Friday, August 31, 2012

My Own Gold Medalist

Rob took part a few weeks ago in an Olympics for his morning boot camp and walked away with a few golds.  Except they didn't actually have physical medals.  (That's what happens when men are in charge.  Women would have had the bling!)  I love watching Rob compete--he is truly gifted.  And he will also push himself to compete to the point that he may have overdone it a bit.  One of the things that most impacted my kids?  "Remember when Daddy threw up?"  Lincoln kept saying.   

Despite that, Rob pressed on to win five medals.  Of the events he entered, he did not win two of them. One was a group event and the other he lost to his brother Paul.  Nothing like a good, amicable sibling rivalry!  Here are a few photos from the day. 

Foggy camera from the humidity.  Rob winning the 400.  He was only a few seconds off from his high-school-record-breaking time.






The boys watched, but also found their own fun event:  net-escaping.




 You can  see it here, but Rob and his partner dropped the baton.

 But he still came back to win.


 The push-up challenge.

 Even the super heroes were tired.

 Rob (on right) and his brother Paul (on left) diving in for 25 freestyle.


 Winning!

 Ready for the IM.

Butterfly!

 Backstroke!  This was Paul's strong point.

Post race.

Sawyer's cousin Braden congratulating Paul on his win.

Exhausted, but happy.


 My boys getting ready for their own Olympics one day.


The Cost of Homemade Dog Food

The cost of homemade dog food?  Having to deal with this level of begging.

Oh!  You thought I meant the MONETARY cost?  I can talk about that too.  But first, let me tell you what we've noticed since feeding Tex homemade food.  

First of all, the begging.  He loves it.  Will walk around the house, whining, staring into my face with that very look there.  Will take his food bowl (which I SWEAR I did not stage in the photo) and carry it around, smacking it with his paws and dropping it on loud surfaces, like the kitchen tile.  That's a negative.

The positive is that Rob has noticed that he seems to have regained his puppyhood.  That might also be due to the fact that Rob has been running him a bit more lately than usual.  It's a toss-up between the two, I'd say.  Running helps him and the food helps him run.  Win, win!  Now, onto the monies.

We were buying Tex low-end dog food that was basically $10 for a bag that lasted 3 weeks, maybe a month. I never really counted.  But a few weeks.  That's cheap.  I'm pretty sure homemade dog food is not that cheap.  BUT it's not that much more if you do smart shopping.

Here's what I use in my dog food:  rice, ground turkey, veggies (one week a mixed bag of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower and the second week just peas).  A few times a week I'll top it with a raw egg.  I'll breakdown the cost of each item.  Consider that the batches I've made last about 5 days.

PRICE BREAKDOWN

Ground turkey.  I bought mine on clearance for $1.29 for a tube.

Rice.  Normal rice is very cheap. I had a huge bag that I bought for $.60 on clearance.  I used maybe 1/8 of the bag.

Bag-o-frozen-veg.  $1.

Total for 5 days:  Less than $3.


That's cheap!  But not as cheap as his cheap-o dog food bag from the old Walmart.  Plus, if I can't find the ground turkey (by far the most expensive element) on clearance, then it's even more.  But if I think about the fact that I was feeding my dog basically corn and other icky stuff (have you ever read what's in dog food??) then I feel a bit better.  It did not take long, was almost the same price, and my dog is insanely happy.

If you are interested, I don't really have a great site.  I searched a ton and found all kinds of things, from just tossing raw meat to your dog (ew, salmonella! and holy wallet, batman!) to buying supplements your dog MUST have to survive.  I took what I wanted from the different sites and recipes and just made my own.  You know that's how I roll with people food too.  In general, rice seemed to be a good base, ground turkey was a good suggested meat (I cooked mine), and veggies (which I pureed so Tex wouldn't eat around them).  Apples are apparently also a good option and a raw egg every now and then is a nice addition. 

I think that I'll keep going as long as I can reasonably price it out.  Good thing I'm always checking the clearance meats!  Let me know if you have your own recipes or something you've tried.

Check Out My ________


That's Lincoln's newest phrase.  It's very versatile!  Try these on for size:

Check out my house!  [when building with blocks]

Check out my underwear!  [wearing a new pair]

Check out my poopy!  [um...]

I would say (knocking on wood) that Lincoln is pretty much officially potty-trained.  (Ignore the recent above photo where he was still in a diaper.) He has now made it something like 5 days without an accident.  Plus he traveled to Galveston, made it through church, nap time, and a long gym workout, all in big-boy underwear.  I am officially (almost) done with diapers!  He still wears them at night, and only a few times has been dry.

Rob and I again generally used methods from The Potty Trainer, which I definitely recommend.  You start at age 2, skip the pull-ups or training pants to go straight for underwear, and set a timer.  Rewards are whatever you want--we avoided candy and generally did stickers or things like army men that came in packs from the dollar store.

With Linc, we waited a few extra months (he's almost 2 and a half) because at the beginning of the summer when we tried, he would sit on the toilet, but did not understand his body's cues to the point that he really could NOT go.  In the months between then and now, we encouraged him to pay attention, and he started to make comments to let us know when he was going in his diaper.  Rob began the process while I was gone and used a timer and also some kind of iPhone app to keep him sitting on the toilet long enough to go.  When I got back, that groundwork had been laid, so we started last week when the boys were out of school.

Despite the fact that I really failed on my part, Lincoln learned like a champ.  I forgot to set timers, kept leaving the house for the gym and errands and putting him in a diaper, and overall wasn't very intentional.  He often reminded me that he needed to go potty when I'd forget the timer.  He would wait to go after the gym or the errands rather than going in his diaper.  And the best reward for him?  Telling other people.  And I mean ALL people.  I think I mentioned that he went poopy in a restaurant bathroom and then told every single patron.  True story.

Here are my tips and thoughts on the whole process:

-Wait until they are ready, but think about starting by age 2.
That's the Potty Trainer's recommendation, and she came about her process after working in day care and essentially potty-training other people's kids for years.  Both my boys completed this by 2.5, but they were slightly different ages.  Sawyer could have done it right at or before 2 because he was very aware of his body, but with a new baby arriving in our house right around his second birthday, we decided to wait.  Know your kids, but don't think you HAVE to wait forever.

-Set a timer.
Even if your kid doesn't go every time, this gets them in the habit and routine of going potty through the day.  Sawyer used to go every single time, which was like every 15 minutes, and I thought we'd never be able to stray far from a toilet.  But he ended up being great at holding it and going when he was ready.  Without the timer, you are setting yourself up for failure.

-Get rid of the diapers.
While this is messier for you, it's a quicker transition. Most kids don't want to sit in their own pee, and diapers wick that stuff away.  In underwear, they FEEL the wetness.  Plus most kids LOVE having big-boy or big-girl underwear, and they don't like to mess it up.  Taking away the diaper tells them that they are in transition and helps them move past their habit of just going whenever, wherever.

-Schedule around the training week(s). 
Stick close to home and close to a bathroom.  If you have to leave, bring extra clothes just in case, and remember that your child will probably need to go before you leave, maybe during, and right after.  If you stay home for at least the first three days, you will really ensure success for your child.  That puts him or her in a familiar setting with easy access to a toilet.  You don't want a whole lot of other changes at the same time.  Focus for a short time and training should take a shorter time.

-Reward, reward, reward.
Again, we don't like doing food or candy, but found cheap ways to make the boys excited.  We also let Sawyer have a reward if he helped encourage Linc or went at the same time to set an example.  Find what makes your child feel rewarded and happy and go with that.  Often, figuring out the #2 situation is harder, so having some bigger kind of reward is nice so your child can see it and be motivated.  Lincoln got an army man or sticker for #1 (same for Sawyer) and both got a bigger car for #2.  Once we figured out Lincoln's biggest motivation, we made sure to remind him to tell everyone.


Any other tips or tricks?  Questions?  I feel really excited and free to have both boys out of diapers and feel like they were insanely easy to train.  I'd say it was equal parts their readiness/personality and the type of training.  It's a wonderful new stage, even if he wants me to check out his poopy.  Ick.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lincoln Was Here

It's been a while since I've had one of these posts.  But Linc has been everywhere: drawing on my computer monitor (thankfully he had the sense to use a dry-erase marker), trying to escape the back door before we woke up one morning, and now this.  Somewhere in Italy, George Clooney is weeping.

A Few (Hundred) Miles West of Isaac...


I posted a photo from my beach day with my parents and the boys on Tuesday to Instagram. The first comment was from someone living in California:  "Um, don't you have a hurricane down there?"

Well, the Gulf did.  Just not our area.  It was, in fact, a glorious day--kids are back in school so it was mostly empty and there was great sun in the early part of the day.  As we hit noon, a great mass of clouds that I think were the outer-outer bands of the storm began moving over the beach.  The wind picked up a little, and surfers seemed to enjoy the larger (but still laughable) waves.  That was all we got.  Hopefully the hit areas will recover quickly!


 There were a lot of half-moons shining...




Dad gazing at the poorly named "Pleasure Pier."  There's got to be a better way to say that.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Things I Actually Made from Pinterest!

I know I've been posting a lot about food lately (I go in waves with things), but here are a few more recipes I've gotten and tried from Pinterest this week.  Here are recipes, links, and my notes

Gluten-Free Sweet Pancakes
1 Banana
2 Eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Mash the banana and mix well with the other ingredients.  Cook as you would pancakes, but I found it hard to maneuver them, as they didn't hold together well in flipping.  Use a fork to help lift the edge and turn with your fingers rather than using a spatula.  Small pancakes are key.  They are slightly on the sweet side and reminded me of a fluffy french toast.  Find the original recipe HERE.


Roasted Carrots and Zucchini
A zucchini or two
A carrot or two

Slice into inch or two long fingers.  Toss with olive oil and spices of your choice (I did fajita seasoning and Tony's) and cook at 425 for 20 minutes, turning or tossing in the middle.  AMAZING.  Nothing really unique about these, as any veggies roasted and tossed in oil and seasonings works, but I liked the shape of them as well.  Saw and Rob ate them up.  Linc...well.  Three out of four isn't bad. The original recipe is HERE.  


My Faith Has Teeth

In a misshapen half-attic loft space in above church in Katy, this is written on the wall, "Kiki Hates Babies!"

Maybe it has been painted over, but I hope not.  I don't actually hate babies.  (You may know this if you read my blog.)  I will admit that I never have been a Baby Person, but the reason a teenage girl wrote that on the ceiling has to do with a Bible study on Philippians 4:8, which says, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."


To read more on why people think I hate babies, come visit my new blog.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Insta-Kiki

Lots of photos this week!  Lots of excitement. 
 Glow Kiki from bowling with my team.  I like buying thrift store wedding dresses to normal events.

 Two of my favorite boys.  The older ones.

 Clouds!

 Gammy and the boys. 
 Sawyer in a tall block building.

 Tex loving on our new rug.

 Enjoying the last days of summer at the pool.

 Learning to dive!

 Me and Betty Watchett at our bout last weekend.  I think I've perfected the creeper in the background of photos.

 Bubbles!  With Gammy, as always.

 Eyelashes!  For miles, those boys.

 I may have overdressed for church...

 Tofu with Mary!

I'm not sure who is the best looking child--Sawyer, Lincoln, or Tex.  Maybe Tex.  He's pretty darn cute.

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