(mis)adventures in potty training

when dylan started using the potty, it was an unexpected novelty. she seemed so little, especially her little 21 pound frame, so we ordered her one of those kiddie seats that perch atop the real toilet so wee ones don't fall in. it was all sort of cute.

she's just twenty months, so i wasn't envisioning her diaper-free future any time soon. this could take many months, and that was ok. we'd just go at her pace and see how it goes.

as it turns out, her pace is possibly more than this pregnant mama can handle.

dylan is actually doing a great job. she's staying drier, she tells us that she needs to use the potty, and she goes--even when we're away from home.

what's killing me are all the false alarms. dylan will cry potty wolf, so to speak, maybe six times a day (and often one time after the other). those are six extra times of me getting my giant pregnant self onto the bathroom floor with her, taking off her shoes, shorts, diaper cover, and diaper, sitting her up on the potty, only to have her immediately tell me "all done" or "I did it"--a bitter lie if i've ever heard one.

i put her all back together (again, kneeling on the floor), and when she pleads, "potty? pee pee?" five minutes later, i'm not exactly dying for a repeat performance. but if she's sincere, i don't want to not give her the opportunity. it just doesn't seem very wise in the grand scheme of potty training (or um, parenting) to say, "baby, mama's achey and exhausted, and since you're probably not telling the truth anyway, how 'bout you just go in your diaper and we'll change you later, k?"

i shouldn't say that, right?


barn babe

exploring the barnyard
hanging out with melvin, at pasture
the happiest baby at the barn

dylan in her element

"helping" amanda with chores

i just love this one!


goings on

seen... entire roll of toilet paper, painstakingly unrolled and delicately submerged in the toilet. (later painstakingly and delicately fished out by jim.)
...hand prints, smudges, and a general dusting of baby powder across dylan's carpet and clothes.


..."did it!" --dylan's favorite potty exclamation. (accuracy: ~50%)
..."hot dog!"--how dylan identified the twenty-four inch pepperoni stick she carried into the living room. she then attempted to gnaw through its packaging, but i was able to dissuade her. (thanks to camp cuisine, dylan is mildly obsessed with hot dogs, sausage, and most processed meats. they are all "hot dogs.")
..."elk," "moose," "deer," and "caribou." we subscribed to cable, and thanks to jim's favorite hunting channels and careful instruction, dylan is being
indoctrinatededucated in the ways of the woods. the child cannot differentiate between a sausage patty and a hot dog but knows the difference between and elk and a deer.

highlights of the week:

*picking black raspberries and blackberries with dylan
*a night off, dinner with friends, kids for dylan to play with, actual adult conversation, and participation in life apart from camp. (it does exist!)
*our garden's first banana pepper
homemade crepes and pizza on jim's day off
*good, interactive bible study with my staff
*laughter, swimming, and discoveries at the pool
*jim is out overnight with trip camp, and tomorrow he'll lead a day of rock climbing. highlighted not for his absence, but because it does his heart good to be in the woods.


the young and the childless

yesterday, dylan stayed with her daddy while i spent the afternoon with meredith in pittsburgh en route to the airport. we had lunch at one of my favorite middle eastern restaurants and shopped in squirrel hill. it was a sunny, beautiful day, and it was refreshing to take off my mommy hat for a few hours.

i'm home with dylan, and with nursing, we've never spent more than a couple hours apart. there are a lot of reasons jim and i wanted to have kids close in age, but it does feel a little crazy now that dylan is getting to be a little independent that baby #2 is hot on her heels.

another margarita-less summer. sigh.

i missed little d, though, especially when we saw little dogs i knew she would love. it was a unfamiliar and lovely experience to shop without baby. after i dropped meredith at the airport, i went to ikea all by myself. then, just cuz i could, i went to trader joes. spending nearly five uninterrupted minutes picking out the perfect cheeses felt decadent.

driving past both of our old apartments, i felt a little heartsick. i miss living there so much. having kids there would be a much different experience than we had as newlyweds, but as i watched parents pushing strollers, city life still held its appeal.

watching bikers and noticing newly painted bike lanes made me miss riding, too. not that i'm in any shape to ride now, but in theory. a few weeks ago, i looked barely pregnant, and these days, i'm fielding the inevitable "when are you due?" question in the way that clearly means "you're looking like it's soon."

um, this baby is still 3+ months away. it's not soon.

admittedly, it kinda feels soon. long car rides and maternity pants are no longer my friend. i definitely got sick on the side of the road before we even made it to lunch. i need to remember it's stretchy yoga pants in the car from here on out. everything else is too constricting. already.

the front speakers in my car don't work, so i don't usually play much music in the car in an effort not to overwhelm little ears, but the vacant car seat meant i could pump up the volume. strangely, every song that played was a sort of 90s ode to youth: violent femmes, counting crows, weezer, bush, everclear, green day. the whole day was like a walk back in time.

but after a long day, it was wonderful to come home, change into pjs, and cuddle up on our non-newlywed couch in our grown-up house and watch a dvd with jim. and this morning, to play finger puppets with dylan and all be together on jim's day off.

it's not city living, and it's not glamorous, but it's a lovely life we share.
(photo: ikea)


My Redeemer Lives

i've been singing this lovely, simple song to dylan at bedtimes, and i thought i'd share it here:

My Redeemer lives, and I will see His glory
as He works all things, Together for my good.
Whatever things occur, of this I can be sure:
I know my Redeemer lives.

-Eugene Greco 1995, His Banner Publishing

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:18-28)

"I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!" (Job 19:25-27)



the summer camp season is at its halfway point, and so far, so good. last year, working full time felt stressful, but only leading two discipleship/accountability groups a week this summer is enough to feel purposeful without being overwhelmed.

jim works all hours, but it's what i expect this time of year, and it's ok. (what i have a hard time with is when the other three seasons get crazy, since it feels like his working insane hours may-september ought to be enough.) dylan has been feeling jim's absence and is punishing him a little bit, but he gives her lots of great attention on his day off and come home early a few nights a week to help with bedtime rituals.

dylan is talking up a storm, sleeping well(!), and has actually begun a little potty training. i don't want to hold my breath, but it's hard not to get a little hopeful:)

our garden is looking great. so far, it's mostly just lettuce and some herbs, but we've harvested a few cherry tomatoes and one zucchini that we grilled up the other night. deer or something have taken a chunk out of our beans, but hopefully we can find a way to keep them out.

my friend meredith, who worked here a few years ago, is in town visiting from kansas, and it's been fun catching up with her. thankfully, she's had other friends, too, to go out with, since these days i'm not up for a lot of fun and excitement. being pregnant and chasing a toddler is exhausting! i was never this tired last time. i'm just trying to take one day at time, because if i think about the 3 1/2 months that are still left, it's a little overwhelming.

well, a little monkey just woke up, so we're headed outside. my camera hasn't been cooperating with the computer for over a week, so no pics, but hopefully sometime soon.

have a lovely, restful sabbath.

this one's for the girls

public speaking is not my favorite. not at all. my heart beats fast, and i turn bright red. it's not pretty. while i enjoy leading informal small groups, standing up in front of a crowd with all eyes on me is one of the last things i'd pick to do.

but, i definitely notice and am sensitive to a lack of visible, up-front female leadership, especially in the church and christian ministries. when i was a youth pastor in pittsburgh, i attended a monthly networking meeting, and i was one of only two women in the whole city who wasn't a spouse or a volunteer in a ministry led by a man. not only were most of the youth pastors men, they were also mostly middled-aged. as a twenty-something youth leader fresh out of college, i would have loved to have had female mentors to show me the ropes, but there just weren't any.

my heart longs to see women using their gifts in the church--not only teaching children's sunday school or providing hospitality at coffee hour. i believe that Scripture reveals that women, like men, can also be gifted as pastors, teachers, or evangelists, and i desire for the church to encourage young women to discover and use their gifts to serve the Kingdom of God in a variety of creative way. girls should grow up seeing women in leadership as a natural thing.

so, when i was asked to speak at camp's worship in an intentional effort to diversify our speaking roster, i didn't want to turn it down. (even though, of course, i did!) and that is how i ended up giving the sermon this morning at camp's worship service in the chapel of the pines.

because of fourth of july, our one-week camp went an extra day, meaning that kids who would ordinarily have gone home were there for worship, too:  300 kids and 100 staff.  (my heart!)

my text was Luke 5:1-11, where Jesus calls Simon Peter to follow him, and he leaves everything to do so. i got to talk about how God chooses us, even though we are ordinary and sinful, and equips us for ministry.

i know for a fact that he does.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
(photo: america)
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