Sunday, August 31, 2008

The best laid plans of mice and mommys

We're still here. Potty training progress has been slow (Thursday was a disaster), but we keep moving forward. Unfortunately, it looks as if we'll need to postpone his preschool start date, since Jack's not really up to the required potty training standards. However, this evening he did poop in the potty, a big step!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A bit better today

Things have improved. Jack peed several times in his underpants or bathing suit today, but only a little at a time. When he sat on the potty he peed quite a bit, so it feels like he's figuring things out.

We had a gorgeous sunny warm day today, so we spent most of the day in the yard or on the deck. Jack went snail hunting and we picked our daily apple from our gravenstein tree.

He did poop in his underpants again, but it wasn't as messy as yesterday. We'll work on that tomorrow.

I do feel hopeful this evening.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Potty training: day 2

(warning: somewhat graphic potty talk ahead. skip this post if you're likely to be offended.)

Day one was good. Jack was excited about the chocolate chips and only had one accident all day. We even went to the playground and used the bathroom there 5 times.

Day two not so good. I expected some resistance after a successful day one, and I got it. He would not be swayed by chocolate chips. We went through about a dozen pairs of underpants and pants, shorts, pajama bottoms, you name it. He achieved one spectacular poop-in-his-pants outside in the garden. The only remedy for that was a quick bath.

Toward the end of the afternoon I no longer used a timer or asked him if he was ready to sit on the potty. I just picked him up and plopped him down. He protested, but oh well -- tell it to the judge.

But what Jack might not realize is this: I won't back down. I don't want to go through this again. Forward only.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Wow, I really screwed up. I remembered Jack's first day of preschool as September 15th, but I just found out it's the 3rd. That's next week.

So we're canceling all plans and hunkering down with a stack of underpants and a bag of chocolate chips.

Wish us luck!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Jack's sleeps are stretching slowly, slowly. He's been going to sleep between 7:45-9 (usually around 8:30) and sleeping through to 6:30 or 6:45.

I have to say, getting up for the day at 6:30 is way better than the 5am wake up call Jack used to provide.

He's also getting better at putting himself to sleep -- twice this week we read to him until he was calm, then left the room and (eventually) Jack fell asleep, without running around or wrecking his room. Last night when I went to tuck him in before I went to sleep, I found he had fallen asleep in the little pillow nest behind his bed, with a book in his hands.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Big boys and auntie Dorothy

My sister and 2 of her 3 sons came for a visit last week. We all had a great time playing cards, picking blackberries, and hiking, among other things.

The highlight for everyone was probably our afternoon at Limantour Beach. Giancarlo and Matthew built sandcastles and Jack ran up and down the beach with Hans while Dorothy and I sat and talked while watching the waves.

I was quite worn out by the time they headed back to Boston, but happy!


Sitting happily with a bag of Bronx grapes ( at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmers market Saturday.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Love bug

I usually don't notice any big sudden changes in Jack's development, but a few days ago he had a dramatic increase in his language skills -- he started speaking clearly in full sentences and using "I" consistently instead of "b" (for beeboo).

He's also become very snuggly and loving. All day long he says "I love you mommy," and "I miss da," (when Hans is at work). He'll come up to me and say "give mommy hug and kiss," which is wonderful.

Jack's still crazy about letters and numbers. He prefers the "red" playground over any other because this playground has some letters and numbers panels and no other nearby playground does. At home he makes letters out of wooden blocks and requests that we draw or paint numbers on paper. This morning he spelled ice cream: ixcereo.

Quote of the day: "Letters eat everything. Letters are omnivores."

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mountain joy

Jack went to sleep late then got up early 2 nights in a row. Yesterday we spent the morning at the farmers market and playground, then came home for lunch and quiet time. Jack got whiny and I knew he was tired, so I let him crash in his room (he fell asleep on the floor). But he only slept for 45 minutes and woke up in a state. This happens from time to time and I never know what to make of it -- he cries and cries and nothing seems right. I held him and tried to get him to stop crying long enough to tell me what was wrong so we could fix it. But maybe the world was wrong, because nothing helped.

I called Hans to ask for advice and he suggested taking Jack for a drive or watching a video. I got Jack dressed, strapped him into the car, and drove up to the top of "our" mountain. It was foggy yesterday, and little rivulets of water drained down the fire road. As soon as his feet hit the muddy trail, he calmed down. Swinging the blackberry bucket and carrying a small wooden giraffe, Jack hiked up to the top of the hill with me, where we spent quite a while picking blackberries. He is really a very good berry picker -- sees the best ones and goes for them, regardless of the thorns.

When we had picked all the ripe berries on those hilltop bushes we wound our way downhill past Hummingbird Point, trekked across the grassland where a hawk watched our progress from a dead tree, and squeezed through the native treasures segment of the trail. Jack tried his first huckleberry. Ghostly white snowberries dangled from their branches like tiny full moons. We trudged back into the forest to the fire road and back to car, all the while debating the fruit preferences of his favorite animals (Jack thinks coyotes love strawberries the best). He hiked the entire way, and never once asked me to carry him.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It just looks like a hula skirt

We're taking a break from potty training the past few days, and we were out of our regular diapers yesterday, so Jack was wearing pull-ups. At the playground his diaper gave way, leaving his pants soaked. I had slipped up on one of the foremost rules of toddlerhood -- always bring extra pants! So I took his pants off and draped his "toasty warm" over his thighs. He said he was comfortable all the way home in the stroller!

Also visible: bowl of pretzels, cup with our proprietary blend of carrot and apple juices, favorite new king snake toy, and Dinosaur Train book.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The magic of the Red Balloon

Jack watches almost no tv these days. His heavy infatuation with his ABC's and 123's dvds has abated a bit, and occasionally he'll ask to watch a Yo Gabba Gabba episode, but mostly we're unplugged. I almost never encourage him to watch anything, with one exception: I plop him down on the sofa to watch the Red Balloon when he really needs a nap.

This lovely French movie from 1956 ( is one of Hans's favorites from his childhood. It follows a young boy and his balloon through Paris. Our dvd is subtitled, but there isn't much dialog, and it doesn't seem to matter to Jack. He watches rapt and then falls asleep.