Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bye-bye high chair!!

I've been meaning to get Rachel in the high chair full time for a while now and I've also been meaning to get Elizabeth a booster chair.  Kind of like I've been meaning to pluck my eyebrows and scrub the bathtub for two days...What?  You can relate?  Crazy!

Scott is gone for a meeting in Florida (our first time without Daddy home...a little hard on Mommy!) and I was trying to figure out how I was going to swing dinner by myself with one hungry toddler and one CRANKY baby.  That's when the "duh" moment hit me just to put Elizabeth in the chair.  Novel, right?  One phone book and she was perfect.  Oh, and did she ever think she was hot stuff.  Rachel didn't think it was a good idea at all- see her in the background, screaming her lungs out?  

I probably added fuel to the fire by giving Rachel green beans = not her most favorite meal, but it was what I had. She could really care less about her sister's accomplishment, she just doesn't understand why Mommy won't PICK HER UP!!  

Of course, now I can't go back to a booster chair if I wanted to; Elizabeth is so proud of being able to sit at the table.  Something tells me this is going to tug at her daddy's heart strings when he gets home.  This was her this morning.

Ok, and now I am off to scrub my bathtub.  Happy Thursday!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Update on potty time

I am exhausted from this weekend.  Not because we did anything especially exciting, mind you.  I am exhausted because we attempted to potty train our daughter.

Now, you know that we've been tinkering with this for a while.  We've had some reading sessions on the potty and every night and morning she brushes her teeth on the potty.  Out of the two million times we've sat her on the potty, she peed once.  I could have done a cartwheel (and only my sisters and the Bloss family know what a feet THAT would have been!).  Elizabeth...not so much.  She was more excited that I was excited.  Well, that and she got an m&m...she LOVED that. 

Really, I blame this all on my mom (HA).  Every week she sends me this column written by a child psychologist that she really enjoys and I love him too.  Well, the last article was on potty training so I went to his website to check it out.  ( I believe in him so much that I thought I'd give it a go.  I've read three other books on potty training that all indicated that ERS was showing classic "she's not ready" signs.  But despite the odds, we plunged ahead.  

Potty, training panties and the potty book...I mean, why wouldn't we have these in our living room?
Rosemond's idea is to put the potty in the room she is in the most, strip her down, and let her go.  He indicates that she will find her way to the potty.  When she has accidents, you're supposed to tell her it's ok and that next time, she needs to go to the potty.  Got it.  Sounds simple.

Not for our daughter.

The first problem is that Elizabeth turns her crazy up ten notches when she's naked.  So right away, she started jumping on the couch and sprinting down the hallway.  She was fine for about 15 minutes until I found her splashing in a puddle in our bathroom.  "That's ok honey, just go to the potty next time."

She looks at me like, "Fine, crazy woman.  If you're going to keep letting me run around naked, I'll pick up what you're putting down all day long."  

She read books naked.  She laid on her bed naked.  She played with her new pink laptop naked (she calls it "mouse"...well, because it has a mouse).  And she peed on the floor, the rug, her room, the rug in her room.  Each time, I gritted my teeth and tried to be encouraging while moping up her pee.  

Sunday, the only way we knew she'd had an accident was because she would come sprinting in the kitchen, grab a cleaning rag, and run back down the hallway calling, "Honey, honey, honey..."  She didn't take one glance at her potty.  In fact, the only time she used the potty was when she was watching Sesame Street - and only then because she watched the entire show from her potty, drinking from her new sippy.  (Maybe not the smartest move on my part to introduce the big girl sippy on the same weekend!)

So Sunday afternoon, Scott and I decided to try the training big-girl underwear on her (think panties with padding).  Maybe that would work because she won't want to get them wet.  

She went through three in an hour.  (All while I was doing a workout in the poor husband!)

Last night, she'd had her fill and really, so had we.  After sitting on the potty for 15 minutes, she ran out and peed not only once in the baby's room but then again in front of the dishwasher.  Throw that on top of the fact that she started dumping water OUT of the tub with her rinse cup while Scott went to get her towel and color us ready for bedtime.
Mommy, why are you crying??
So this morning, I called it quits.  She peed on the floor twice this morning before the Y and then once in the kitchen after the Y (right beside me as I made lunch...after sitting on the potty for 10 minutes).  I felt myself start to lose it.  So it's time to back away.  We put back on the diaper and went on with our day.

She shows no interest, with the exception of taking her diaper off when she's wet and liking to read her "pobby book."  So we'll wait for a little while.  

When she got up from her nap, she crawled up in my arms and we spooned on the couch for 15 minutes .  It was then that I decided that I was ok with letting my big girl be little for just a little bit longer. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

When our routine switched to Rachel getting her bath first, Scott took over the night time stories for Elizabeth.  Now, she's allowed three books at night and she knows this and continually tries to stretch her limits.  The other night, she piled up at least 15 books while she was waiting on her daddy to come in and gave him the most innocent look like, "What?  I just love the way you read to me, Daddy!  This has nothing to do with trying to delay bedtime!"

This is one of their favorite books, I love my Daddy.  It was just too sweet not to capture and illustrates Scott perfectly.  We are so blessed to have him in our lives.  Happy birthday, my husband!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Catching up!

I swear, if my children would stop boycotting naps, I would be able to keep this thing updated a whole lot easier!  This is going to be a hodge-podge of thoughts (sorry!).  Maybe I can get a more focused post out later in the week...but at the rate this week is going, I doubt it!

No naps
As I said before, my children have decided that naps are for the birds.  This leads to rather interesting afternoons and just the most fascinating melt-downs you've ever seen!  I thought I would try bringing them both to our bed to lay down and watch cartoons (I shake my head as I read this).  Unfortunately, Elizabeth has always just seen our bed as the best trampoline in the house, so there was no sleeping.

 Until snack time...

Board books are for Babies!
Elizabeth has also declared that board books are for babies and she only wants to read the paper ones (banned before because she was a well-known page ripper).  I finally gave in yesterday and moved them down a shelf so she can read them all the time.  

You'll notice they are all pulled down and all of the board books are still stacked neatly.  Well, except for Grumpy's still on the shelf.  I'm not sure why it didn't make the cut.  She's not been doing too bad with them, although I laugh out loud every time she reaches for Peter Pan ("poo poo pah!").

Round two of gymnastics was today and we had been practicing all week.  Here she is, showing me how to touch her toes...HA!
So we pull up to the place and she gets excited because she remembers last week.  I gave the make-sure-you-listen-to-Miss-Amy talk and asked her if she's going to be a good girl.  Of course, she said, "Yeah" and wiggled out of her car seat.  

The beginning of the class went great!  She sat on her mat.  She stretched with the other kids.  She only jumped up once to run over to the mat to start jumping.  And then Miss Amy's helper came (smart move by her for a class of 2-3 year olds!).  For some reason, Elizabeth was freaked out by him and didn't want to go to any of his stations.  She opted to go back to her mat and wait her turn for Miss Amy's station to come back around.  *Sigh* So at least there is improvement.  Oh, and they didn't get on the trampoline today, so she wasn't as sad to leave.  I forgot my camera too, so I'm sorry for no videos!

Baby on the move and grove
I know I posted to Facebook but I'm not sure I wrote on here that Rachel is now rolling back to belly...which means watch out world!  They put her down on the mat at the nursery yesterday and she was a little roly poly with the other babies.  She hasn't tried to go anywhere yet, but I'm sure it won't be long!
Dating My Husband
Thank you for all of you who offered advice on my "You may be right" post.  You will be happy to know that we have made plans to leave both girls with my mom the next time she comes down...over bedtime... (shudder running down my spine).  I figure that will be a good test to see how Rachel does and, if she screams the whole time, my mom will still love her anyway!  (Grandmas have to, right?!)

I've committed so much to this idea that I purchased a gift certificate to a bar and grill in downtown Nashville on the water.  Now, listen to this deal.  I got it through $25 gift certificate for $2!!!  They were having a super sale and yesterday was the last day for it (I know...should have posted sooner...sorry!).  Woo-hoo!!

Now, to see if I can fit my way back into my jeans before then...

Just because they are cute...

All I ask is for a cute picture of both my kids that too much to ask?!  They were so sweet until I whipped out my camera, at which time they develop this "fine mom" look.   Lucky for us, Miss Frankie and Mr. Steve presented Elizabeth with the noisiest little Elmo camera for her birthday that she loves to play  with right as Rachel is falling asleep (without fail!!).  So maybe that will help us figure out what the camera is for.   

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day one of jumping and flipping

I am officially on the other side of the lesson's too soon to tell you how much I like it!  We went to our first class at ETC Gymnastics today.  I had heard good things about them - it's a Christian centered gym with some pretty competitive older classes.  They also give you the first class free, so Scott and I figured there wasn't much to lose.  Elizabeth's class was called the Little Dippers and it was for 2-3 year olds.  

Let me just tell was an experience.

There were three in Elizabeth's class and she was by far the youngest.  She's never been in a situation that she's had to sit and listen before and you could tell it was challenging to her.  The poor instructor was so patient.  She had the kids all sit on little mats and try to stretch.  Elizabeth stood up.  She'd ask them to sit on their mats and watch the one kid working on the apparatus.  Elizabeth jumped up and ran off.  When it wasn't her turn, she cried.  Oh yes...that was my kid.  It took every ounce of will-power in me to not go out there and spank her butt.  I certainly didn't want to be "that mom"...well, not on the first day, at least.  ha!

They got to jump on the trampoline and do somersaults down a wedge looking thing.  She got to walk across a balance beam.  She had a blast.  Actually, by the end of the 45 minutes, she was starting to sit when she was asked to sit and listen...well, listen a little bit.  And when they came out and I went to put her shoes on, she screamed bloody-murder.  I talked to her instructor (Miss Amy) and she thought that maybe we should try another free lesson (WOO HOO!) and see how she does.  I think she could sense my hesitancy with my, "Well...what do you think?"

On the other hand, Rachel was great and enjoyed looking at the other little brothers and sisters and the kids jumping.  Elizabeth got a stamp on her hand at the end that she has shown me every five minutes since we've gotten home.  We'll definitely try it again.  Enjoy the videos!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Well, I have to report in on the first day of swim lessons.  I wasn't there to witness it first hand - I was able to schedule a lesson in the morning (yay!) so I helped Scott get the girls ready and then he took them to the Y.  The class is a parent-child class and is just for 2 to 3 1/2 year olds.   I think it runs for 7 weeks every Saturday morning. The class consisted of another little girl who was just over three and her mom and the poor teenager who had to deal with our child as her student.

Mommy's bathing beauties

Scott said that they were there a little early and had to wait on the pool deck, which didn't go over so well with Elizabeth.  ("But Dad!  The pool is RIGHT THERE!  WHY ARE WE JUST STANDING HERE?")  The instructor went over rules of the pool, which I'm sure means a whole hill of beans to a two year old.  Then they put on life preservers.  As soon as Elizabeth got hers on, she started yelling, "I tuck!  I tuck!" (i.e. stuck).  Although she warmed up to it once she figured out she could swim wherever she wanted to with the thing on.  

Elizabeth at 10 months, swimming with Mommy and the Campbells

They had a lesson in blowing bubbles and the instructor put a blow-up dolphin in the water for the kids to blow across.  Of course, Elizabeth just kept picking hers up and handing it to Scott.  "Fish."  She went under the water and was able to come back up on her own and kicked her little legs like a champ.  They stayed and played in the pool afterward and my husband was blessed by the experience with his little girl.

Tuesday, we try gymnastics...  As my child has begun catapulting herself off the armrest of the couch onto the cushions, I'm not sure how wise this move is for us, but we have to start somewhere... 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Story time at the Shipmans

One of the books we got during our last takeover of the library was called, "Our New Baby."  Elizabeth really loves it and sat down to read it to Rachel last night- which really cracks me up.  I guess Rachel was more in the mood to play than be read to...

You may be right...

...I may be crazy!  I'm calling on my pro-mom readers to help with this one.  Two years and I am still a rookie.

I'm having a problem leaving my kids.  I'm not sure if this is in the realm of normalcy or not, but hear me out, if you will.  I had two wonderful babysitters lined up tonight in order to go out to dinner with Scott and another couple.  We were going to go to downtown Nashville and would probably be back around 9:30 or 10:00.  He'd given me about a week to prepare for this, and as we got closer, my anxiety grew.  I canceled last night.

Elizabeth as a baby...expressing her displeasure that I wasn't home yet!
Bedtimes can be difficult at our house and I felt like I could get Rachel down before we left but I was worried about Elizabeth waking her up and her screaming her head off the entire time.  Last night, as she "aired her lungs out" after dinner, I just decided I was being too selfish by going out.  She wasn't ready yet.

We've been out on one date since Elizabeth was born ( read that right!) and that was last Valentine's Day when Taylor volunteer to watch Elizabeth.  But even then, we ate at a local place and got back before bedtime.  I've searched myself for all pride in this issue, and I can't find any trace of the fact that I think I can take care of my kids better than anyone.  Instead, I think it's just guilt.  

This is a new problem for me because Elizabeth was always with someone other than me for her entire first year of life.  She stayed with Carleta during the day and then was always with a mom, dad or sibling during my practices or lessons.  But she was an easy baby.  Rachel...well, Rachel is Rachel and if a single variable in her world is out of alignment (hungry, tired, wet, can't see Elizabeth...), she is a crab.  She's getting better at taking a bottle but I don't really have enough supply to pump in order to leave the person keeping her a meal so I've never been away from her for more than 3 hours.  (Her pediatrician said, "Are you doing ok with that?!")

The other problem is that every single time I leave the girls, they are horrible.  It never fails...they refuse to nap or they get into something or Elizabeth takes her diaper off in her bed, leaving her room smelling like a "truck stop bathroom." (my sweet husband's description...ha!)  My time away from them is never enjoyable because I'm always worried about the person taking my place.  Every time I call and check in, I hear that tone in their voice...somewhere between worn out and frustrated.  And I would never wish that feeling on anyone else.  So I see the girls' care as my responsibility.  Does that make sense?  I don't even think it matters who is watching them or for how long.  When I was home, Allison and Andrea watched the girls while Mom and I walked and they had to do a whole song and dance routine for Rachel to stop fussing.  

Is this something I'll grow out of?  (ha!)  Is it something they will grow out of?  Am I right that they are just too young yet?  I'm really looking for guidance here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back in the saddle again?

I posted on Facebook that I was starting a couple lessons again and a lot of you commented your encouragement.  This has been a journey in prayer, that's for sure.  I've given lessons everywhere we've lived- mostly out of a combination of need and enjoyment.  I love teaching and the relationships I get to build with the girls and their families. I grew so close to my NC and SC families- some of them, I had taught for eight years!  In fact, when I look at my adult friends, almost 80 percent I found through lessons.  I talked to most of them everyday and they became a large part of Elizabeth's life once she was born.  So it's been a pretty big social component for my life and was one of the hardest things for me to face leaving when we moved.

Baby ERS and Chelsey - she was one of my very first lessons after moving to NC!

Megan and me at my old mound

Money-wise, we survived on lessons when we were at Gardner-Webb.  I look back now and have no idea how we lived on the $400 a month paycheck we received as Graduate Assistants.  Lessons were how we ate! 

Haley and ERS

So naturally, when we moved to TN, I started looking for lessons.  I couldn't find them.  Scott was working, I wasn't, I couldn't find were we going to make it?!   

Be still, and know that I am God.  Pslam 46:10. 

I put out resumes for positions I was overqualified for.  I never heard back.  I did our budget and couldn't figure out how we were going to pay the bills.

This is why I tell you:  Don't worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the sky: they don't sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Aren't you worth more than they?  Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?  And why do you worry about clothes?  Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don't labor or spin thread.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these!  If that's how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won't He do much more for you -- you of little faith?  So don't worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?'  For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided for you.  Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:25-35

And then we found out we were pregnant.  All we could do was pray.  We prayed to be led.  We prayed that He would provide.  We prayed for success for Scott's job.  We were completely reliant on Him...even me, who was (at one point) convinced that we wouldn't be able to survive without my lessons.  It was a humbling experience for prideful me.  A year later, I started missing my lessons - not because I thought we couldn't survive without the money, but because I missed the families and the pitchers.

Tammy giving ERS a driving lesson
Taylor getting her baby fix.
So when I saw an ad for the Smyrna fastpitch league, I showed it to Scott and we decided to send an email out to the coaches to inquire about lessons.  I sent it out at 8:00 p.m. Sunday night and got my first phone call at 8:30 p.m.  Holy moly!  I ran in the bedroom and almost tackled Scott, telling him about the message on my phone.  

Miss Alice - clearly suffering as she rocks ERS

I gave two lessons last week and met two very nice families.  I'm not sure how it's going to work with my two babies, but I'm just praying my way through the process.  I have no idea where I'm going to teach, but I'm convinced it will work out.  I miss my SC and NC families and their pitchers and my little mound across the street from our house desperately, but I think it might just work out here too.
Little did we know how much Elizabeth would love chips!  Our first trip to El Mexicano with Miss Donna and Chelsey!

Just a note...these were the only pictures I could find.  I apologize that I don't have pictures of all my lesson pitchers and families.  Of course, it is difficult to find any pictures anymore that don't have one of my children in them!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Whoa...where did two years go?

We were warned that time with our kids would go fast.  When Scott and I sat down last night after getting the girls in bed, we started playing the "what were we doing two years ago" game and it sure doesn't feel like that long ago.

Elizabeth Rose Shipman was born August 1, 2008 at 12:15 p.m.  We had been on the "it could be anytime" list since July 4 and I was beginning to wonder if she was every going to come.  Tammy and I walked and walked the block...and then it got to the end of July and I tried running!  The day before she was born, I mowed the grass and pulled weeds in the garden, despite arguments from my husband.   Come to find out, she just didn't want to be born in July because around 12:30 a.m. on August 1, my water broke.  She arrived 12 hours later at 7 lbs, 1 oz.

First picture with mommy
Scott counted ten fingers and ten toes and the journey began.  She was such a good and happy baby.  We were so blessed to have so many friends and family come to visit those first couple weeks.  

Proud daddy

Looking back at these pictures, I can't remember her being that little.  Isn't that funny?  But she's always been on the smaller side.

I love this picture...Scott is exhausted and ERS is in his armpit.

She was named Elizabeth Rose, after our two grandmothers.  One of the greatest moments of my life was asking Grandma Bettie if she minded if we borrowed her name for her great-granddaughter.  

I didn't even notice Butch in the background until I got this printed later.
Today, she is wide-open, as you well know if you follow my blog.  She loves to run and jump...heavy on her heels so it shakes the house.  She likes to sing and her favorite show is Sesame Street.  She has an easy smile and gives the best kisses and hugs.  I started crying, counting my blessings this morning in church and told Scott how amazing God is for creating this little girl who frustrates me so much one second and then melts my heart the next. 

This is her birthday present and she loves it!  Our little cooker.  Scott put it together for her last weekend.  Today, we just had a simple family party with pizza and cake.  She had to settle for her mommy's Betty Crocker creation since her Aunt Allison wasn't here to make a professional one.

Our first experience with candles!  She didn't understand the "blow them out" part so daddy helped her.  

Mmmmm...cake.  Butchy says, "You can just put those scraps out here, Mom!"

Daddy helping Rachel flex in her muscle onesie, doing his impression of one of Aunt Dana's favorite Joe Dirt scenes.  (sigh...!)  I think Elizabeth has eaten all the icing off here.

After the festivities, it's my turn to eat!!  Peas please!!