The Plague is Finally Over

Alright, it wasn’t as bad as the plague but the last couple of weeks have been a little rough around here with various illnesses.

I’ve been watching my nephew John pretty frequently the last few weeks while my sister has doctor’s appointments at the hospital across the street. About three weeks ago when he walked in the door I instantly saw the snot dripping from his nose and started to panic. I knew that if he was sick Jimi and Cecilia would be following soon. Each time he sneezed, coughed, or wiped his boogers on something my OCD went into over drive. I could just see the germs crawling on everything.

Sure enough, two days later Jimi, Cecilia, and I all came down with a strong cold, despite frequent hand washings and wiping down every toy when John went home. James caught the cold a couple of days after the rest of us. Three weeks later and Cecilia and I still have stuffy, dripping noses.

Cecilia has been picking in her ears for around a month now. I didn’t get concerned because she wasn’t just screaming in pain, have a fever, or problems sleeping that are the tell-tale signs of an ear infection. She was a little bit crankier than normal and wasn’t drinking from bottles very well, however. About a week and a half ago she woke up with the inside of her ear just covered in blood. It looked like the blood might be coming from the inside of her ear canal so we threw clothes on everyone and went to the walk-in clinic as soon as we saw it, fearing that she had burst her ear drum. Fortunately, her ear drum had not burst but she did have an ear infection in her left ear. She had to take amoxicillin twice a day for a week. We checked back with her regular doctor and the ear infection has cleared up. She’s such a happy baby, we’ll have to play closer attention for the ear infection signs if we suspect it again.

Last week my little brother Wade and his son (baby) Wade flew into Washington from Virginia for a visit. Jimi was really excited to see his cousin. Right after they got in baby Wade came down with some sort of stomach bug so we made Jimi wait a couple of days and until baby Wade was completely over his sickness until we let them play together. That didn’t matter. Jimi still got the the bug baby Wade had had but much much worse. He threw up a couple of times on Friday morning and then was fine the rest of the day. Saturday he didn’t want to eat anything but was playing just fine. Saturday night he started throwing up and having diarrhea all. night. long. Sunday he had a few bouts of diarrhea but nothing too bad. Monday through Tuesday morning things worse for the poor little boy, much much worse. He is finally started to turn around yesterday. Today he decided to make up for his lost weight and ate more than I’ve ever seen him put in his little body. No one else was affected by this bug except for me have some serious stomach cramps for a couple of days. I did more laundry and bathroom cleaning in those four days than in any other week, ever.

I’ve heard that once you have two (or more) kids it is impossible to keep them both healthy. While they do share a cold whenever one gets it, we have been pretty lucky so far and have only had to deal with a couple of them. Also, (knocking on wood) Cecilia has not caught any of the serious stomach bugs the rest of us have had.

Here’s hoping we’re done with illnesses for a while!


Potty Training Jimi

We’ve entered the world of potty training and there’s not turning back now. Jimi began using the toilet around once a day when he was about 18 months old. We didn’t really push the subject very hard. We just asked him occasionally if he needed to go or sometimes he would let us know he needed to use the bathroom (surely just so he could get a treat).

When Cecilia was born and then we moved shortly after Jimi’s potty training sort of came to a halt. He just didn’t want to go. We, again, didn’t really push the issue because he’s still young and all the books now tell you not too. Then all of a sudden a little over a month ago Jimi started asking to use the toilet A LOT. He would usually wake up dry from naps but when he was wearing a diaper he would only ask to go once in a while. I decided to get serious about potty training and after hearing the advice from many friends we decided to use the naked potty training method. Keeping the naked is supposed to help make them more aware of when they’re going potty. We just kept Jimi naked for an entire weekend without going anywhere and about a week when we were home. He had a couple of accidents but nothing major and really seemed to get the hang of it. I made a chart to track Jimi’s progress that he could put stickers on when he used the toilet but his interest in that only last a few days. The only thing that really motivates him is small treats and not getting Thomas (his underwear) wet.

Since then we now keep Jimi is “big boy” underwear during the day and a pull-up at nap and bed time (even though he has woken up dry from both for almost a month). We are constantly asking Jimi if he needs to go potty and reminding him to let us know if he does, which I’m pretty sure he finds annoying. He’s still working on learning to go longer stretches in between bathroom uses instead of every 5 minutes. There have been a couple of accidents when Jimi is playing and doesn’t want to stop or throwing a tantrum and doesn’t want to stop (or that one time Jimi said he wanted to be alone and James trusted him and Jimi pooped on the floor and then got up on the toilet to announced he popped) but overall I’d say he is pretty much all trained.

I know we just got lucky that Jimi was ready to train but it still feels like a pretty big parenting accomplishment that he is pretty much potty trained at 26months.

We now have a lot of pictures like this (be warned: there is a toddler bottom below)





Don’t worry, we wipe everything down.


A Quick Trip to Vancouver

Last Tuesday James got a call to interview with for a position in Vancouver (WA not B.C) on Thursday morning. Vancouver is about a 4 hour drive from our house so I suggested to James that we all go down together Wednesday night and stay the night so he wouldn’t have to drive 8 hours alone on Thursday. I hopped on and did the “name your own price” thing and ended up with a room at the Hilton for cheaper than a nights stay at the local Motel 6. It was my first time using Priceline but I am definitely a fan now.

The drive down was fairly peaceful we only stopped once to feed Cecilia and Jimi used the big kid toilet at Burger King so that warranted some ice cream. Once we got to Vancouver things got a little crazy. Jimi was terrified of going into the hotel room at first. It was getting close to his bed time and his mood was not pleasant. Melissa drove up from Portland to meet us for dinner and Cecilia promptly spit up all over her dress upon first holding. We weren’t sure we were going to make it through the meal, since Jimi as a reputation of only lasting 15 minutes sitting in a restaurant but luckily Melissa chose Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and there are at least 10 giant screen tvs playing sports that kept Jimi entertained.

It’s always a struggle getting Jimi to bed past his bed time but it is even more of one when we’re all in the same room together. Jimi did ok laying in a pack n’ play but he stayed up watching us and asking to go to bathroom until 10:40 while Cecilia took turns crying  on and off. Thankfully they both finally settled down and went to sleep and didn’t wake each other up during the night. In the morning James went to his interview while I stayed in the room with the kids. Our room overlooked part of the Columbia river with train tracks which helped keep Jimi entertained (he is currently obsessed with trains) while we waited. He also managed to order Men In Black 3 for $17 which gave me a panic attack. They reversed the charges though since they saw that we only watched about 3 seconds of it while I figured out how to turn it off.

On our way out of town we stopped at a park so Jimi could run off some energy. He then proceeded to sleep for all but 30 minutes of the ride home.

Lesson of the trip: Traveling with two under two is a little crazy. But we all survived and I managed to not forget anything important at home while packing.

Our pack n’ play set up. One from the hotel for Jimi and ours for Cecilia.


The view

Relaxing while Cecilia sleeps

Clock/bell tower outside of the hotel.



Weekend of Daddy-Stuff

This weekend was filled with doing Daddy Things. I fixed the toilet, trimmed a Christmas tree, and carried my vomit-covered son from my car into the bath. We also went out to dinner to celebrate Rebecca getting into George Washington University’s Master’s in Paralegal Studies program. Congratulations baby!

Friday night we went out to Bob’s Burgers and Brew to celebrate Rebecca’s acceptance into grad school. Jimi was being super cute laying his head on the table all weird and Rebecca has him trying to touch his tongue to his nose like she can. I tried to get a picture of both but this was the best I could do.

Jimi's cuteness

Weirdly, this is my second blog post about fixing a toilet. My first one is here.  Friday night after dinner, Rebecca broke the toilet. Not like that. Actually, it just broke from general wear and tear. A tiny rubber hinge on the stopper inside the tank broke, causing the stopper to flip over when you flushed, so it wouldn’t seal properly and ran forever. It was in the wee small hours, so I just shut off the water and took care of it Saturday morning. I completely MacGyver’d it. All I did was take a small rubber band and wrap it around the broken hinge. Bam! Toilet fixed! Daddy job #1? Check.

Sunday we went hunting for a Christmas tree. We had to get out of the house anyway, so we took the back roads up to Stanwood (which is a really pretty drive and something we do quite often on Sundays) and ended up at QFC, where they had 2′-3′ Noble firs for $16.99. I called around and that was the best price, and they were the only ones that had trees that small. I wanted to just walk around our property with a ladder and cut off the top of a small tree, but Rebecca vetoed me. We got it home (thankfully it fit in the trunk because we didn’t have any rope) and after one incident that distracted (which I will describe in the next paragraph) me from this task, I sawed the end off so it could absorb water better and cut off the lowest branches so it would fit in our stand, which is actually bigger than the tree. Bam, nature conquered! Daddy job #3 – Check.

About a half-mile from home Jimi started to gurgle. We heard a couple of wet burps and then some splashes and knew that he had thrown up. Then the smell hit us. Quick, roll down the windows! And then we heard the dog start to lick. Luckily she decided to listen and not clean up Jimi all herself. We pulled up, Rebecca ran inside so she wouldn’t throw up and so she could start the bath and it was my job to carry the boy upstairs. I looked in the back seat and he just looked so confused, like “Why am I so wet and smelly?” He looked like he had tried to chug a pitcher of Greek yogurt and spilled it all over himself. He smelled like he had tried to chug a pitcher of bad Greek yogurt and spilled it all over himself. He was absolutely drenched in vile white liquid. I wrapped a blanket around him and he looked so happy to be getting out of the car. Luckily he loves baths so as soon as he heard the water he wanted to be put down and he ran into the bathroom. Daddy job #2 – gag – Check.

What's left of the pool of Greek yogurt in Jimi's crotch.