALBUM is about being fragile but hanging on to future hope. GAH.

Lastly, Chris and I are more confused than ever about the next stage in our life. We have no idea what is on the horizon, but we know a couple of things for sure: We miss our friend Joel like crazy and have said on occasion that we would follow him to the ends of the earth. Heh. We miss our friends in Oklahoma... all my mom friends and dear sweet Jacquie and Crystal and Pete and Charlie and the guys. We miss our amazing neighbors. We miss our community at Bridgeway like nobody's business. What it all boils down to: We are happy where we are, but we've got hopeful eyes fixed on the horizon at the same time. Does any of this make sense? Probably not. I just woke up like, two seconds ago.*

What a bittersweet time this is.

The other small thing that has changed is that there has been talk of trading in THIS:

For something along the lines of THIS: the near future? Maybe? Chris says not to get my hopes up too much, but I've already taught Ezra how to say "Dada, I want a bigger car!", so I think it's pretty much futile to resist at this point.

Ezra has the fiercest puppy-dog eyes you've ever seen in your life. WE'RE DOOOOOMED!

*I wrote this early this morning, but was not able to post it until now because the POWER WENT OFF here at my mom and dad's house and did not come back on until 1:00PM. I love electricity. The End.

December 28, 2007

Painting A New Picture.

Continuing on from this post....

I need something to pour myself into. Something that isn't a quickly growing toddler. Ezra is almost at the age where he can start going to school... start joining activities... start having a life of his own.

I need something of my own, too. Staying at home just isn't cutting it for me anymore. I sit around all day and do mostly a whole lot of nothing. And this is slowly draining the life out of me.

Here's the frustrating thing that you hear every mom talk about at some point or another: If I were to go get a job, it can pretty much be guaranteed that I won't be bringing in any extra income, because the cost of childcare would offset whatever I was making. (Unless I had a degree in something and could get a well paying, full-time job, of course.) Chris and I could definitely use some extra income, but I'm only looking to work part time. I don't have a college degree, and have NO CLUE what I would even want to do if I were given the chance to go back to school, so I have been at somewhat of a loss.

I have been talking about all of this a lot with my parents and my husband. They are all for me and want what is best for me, and have been a great help to me- simply by listening to my frustrations and fears and feelings of being easily overwhelmed. They've had great suggestions, and helped me see that I am not the same person I used to be... that I need to do something for myself before I forget who I once was completely.

In high school and college, I seemed to have it all together. I was in leadership and could plan big things without getting too overwhelmed. Ever since I have been out of school, however, I have had trouble even organizing a trip to the doctor's office or play dates for Ezra. I get completely overwhelmed at the thought of even picking up a telephone, so instead, I do nothing. This is paralyzing and I haven't been able to will myself to change. This drives me insane EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I'm starting to realize that this is because, in school, everything was mapped out for me. I had a choice of classes A, B, or C, and I had to be here or here at a certain time everyday. My life was organized for me, and I excelled at it. Ever since I've been out of school, however, I have been a complete disorganized mess...

I never learned how to schedule my own life, and I am suffering greatly for it now.

Back to present: The mere thought of having to arrange childcare that will be flexible and coordinate perfectly with a job that I manage to find is completely crippling for someone like me. I start to cry just thinking about it. Its almost like an anxiety attack or something. I don't know. I feel so stupid for not being able to manage my own life. Thankfully, I have good support to keep me from completely caving in on myself.

So, after much talking and debating and thinking things over, my husband and my parents have helped me come to this idea:


My husband owns his own painting company. He's been wanting some part-time help... just an extra pair of hands when he really needs them.

Here's what I figure: This is obviously EXTREMELY flexible. I can go in and help Chris whenever I feel like it. My helping makes his jobs go quicker, so he can schedule more jobs in a month and make a little bit more income for the family. He can pay me hourly, and I can just plan on helping him whenever Ezra is in school. I will probably start him in a preschool 2 days a week. I can wok as little or as much as I'd like, and it helps me feel like a productive human being again. I figure if this works smoothly, I can see how I feel and maybe get an evening job a couple of nights a week too- like working at a coffee shop or a store I like, just so I can get some more social interaction and Chris can stay home with Ezra those evenings.

It's just an idea. We are going to try it out when we get back home.

So far, I am really liking it. I've helped Chris out a bit here in Reno, and we work
well together. I enjoy doing the detail stuff that drives Chris crazy. (Touch-ups, small brush work, etc.) I am so blessed to even have to opportunity to do something like this, and I feel like I can breathe a little bit easier again.

Plus, how cute is a husband and wife painting company? It's DANG CUTE, that's what it is. Heh.

I think we may be on to something here?

In completely unrelated news... be expecting a super awesome GUEST POST here soon from my adorable husband. Wee!

December 24, 2007

Dear Void:

The last few days have been incredibly difficult and profound for me. They have felt like the very beginning of a long and challenging season in my life... a season that I can either choose to embrace now and struggle through, or avoid and be haunted by until I do.

I have (completely unexpectedly) come to the very end of myself and been forced to address some burning questions and issues that I have been avoiding for far too long. I have been forced to acknowledge that staying at home with Ezra full-time just isn't healthy for me anymore. I've been burdened with the question of "Who am I?" like never before. I have had to reach out for help and get some time away. To admit that I'm struggling and not alright. I've had to cry a whole lot of tears and acknowledge the fact that I am not the vibrant me that I used to be... that my heart and my mind are languishing.

It's gotten to the point where I don't enjoy staying at home anymore. I am beginning to resent my role, and every day is just a whole lot of me trying to keep my head above water until 5:00 when someone gets home and I can breathe again. None of this has to do with Ezra. He is an angel and absolutely wonderful to be around. But I am feeling like every part of me is starting to atrophy... like I am literally wasting away. I have no energy, no patience, no goals, no dreams, no desire to be outside or around other people. My body aches constantly, I don't eat well, and I can hear myself becoming more and more negative. I never have any motivation to get anything done and I am easily overwhelmed by the smallest of tasks.

Something HAS to change.

What will I do? How will I do it?

I have no idea.

It is late and I need more time to process some of this stuff. I will write more about this and the revelations I've had when I get the chance.

For now, just getting all of this out is helpful. I will sleep better tonight knowing that the oh so tiring avoidance of hard truths can finally come to an end... that embracing the difficult seasons is the only way to end up with anything worthwhile in your arms.

December 20, 2007

Stuffing Stockings and Savoring Snow.

In my opinion, there is nothing better than waking up to this. It's like a postcard outside my window. They are also calling for a possibility of snow on Christmas Eve. (strike up the angelic hallelujah chorus here.)

I went shopping for Ezra's stocking stuffers yesterday. I went to WalMart and found nothing. I went to the dollar store and found nothing. I went to my local grocery store and found TONS OF GOOD STUFF in the little toy isle. I also picked up a couple things at Target.

I thought I'd post what I got for him, in case any of you haven't done stocking stuff yet and could use some ideas. (Also, I have nothing else to post about. heh.)

As far as I know, Ezra doesn't read this blog, so I think I'm going to be safe here.

I got this shirt and these slippers at Target.

I got this sticker book, this car toothbrush, and this cute little Ratatouille bottle from the grocery store.

An airplane launcher, a mini pull-back car, and a bag of marbles for his marble track toy.

Judge me if you will, but Ezra asks me for a 'house toy' every time we go to the store. He has always loved to play with the doll houses at his (GIRL) friend's houses, as well as the little toy kitchens, so when I saw this mini 'Hello Ktty' doll house I just couldn't resist. It is the pink-est thing I have ever seen in my life, (it gives me a bit of a pink headache), but I suspect he will like it very much.

This is the first time I've done a stocking for Ezra, and it was really fun! I will probably also get some raisins and oranges and candy canes to stick in there too, if I can get to the store before Christmas Eve.

What are your kid's stockings stuffed with each year? Anything unusual or practical or special or creative?

December 18, 2007

The Cost of Innocence? The Price of a Movie Ticket.

Prepare yourselves for a rant.

Chris and I snuck out last night to catch a late movie. It stared around 9:00 pm. I really wanted to see "Juno", but apparently it isn't playing in this town until January 4th, so we decided to go see "I Am Legend" instead. It's the movie about the virus that pushes the human race to the edge of extinction. The previews I'd seen looked pretty intense, even for a grown-up like myself, so you can imagine my shock and horror when, last night, the seats directly behind me were suddenly occupied by two small children- probably ages 4 and 6.


Their parents brought them to a 9:00 movie that was about everyone on earth dying and, oh! Zombie monsters! 'Dark Seekers' that eat humans and look like terrifying nightmare creatures and huddle together in the dark! Cool! Great parenting!

Prior to the movie starting, there was a preview for a movie about a serial killer. The whole movie was the serial killer running around with a video camera and documenting all that he was doing to people. It was the most sickening, depraved thing I have ever seen in my life (this is just the preview, mind you) and tears were stinging my eyes because I couldn't stop thinking about the two small, precious children sitting behind me watching that filth. Filth that would have given me night terrors for years if I had seen it when I was four.

I asked my brother-in-law to check the ticket to see what "I Am Legend" was rated. It was only PG-13. This was shocking to me, because it was really scary and intense. I thought for sure it would have to be rated R.

If it had been rated R, I would have marched right out into the lobby and gotten a manager and told them that there were little children in the theater- and that if they didn't do something about it, I was going raise hell.

But it was only PG-13. And the children were accompanied by their parents. God, it felt like I was sitting directly in front of some form of child abuse or something- unable to do anything to stop it. It reminded me of that one time, months ago, when I was sitting behind a car at a stop light, and I saw the dad turn around from the front seat and hit his kid multiple times as hard as he could. I wrote down his license plate number and called it in. I have no idea what happened after that. But this time, when I felt that rage well up inside of me again, there was no number to call. Nothing I could do. I felt helpless.

Our kids now-a-days are so frickin' desensitized, it makes me sick with worry. When I was little, I remember seeing one scene from the movie 'Jaws', and feeling traumatized by it for months. These kids had to sit and watch hundreds of people die- getting murdered by screaming monsters and torn from their families, and they didn't even flinch.

There was a scene involving the death of an animal about halfway through the movie, and the little girl behind me started crying. Even then, her parents didn't escort her out of the theater. They sat and watched the whole thing.

How shocking is that? Children crying over the death of an animal, yet not even flinching when human beings are violently murdered in front of their eyes?

I don't even know what to do with all this anger I have inside of me from this experience. I probably would have really enjoyed the movie if I hadn't been so upset for the children behind me. I fear for these kids who are forced to become so hardened at such a young age. We wonder why our kids are so violent these days? Look at the video games they sit in front of for hours on end! Look at the movies they are allowed to watch! How does one stay innocent and carefree when bombarded with vicious, coercive crap like that? They are bombarded long before they have the tools they need to defend themselves from it. If thats not injustice, I don't know what is.

I am so upset. So, what do I do with this anger?

What would you have done in this situation if you were me?

Could I/Should I have done more?

December 17, 2007

Dirty Confession.

Maybe you'll hate me for this.

I took my new coat back to the store today.

Refresher: This is what the coat looks like on normal human beings.

Turns out? Long coats may look really cool and keep chilly thighs and buns warm, but they are not very practical for the mothers of young children.

Allow me to explain. The coat is adorable, but every time I would have to squat down to tie Ezra's shoes or kneel down to have a little heart-to-heart with my defiant toddler child, the coat would get covered in dirt. Dirt that stood out like neon flashing lights against the shiny maroon-ness that comprised my lovely new purchase.

Perhaps if I were in Oklahoma, where the dirt is most assuredly RED-ish, I would not have this problem. But I am in brown dirt country now, where there is no hope of harmonious dirt/coat blendation.

(It's a word, trust me.)

I walked around for half of a day covered in a dusting of dirt on my backside before I noticed this quandary. Also? I closed it in my car door. MULTIPLE TIMES.

For the rest of the day I was paranoid that I was walking around looking like a big dirty mud pile with an extra helping of muddy dirt on top. I became so self-conscious that I called it quits on my shopping early and headed for the safety of my in-law's house, where me and my dirty coat could wallow in our plight.

Perhaps this is not so much an issue of mothers of young children in long coats as it is an issue of EMERY JO in long coats. I am just too clumsy, too prone to falling down, too close to dirt too often to be able to pull the thing off.

This is what the coat looks like on ME.

It was a sad walk for me back to the return counter today, but at least I could walk proudly- knowing that my backside was not covered in the dust from the bottom of my very own boots.

December 15, 2007


The boy is growing in leaps and bounds.

Taller, leaner, more apt to karate chop invisible foe and throw rocks down hills while making missile noises.

His desire to see his room is becoming less pressing with each wrapped present we put under the tree. He is SO excited about Christmas. And he's having lots of fun here in Reno.

Also, he talks now... have I mentioned?

After months of worry and fretting and waiting and hoping and bribing and begging and, finally, CHILLING THE HECK OUT; he speaks. In full, legible sentences. It started about 3 months ago or so... a new word here and there and there and soon he was saying pretty much anything we asked him to repeat. And now he talks.

Most nights, just before I drift off to sleep, I think of Ezra. I think of the day and the changes I'm sure to have seen in him. I think of his future. Will he ever grow into that large noggin of his? I think of the person he will fall in love with and I pray for her. (Lord, protect her heart. Stand guard over it.) I think of how I need to brush his teeth more and how he'll be old one day and how he'll probably have the ability to make a whole room full of people laugh and beam. Because he is already so funny and witty.

Every night I pray for him to grow in Godly wisdom, and for him to have a heart like David did in the Bible. David was SO overjoyed that God was returning to his people that he tore off his robe and started dancing like a crazy person in front of all his friends. He danced because his heart told him to, and all his friends laughed at him and thought he was drunk, but he wasn't. He was just living outside of the bounds of DOING WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINKS YOU SHOULD DO.

We need more modern day Davids in this world.

I just know that Ezra will dance to a different tune like that.

Heck, he's already begun.

December 12, 2007

Long Coats: What Do You Think?

Okee dokee- since you asked...

I got the jacket at Target. (See my previous post if you have no clue what I'm talking about.) I never ever thought I would ever ever ever buy a long coat... I thought I wanted one similar to this but short. I decided to try it on in the store "just in case" I liked it. I was sure I would hate it. I looked in the mirror for 1.2 seconds, slid it back off my shoulders, and then went straight to the registers and bought it.

Warm, cozy goodness.

Hopefully my rash decision was a good one, what do you guys think? Yay or Nay?

If nothing else, as least my thighs will be warm for a change. Heh.

A Well-Watered Garden.

Ezra LOVES the snow.

Yesterday evening, at about five o'clock, I started to feel a bit suffocated and smothered. After a hard and long day with Ezra, I was feeling completely spent. As soon as Chris walked in the door last night, I got this super intense desire to be alone. To disappear for awhile and let myself breathe.

I realized last night that I have not been by myself ONCE since I left Oklahoma 42 DAYS AGO. I've had great opportunities to get away from Ezra since I've been here, but I haven't used any of them to have some alone time. For someone like me, this is a recipe for disaster. Time by myself is completely necessary for my sanity, and I had not been taking care of myself in that way. So, last night, I realized I had let it go too long and the result was me feeling like I wanted to lock myself in a dark room and cry.

Snow Angel.

Instead, my husband convinced me to go out. To wander and take my time and do things that would make me feel like myself again.

So, I did the most reasonable thing for a girl like me.

I went and bought myself a new coat.

I then promptly informed Chris that he'd just bought me my Christmas present.


I've been butt cold since I've been here and didn't have a warm enough coat, and I just couldn't wait the two more weeks for Christmas. So I bought a coat. I wandered in a couple of stores and drove around in my car- totally alone. And it felt so dang good. I blasted the mix CD we made for the trip out here while I drove the streets of Reno- singing along to Iron & Wine like my life depended on it.

"Boy With A Coin" by Iron & Wine is my favorite song right now. And I also really love "The Trapeze Swinger" by them as well.

I owe Jen Manuele for that discovery. A.MAZING.

Here's the rest of the list from our mix CD, all compiled from your suggestions:

You guys have some seriously INSANE great tastes in music. Our favorites were the Sufjan Stevens stuff we found and the Iron & Wine, as well as Band of Horses. We downloaded whole albums from these guys once we arrived in Reno.

Emery's personal favorite: Patty Griffin (thanks for reminding me of her, Amy!)

Chris' personal favorite: Massive Attack (thanks, Summer!)

Anywho- thank you again for all your help. We are rich with good music now, and we owe it all to you guys!

Back to last night: It was just what I needed. I came home refreshed and ready to tackle the day-to-day again. It is so easy to forget about yourself when you become a mom. I was beginning to feel like my sole purpose in this life was to retrieve juice-juice and ask if Ezra needed to use the potty every five minutes.

I've been attempting to write posts on this blog for days but I could come up with nothing to say. I've been completely uninspired. I tried so hard to write yesterday and just couldn't muster anything up. This is abnormal for me, and it was then that it dawned on me-

the well was dry.

When I stop filling myself up, I eventually run out of water to give to others. I owe it to myself and my family to stay filled up. To allow God to overflow me, even.

If I let Him do that, there will be life and green all around me... a well-watered garden that has no need to fear when the heat comes.

December 10, 2007

Not A Creature Was Stirring....

Before I say a single thing about the wonderfulness that was my weekend or the mouse that is about 10 feet away from me right at this very moment, waiting to pounce upon my face (I just know it), I want to say a huge THANK YOU to those of you who were kind enough to comment on my last 'I So Crazy And Now You All Know It' post. Your words of understanding and support were SO helpful to me. They caused me to take a deep breath and know that the world wasn't REALLY ending like I had thought, there was just a little pee spot on the carpet and my son was totally normal. I'm totally calm and cool about the whole thing now, and Ezra is still using the potty mostly. He even went poo again today and got himself a balloon for the effort.

Things are looking up.

We went and cut a tree yesterday with my parents and Chris' sister and her husband. It is now my most favorite memory, fresh as it may be, because it was just so fun and nostalgic and wonderful. PERFECT. I cannot even tell you how much fun I had. The designated cutting area was only a couple of miles from my parent's house, and part of the fun was the adventure of driving up dirt roads on the fresh blanket of snow that had fallen the day before. Here are some photos:

MoMar & Ezra.
Uhh....You guys got a permit for all that CUTE?

It was in there somewhere.


Tree Hunters. Tonight at 8 on the Discovery Chanel.
(Don't worry, we trimmed it down a bit.)

MoMar brought hot cocoa.

We had a toast back at the truck.

Ezra decided to name the tree "Fruit Snacks".
Why the heck not?

Today was spent getting out all the Christmas decorations and decorating the house and tree. We listened to Christmas music (go download Over The Rhine's Christmas Album 'Snow Angels' right now now NOW!) and we drank eggnog and had the most wonderful day. To top it off, we watched 'Christmas Vacation' and I laughed so hard at the sledding scene (the one where he takes off like a rocket and ends up forever later in the Walmart parking lot) that I almost cried. AGAIN.


The sky outside while decorating.

Handsome husband.

Finished Product.

As for the aforementioned mouse, it is hanging out in the living room with us- darting back under the TV stand whenever Chris makes a movement while playing Zelda on the Wii. We're tucked up on the couches- feet off of the floor. I know I should hate this little mouse, but he's just too cute and I instead find myself loving him.

Me, hubby, and a witty bitty mouse... chillaxin' on a Sunday night together.

How quaint.

December 6, 2007

On Edge.

Yesterday things took a sharp downward spiral in the potty training department. There were many, many, many accidents... accidents that he seemed to be holding on to until the very moment I got him dressed and put on his shoes. He started screaming "NO!" when I would ask him to use the big boy potty. He would have nothing to do with it. He is refusing to tell me when he needs to go. Today, as a result, he has no clean socks. No clean underwear. No clean pants. They are all in the wash at my parent's house.

When I try to explain to him that he needs to use the potty, he ignores me. Won't respond to me. Looks right through me.

I'm trying not to get angry. I am so frustrated.

It has only been one and a half days of this...the days before were great, but I feel I am at the end of my rope. On the verge of giving up again. He has a diaper on now. Because his undies are in the dryer. Meanwhile, Ezra seems like he has been on edge through all of this as well- like all this potty pressure has been too much and now, as a result, he is acting out in ways that are really unlike him.

I am tired and need help. I am worn thin and feel like I'm about to cry.

Is this all too much? What with being away from home and switching between grandparent's houses every couple of days? Ezra keeps asking for his room. His house. Maybe this pressure is just too much for him right now. For me right now.

But the kid is almost three. I know he is capable of using the potty. He's just being stubborn and refusing to do it. And this is the kind of kid that completely shuts down if you push too hard about something... he can't be bribed or talked into something that he has set his mind against. This I've learned for sure about him. It's just like with him refusing to speak until about two months ago- as soon as I stopped trying to force the issue, he started speaking. In sentences.

I know it often does more harm than good to give up once you've started potty training. It can confuse the kid. I know it's bad to wait too long, as well. I also know that accidents are completely normal and have to be expected, and I could totally deal with that if that's all this was... but it feels like something greater. Like it's just too much on top of being away from home. I can see it in his eyes.

So. I'm at a loss. I will push through the rest of today, but my motherly instincts are telling me to be very sensitive to Ezra right now... to understand that being away from his house and his room and his routine is harder on him than I thought it would be.

December 4, 2007

Boot Camp. Potty Style.

Now this is what I call PROGRESS.

Yesterday's Potty Training Boot Camp went very well. There were no accidents. There was much peeing and (gasp!) there was a poop. IN THE POTTY. It was the shape and size of a tangerine. Owie. He was so proud of himself that he got very upset when I threw the toilet paper in the potty and it covered up his masterpiece. And he was remiss to flush it.

His first potty poop! Yay!

He had slipped away on his own to go, so I am thinking he might be one of those kids that needs his privacy.

Afterwards, we all clapped, we danced, we praised him and hugged him and ooohed and ahhhed until the kid was so excited I think he would have popped one hundred more times if he could have. He got a new toy that MoMar and DooDad just happened to have out in the garage. He kept running to the potty all by himself and climbing up on the toilet and going potty with no help. HE WAS LOVING IT.

This morning when he woke up, he was dry. Then he used the potty all by himself.

I am so proud.

Thank you for all of your help.

Today I plan to work with him a little more on it and then take him out of the house somewhere. This makes me a little nervous because it takes so long to drive into town from my parent's house. There could be accidents. Eeek. I think I will plan on leaving right after he goes pee again.

Isn't this the most fascinating post ever? Me rambling on and on about timing my life around my son's pee and poo? So great. I know you are all riveted. And you're probably all refreshing your browsers over and over again to see if I've posted MORE about Ezra's potty habits in the time it took you to read this.

Please be patient with me. There's only so much I can do. I'm only one person. I will try to update you every quarter of an hour on our progress.

hehe. I JEST.

For the love! Give the people a break, mom.

December 3, 2007

The Potty Sticker Chart.

Before we left Oklahoma over a month ago, Ezra was doing pretty well with potty training.

Since we've been in Reno, it has been going... not so well.

Today I am at my parent's house, and I don't have a car, so I decided it would be a good day to tackle the big boy potty once again.

I made a sticker chart and then promptly realized I didn't have any stickers, so I made some of those too. Ha.

If Ezra goes pee, he gets to put a sticker on the chart and then gets his choice of fruit snacks or a teddy graham cookie.

See the little grunting guy on the chart? He represents going poo-poo. If Ezra goes #2, which he still has never done on the potty, he gets some little new toy. (like a new hot wheels car or something.)

Lord, I hope this works. I am so sick of changing diapers. And buying diapers.

Any potty training tips for me? I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. (Because I DON'T.) I mean, maybe this chart will do more harm than good... maybe Ezra will be grown and still demanding candy every time he goes potty? That would be real lovely.

What worked for you more experienced parents out there?

The Family Tree.

This week we will be getting a tree for my parent's house.

This is my favorite Christmas tradition: Decorating the tree while listening to Christmas music and drinking eggnog.

If there were lots of snow on the ground, we would probably all bundle up and go cut one; pulling Ezra behind us in a cute little sled. But since there is no snow, a trip to Home Depot's tree lot might be in order. Although, Chris saw a sign the other day at a tree lot advertising trees for $199.00. {GASP!} A tree-cutting permit is only $10.00. So. Perhaps we should go cut one.

I'm so excited for Christmas this year, because Ezra is more like a human and less like a blob this time around. I think he gets it. I'm excited to start new traditions and teach him the traditions Chris and I grew up with.

Ezra and MoMar. Being cold.

I can't wait to pull out all the old ornaments and show him bits of my glittery past glued onto Popsicle sticks and etched into lacquered dough. I can't wait to watch him grasp the concept of hanging these history-drenched tokens onto the branches of the Christmas tree. There is something so beautiful about decorating the tree to me. Maybe it's because I'm a history-junkie, and those old shoe boxes full of ornaments are like priceless time capsules... you can just see the nostalgia rise up in everyone's eyes when they make their annual appearance.

I can see it now: The lower right hand portion of the tree will be crowded with ornaments. (That will be the part that Ezra painstakingly decorated.) And not one of us will dare to move a single ornament that he's placed upon the tree. Even if the finished product looks silly and unorganized and bottom-heavy.

And Ezra will be so proud.

This year, he knows that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. And when I told him that, his eyes got real big and he said, "Jesus birfday? Birfday Cake?"

So, I am thinking of making a birthday cake. For Jesus. It might say, "Happy 2041th-ish, Jesus!" (can you imagine all the candles?) and it just might become a new tradition.

I love to hear about quirky family traditions that are far from traditional. So, I am curious... Do you have any unconventional holiday rituals?

Yet another example of great minds thinking alike.
Jared and Ezra LOVE this marble run toy.

November 30, 2007

Objects In Mirror.

The crunching sound made me panic a bit and say some choice words that Ezra had never heard before.

"Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit.", he repeated from his chair in the backseat of my mom's Nissan Murano.

He was only missing the H.

I pulled forward and proceeded to freak out some more.

"Oh no. Oh no. Oh no., I said.

"O no. O no. O no.", he said.

I hopped out of the car. Then back in. Then back out again. I didn't know quite what to do.

"Mamma! Fix it, mamma! Mamma, fix it!", shouted my concerned son.

My parent's garage door will never be the same.

November 29, 2007

When Bloggers Collide.

Have I ever told you that Shannon of Misguided Mommy and I grew up together? We did. We were in Girl Scouts together and cheerleading together. Elementary School, Middle School, High School. We weren't super close in high school because... well... she liked to have fun and my goody two shoes were tied a little too tight back then. They were laced tight and triple knotted and now I realize those shoes cheated me out of a lot of really cool friendships. How lame of me.

Anyways, Ezra and I got to hang out with Shannon and her sons Brandon and Codi this morning. It was so much fun to see Shannon again after all of these years, and her little boys stole my heart right out of my chest and didn't give it back. Shannon is such a sweet momma and her house was so welcoming and warm. What a beautiful family she has.

This was the closest I could get to a picture of Ezra and Brandon together. This is also the moment that Ezra's pants dumped the contents of half of the sandbox into Brandon's cute bed. YOUR WELCOME, Shannon!

Cute cute cute cute cute cute cute.

Shannon checking for an illusive "boo boo".

There was more sand in the house than in the sandbox by the time we left. Heh.

I got to hold Codi the whole time I was there and he's soooo tiny and cute. He slept while I held him because he likes me.

Umm...Honey? I'm in love with another man...

...He has dark hair and weighs about 7 lbs.
And he poops a lot.