Archive for September, 2010

When a song has meaning

I’ve been listening to the Paper Tongues on my iPod lately. (My boys had me play “Ride to California” at full volume three times tonight so they could dance around the living room before going to bed.) I really like their sound.

While I’ve listened to the song “Trinity” quite a few times, I felt like I really heard it today.

Have you ever had a song really speak to you?

Maybe it’s because I’ve worked in social services for the past 6 years. Maybe I’ve got a lot of fight in me. Maybe I just have a lot to say. Here’s what I connected with in the song:

I’m the kind of person whose strong and wants to react
So feel me when I fight for the cause of bringing hope back
Don’t ask me where I’m going cuz I could never prove that
But I do have something to say

If you haven’t heard of Paper Tongues, check them out now.

Potty Training Part Deux

I recently started the process of potty training with my youngest son, Biz, though I can’t say it was a conscious decision. He’s 21 months old and was giving the ladies at daycare a hard time on the changing table. (He’s particularly stubborn and squirmy.) They gave him the option of going on the potty instead of having his diaper changed, and he went for it.

Initially, I was thinking that he wasn’t ready for potty training. I’d go along with it for consistency-sake, but I didn’t think it would stick. So far, I’ve been wrong.

My oldest son, G, was fully potty trained by the time he was 2 1/2. We had no issues with him. Not even bed wetting at night. He was actually trained closer to 2, but he put off buying the underwear for a little while. When he was ready, he told me.

Back to Biz, I figured I couldn’t be that lucky twice. Especially with two boys. (That’s what all the potty training articles tell you anyway.) And though Biz could certainly go the other way if he decides to, I really feel like he’s going to be even quicker than G. He readily tells me when he needs to go, and he’s already gone potty in a public bathroom. (G took longer to do both these things consistently.) He’s one determined child and when he makes up his mind, that’s it. He also has a killer potty celebration dance.

There are a lot of articles out there that tell you when to start (or not start) potty training, what to do and how to do it. I’ve never listened to any of these. Frankly, most of them don’t seem to work for me or my family. (I’ve never been good with charts.)

And, I think that’s the key to successful potty training. Find what works for you. We bought a potty for G at around 18 months, when he started asking for us to change his diaper. We simply talked to him about how when he’s ready, he could go to the bathroom on the potty like a big boy. And, yes, we modeled for him by letting him watch us go to the bathroom. (I do find that it’s a lot better for the parent of the same sex to model for the child in the bathroom. There are some things you just don’t need to explain at that age.)

I’m sure other parents think I’m starting too early. My response to that is that it’s not my decision. It’s for Biz to decide. I didn’t do a thing for G to get him potty trained. I just provided him the tools (i.e., the potty) and the encouragement to do it himself. And when he didn’t want to do it, I didn’t make it an issue. I’m doing the same for Biz.

Here’s hoping for a new year without diapers.

Just add bacon

One of the many reasons I am not a vegetarian is because of my intense love for bacon. I can’t get enough of that yummy, salty flavor that is bacon. So in honor of International Bacon Day (Yes, it’s real. It’s on Wikipedia.), I thought I would share a couple bacon recipes I found.

Bacon Crisp (By: Paula Deen from FoodNetwork.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 sleeve buttery rectangular crackers (recommended: Waverly Wafers)
  • 1 pound sliced bacon cut in 1/2

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Place 1 teaspoon of the cheese on each cracker and wrap tightly with a strip of bacon. Place the wrapped crackers on a broiler rack on a baking sheet and put the baking sheets on the oven rack. Bake for 2 hours, or until the bacon is done. Do not turn. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature

Cook’s note: You can also bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes if you’re in a hurry!

Bacon Broccoli Salad (By: Alan Alspaugh from AllRecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Directions : In a medium bowl, combine bacon, broccoli, raisins and sunflower seeds; set aside. Mix together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar; pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Stir before serving.

And if you’re in the Brunswick, ME area, stop by Back Street Bistro and order the Ale Brine Bacon Wrapped Rib Chop of Pork. It’s too good for words.

When in doubt, just add bacon. Better yet, wrap it in bacon.

Have a good bacon recipe to share? Add it to the Comments section to the left.

Not So Traumatic Kindergarten Transitions

My oldest son, G, started kindergarten this week. I fully expected it to be a traumatic experience for both me and him.

It was not. In fact, it feels like just another week.

At barely five years old (he turned five mid-July), this child continues to amaze me. I keep waiting for the event that’s going to really throw him for a loop. It hasn’t come yet.

G was an early talker and was fully potty trained by two and a half. (I mean really potty trained. No transitional night time diapers or anything.) When he decided to ride a bike without training wheels this summer, he got on the bike and never looked back. In nursery school, he would call the teacher out if she said anything incorrect.

The key to G is talking and prepping. While I was pregnant, my husband and I agreed to never use baby talk. It’s just not our style. So, from the beginning, I’ve always talked to G. I tell him what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, what’s going on around us, what’s about to happen, etc. And, we talk every night before he goes to bed about how our days went and what’s happening tomorrow.

For the big transitions, as long as I tell him what’s going on and what’s coming up, he knows what he needs to do. (The one hiccup I made was in his first year of preschool and I forgot to tell him about picture day. He freaked out a bit, and the teacher told me he wasn’t good with change. Fast-forward a year, and she told me he was taking over the class from the teacher. Go figure.)

Kids are human beings, and a lot smarter than we give them credit for. While I freaked out a few times this summer trying to figure out how to navigate the whole kindergarten thing, I never let G see this. We talked about how fun it would be and how his schedule would change. He was so excited this week, he’s been up around 5:30am every morning. He had a ball riding the bus with me and my husband on the first “mini” day with parents. And on his first day (without parents) when he had to wait for the bus to loop around the block because the bus driver didn’t see his daycare provider who was there to pick him up, he wasn’t phased one bit.

G’s one complaint so far? Having to sit at a table to wait for his bus number to be called at the end of the day. Apparently, that’s too boring for him. I’m thinking this will change once he goes to a full day next week. Hopefully he’ll be more tired after a full day, and the table sitting won’t be as annoying.

Now I have to transition into leaving work on time so I can be at the bus stop for G in the afternoon. I’m thinking I can handle it, with a little prepping from G.