Sunday, June 29, 2008

Different Camera

Here are some more pics from Sydney's birthday. These are from our camera, so they are when she was really FRESH! Carson was a little unsure, but very excited to meet his little sis. He was with Gma Tompkins in Winco when they got the call, and she said he was jumping up and down and screaming all over the place. When they walked into the hospital room just a couple hours later, he looked at me in the bed with some curiosity, but kept on walking past me towards the little bundle in Daddy's arms. As he walked past he said with a very serious face, wanting to give me the update: "Mom. Sydney's here." It was funny. I told him I had heard that rumor.

Getting cleaned off. "This is definitely a step down from my last digs." Just about 20 minutes old.
Hat. Diaper. Security tags.
Brother, meet sister!Love at first sight.Whoa!Hmmm. Interesting.OK! I will take her!
Our new fam.

Friday, June 27, 2008


She's here! Sydney Paige Tompkins made her debut yesterday morning at 9:41 am. She weighed in at 7 lbs, 12 oz. Even after all that "get ready" yada yada on my previous post, turns out I did not really think she was ready, so I was pretty surprised when my contractions started coming on strong yesterday morning between 4-5pm. I woke Trent up at 5 and told him we'd better get packed. I'll probably post some of the fun details between 5 and 9:41 (the stuff that really only mothers and other newish mothers care about) later, but not today! I'll sum up to say that the labor and delivery for Carson and for Sydney were like DAY and NIGHT, and that's a good thing. It was still painful and difficult, but it was SO much faster. I felt a familiar overwhelming sense of gratitude and relief when she was out and healthy. We've learned that to carry a baby from conception to a healthy, full-term infant is truly a miracle and a blessing. I'm tired and sore, but thankful. Also, I'm a geek, because 3 hours later I asked if anyone had a laptop so I could blog. :) Check out Mike's blog for more pics, but here are a couple to hold you over.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hurry up and wait.

As requested by Rory, here's a brief baby update. Warning: medical/anatomical jargon to follow, possibly TMI for some readers.

Went to the doc this morning and I am "a good 3 cm" dilated and the cervix is "softening up really nicely" to at least 60% effaced. I even had a contraction while being measured, but I've been having them off and on for a while. All this confirms that my body is indeed getting ready and making progress week by week, but by no means does this mean Sydney's arrival is imminent. However, the doctor does think she'll come before the proposed induction day of July 7 or 8. She said I should have my hospital bag packed. The bad news is baby is facing the wrong way. Head is down (not breech), but she is facing up, which is what happened with Carson. This increases my back pain now and really increases it during labor. Last time the doctor basically had to physically reach in and turn him while I was pushing. FUN! So, I'm supposed to spend some time on my hands and knees and hope gravity helps. I figured Carson will love that game. That's all I got for now! I'll try to post any updates. Thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I Will Survive....potty training

First I was afraid.
I was petrified.
Kept thinking I could live without you diaper-fied.
Now we've spent so many hours, singing you the potty song,
And I grew strong.
And we've learned how to get along.

10 days into the PT, and I feel like we've turned a corner! I feel hopeful. This torturous transition will NOT last forever. Yes, there will still be accidents and frustrations big and small, but I'm seeing the light at the end of the Pampers tunnel. I'm worried that he'll relapse when the new baby comes, but that's OK. We have the foundation laid. I have learned from my mistakes and learned from our successes.

One of the first things that a mom-to-be learns is that EVERYONE has opinions and stories about childrearing...from conception to graduation (and beyond, I'm sure.) Also, we get our share of the "whatever worked for me and my kid is 'right'" mentality. For this momentous milestone, I was able to take a little bit of advice from many different sources. Some of it worked really well for us and some of it just did not. One book I read AFTER we started said rewards like stickers and candy don't work, setting the timer doesn't work, little boy "guards" don't work. I'm glad I read that after the fact, because all of those things worked pretty well for us! I also have heard about the "one day" technique for a long time. NOT for this kid! It took at least 4-5 days before I felt like we made any significant progress. I guess you just live and learn and figure out what works for your situation. I will say that I do not advise attacking this truly all-consuming (seriously--I've had dreams about it) task while 9 months pregnant. It's hard enough, and being huge, uncomfortable, usually in pain, short of breath and exhausted has not made it easier.

The victory story (for now) is this: Carson has gone three whole days with NO accidents, and that includes several trips out of the house in big boy underwear. To celebrate, we all went to Baskin Robbins last night for a scoop of ice cream. As you can see, the Big Boy is wearing the same shirt he was wearing last week during the intense training. Let's just say we've been doing a lot of laundry around here.

So, as with all the others who bestowed wisdom and advise onto me, I now have a wealth of tips, suggestions and advise of my own whenever anyone is interested. ;) But the best advise is...DON'T GIVE UP!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Flower Power Shower

A couple weekends ago, the Girls (Becky, Sarah, Steph and Jenna) threw me a perfect shower. We're trying to tone it down a little with the second babies, so this was basically a glorified "family" shower. But, I'm not exactly sure how they toned it down. :) Check out this spread! My FAVORITE part was the flower cookie boquets. Zoom in for closer admiration. They were so yummy, and the girls MADE these the day before...WITH their children in the same house!

This is the only acceptable photo of me. I'm holding the quilt my mom made for Sydney to match the colors in her room. I have a very similar photo from almost 3 years ago, where I'm holding a blue homemade quilt whilst getting a little choked up. She also made a new Minkee for the new baby, much to Carson's amusement. I'll have to take a picture of that too. We call it Pinky Minkee.

Here's some of the fam: Sis-in-law Jess, Mom-in-law Linda and Sis-in-law Michelle. (We missed ya, Tara!)

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

NOT about Potty Training

Just in case you need a post that does not use the words "undies," "poop" "potty" and "pee," here's a change of pace. (Not that I get any such reprieve.)

As previously mentioned, last Saturday we had a great day, with both of our families coming to our house for a Father's Day celebration and family work day. It was really fun. We got a great deal on a swingset and have been excited to get it set up, but knew it would require lots of help that a 9 month pregger could not provide. Trent worked hard to get all the materials organized before most of the workers came. (There are 21 "phases" to set this thing up!)
Here's Handywoman Jojo jumping in.
I don't know if you can see, but that's Mimi (Gma Tompkins), Gpa Roy and Gpa Phil, Uncle Chad and Trent doing some of the complicated direction-following.Aunt Tara supervising.Aunties Jess and Michelle also pitching in with the Carson-entertaining, which is not a small task.Uncle Mike, Aunt Becky and Jack came a little late but definitely pulled their weight. (Except Jack--he was merely for entertainment purposes.)We started getting excited at this point! It's looking like this might happen!

Then, it was time for the inaugural climb and slide! Looks like we have a winner.

On an unrelated note, I have to toot my own horn and say that I made one of my all-time favorite summer desserts. These are brownie ice-cream sandwiches WITH Magic Shell, and they are, in my humble opinion, to die for. The picture doesn't do them justice. YUM! I knew that I wouldn't feel like doing all that work for the rest of the summer, so I'd better make them now!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

PT Days 3-5 and Happy Dad's Day!

First, I want to give a shout-out to my hubby, whose special day to honor him started with him getting up with the munchkin and letting me sleep for another hour. I awoke to him cleaning out poop from the toddler toilet, and nothing could have made me love him more! Happy Father's Day, Trent!

Which leads me to the PT update. It is a roller coaster ride, people. A stinkin' roller coaster. Day 3, Friday, I needed to run some errands. After 2 days of morning poops in the unders, I chickened out and put a pull-up on him when we went out. Even though we stopped to use the public restroom 3 times while out, his pull-up was soaked. Carson "cannot" pee unless he is naked from the waist down, so public restrooms now entail me and my huge belly kneeling or bending down in a tiny little stall to undo shoes, socks, pants and unders or pull-ups, THEN put them all back on. It is An Ordeal, to say the least.

On Friday afternoon, he had as many accidents as successful trips to the potty, and I was getting really discouraged. He was kind of putting up an attitude and running away from me, not wanting to put the undies back on, etc. So, at one point, I just gave up temporarily and let him run nakers after a trip to the potty. Then I sat down on the couch. He came in a few minutes later and said "Mommy, come here!" And I, throwing a little 'tude of my own, said, " What do you need? I don't want to come right now." "I pooped in the potty!" he said. ALL IS FORGIVEN! He HAD pooped in the potty, and to top it off (figuratively speaking) he had gone in all on his own. Of course there was wiping, hands washing, toilet cleaning, stickers and candy to be given, and much gushing and encouraging from me. Two steps back, two steps forward.

Yesterday we had a wonderful day (which will have its own post) because both of our families came over for a pre-Father's Day BBQ and family work day. They helped Trent construct our new swing set, which is awesome. It was also great timing for potty training because A)Aunt Tara brought him cool new boxer briefs which he did not want to get wet B) Lots of family around who graciously applauded, encouraged and even supervised trips to the potty and C) He stayed home all day and had lots of opportunity for success. He had one accident before everyone got there and one later that night, but mostly a very good day. AND he went poop on his own again--I mean, in the proper receptacle.

Today: one step forward, one step back, another 2 steps forward. Started with successful pee and then poop in potty. Hope. Smiles. Pride! Then, he got snotty with me and refused to take a trip to "try" on the potty. I told him we didn't want to have an accident, and he said "I want to have an accident." Approximately 30 seconds later, he sat RIGHT NEXT TO ME and peed on the couch. I was TICKED! No punishment (I just have a hard time with that--even though I thought this one was NO "accident") but I'm not above a full-on mother guilt trip. "Oh, what a bummer. I'm so sad that you chose not to sit on the potty. We need to tell Daddy that you had an accident because you wouldn't sit on the potty. Accidents are not fun to clean up. I'll be next time you'll sit on the potty when I ask you to. Now you can't wear your new underwear..." etc, etc. BUT then we left the house for the first time in undies and went to church, lunch and a tour of the hospital. Thanks to an attentive teacher, diligent Daddy and LOTS of potty trips, he came home DRY! We didn't have to use the 2 extra changes of clothes I brought. :)

So, this will probably conclude the day-by-day, play-by-play commentary, as some of you are probably bored to tears. But, I have learned that potty training takes over your life, so I will have little else to write about for a while. Thanks for all your support!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

PT Day 2

Well, the rest of Day 1 deteriorated quickly. Rather than relying on the timer, Carson seemed to master the art of peeing in minuscule increments, approx 7 minutes apart, so that he could maximize his sticker and candy potential, and maximize my patience level and lower back pain. By the time nap time rolled around, I was EXHAUSTED! And I knew he was too. However, he refused to take a nap. This normally hasn't been an issue...he just has to stay in his room anyway, even if he protests. But this time, he had me trapped. Even though I put a pull-up on him for safekeeping during sleeping, he would call out to me "Mom! I have to go pee!" What am I supposed to do? I mean, this is the FIRST DAY of training. Should I tell him to hold it? Does he even know what that means? Go in his pull-up? Doesn't that negate everything we've been working on all day? He was clearly manipulating the system, but somehow managed to produce that 1/2 tsp of pee each time. I tried to discourage it by telling him he could come out and go, but no more stickers or candy until after nap. Didn't work. The 2 hours usually spent sleeping were spent arguing, peeing, running away, refusing to put unders or a pull-up back on, back-talk, spanks (I assure you, they had nothing to do with accidents), tears, books....everything BUT sleep. At one point, he was really upset with me, and then he peed on the bathroom floor. I SWEAR he did it to spite me, but I can't prove it. I finally gave up on either of us resting, and that evening, even with Trent home fresh to entertain, Carson was acting, well, exactly like a toddler with no nap. I wasn't exactly a chipper, doting wife, either. Carson went to bed around 7:30, which hasn't happened since he was 9 months old. (He was up at 5:45 am.) I decided to have a good attitude this morning, because today is a NEW DAY! We had to have our first out-of-house journey this morning, and after the poop incident yesterday, I didn't risk it. I put a pull-up on him. We had to go to my Dr.'s appointment, and Carson behaved wonderfully. He even peed on the potty at the office. Then we stopped by the Dollar Tree (thanks, AJ!) to get more stickers, since he used up so many yesterday with his dozens of thimble-cup-sized pees.
I don't know if you can actually see this, but I wanted to document exactly how much (or more accurately, how little) liquid he was producing and expecting the reward.
He has had three total accidents today, which is kind of frustrating, because I thought we were getting the hang of this. I try to stay really gentle and positive while expressing how much better it would be if we didn't have to clean it up and what a bummer it is that he missed out on sticker and M 'n M. One of those was another big poop in the underpants. The bananas have helped a little, ifyouknowwhatImean, but it was still a mess and a huge hassle. I'm worried that this is something we'll be dealing with for a while.

However, the drilling finally wore him out today, as you can see from this picture taken about 30 minutes ago. So, at least he'll be in a better mood tonight, I get to update all you eager readers, eat my lunch in peace and then maybe even close my eyes for a bit. I'll be sure to update you if anything momentous occurs!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Potty Training D-Day.

6:50 am. The subject wakes up in a good mood. Excellent sign. Go straight to the bathroom, take off diaper and PJ’s; sit on potty. Success! Continue the routine introduced last night: sit on potty for a minute = one sticker on the chart. Produce visible matter in potty = one peanut M’n M. So the child has a piece of chocolate to start his breakfast. Small sacrifice in nutrition for lifetime of social toileting appropriateness. Put on “big boy underwear” with great excitement and flair. Dramatic tones about the seriousness of losing the diaper in exchange for these. Set the timer for 20 minutes, at which time subject has to try again.

7:20 am. Timer goes off, we head down the hall. Success again! Hoorah! Can’t believe how well this is going. Wash hands, undies back on, sticker and candy. Subject as excited as trainer. Set time again.

7:28 am. Subject claims he needs to go again. Trainer suspicious. In bathroom, subject claims that 1/8 tsp of fluid in the toddler pot is human pee. Trainer thinks is it residue of tap water left over from last rinse. Subject strongly requests/demands sticker and candy. Trainer agrees to sticker but no candy. Decide to set the timer for 30 minutes this time, as subject is obviously gaining master control over bodily functions, clearly due to brilliance of trainer. Trainer even decides to squeeze in a quick shower.

8:20 am. Shower over, trainer sifts through the three remaining maternity outfits that still fit and gets dressed while subject happily plays on the computer in same room. About to brush hair when struck with Odor. Quickly knocked out of autopilot mode and brought back into the reality of The Day and the task at hand; beginning to think could possibly have gotten a little over confident.

8:22 am. CRAP. Substantial set back in the form of large quantity of loose stools, which subject clearly does not have under muscle control. Trainer looses calm, cool and collected mode for several minutes. Must triage the damage and prioritize most demanding clean up necessary. Subject says, “Change my diaper.” Trainer explains (again) that underpants are NOT a diaper, and convinces self to resist the temptation to GET a diaper and/or use the changing table, reasoning that we must convey to subject that diapers are a thing of the past. But this is new territory for trainer. Have not had to clean up messy poop from big boy unders. Have not actually had child’s poop on fingers in about 2 years. Have never had poop on bathroom floor. Instantly regret trying to wash BB unders in bathroom sink—drain not big enough, and just seems extra gross, so toss them in bathtub to clean later. Go through about 20 wipes trying to get sticky feces from subject’s bottom and legs and toilet seat.

Finally, trainer gets situation under control. All hands are washed, new undies. As suggested by “Potty Whisperer” on the Today Show (no joke) trainer has subject help clean up the wet spot on the computer chair, telling him gently that this is what has to happen when we have an accident, and that it is his responsibility to help with the clean up. Mental note to trainer self: feed subject more bananas, rice and toast. Less grapes and strawberries. At least during these few crucial days. Also, timer goes back to 20 minute increments.

8:50, 9:15, 9:45 and 10:30 am. Timer goes off, subject has successful drainage each time, even though it is only about a tablespoon or less of liquid. But underpants are dry. Hands washed, undies back on, sticker and candy provided. Feeling back on track. Try to encourage more drinking.

9:45 am. Wonderful surprise! Grandpa Tompkins stops by, bringing Minkee the lovey/softy/security item we left at Gma and Gpa’s house yesterday. This generous gesture saves subject and trainer (and spouse) from another rough night (and surely nap) of separation anxiety from said item. Morale continues to lift in both training participants.

10:58 am. 2 minutes before the timer goes off, subject informs trainer that he needs to pee. Improvement! Hesitant excitement and hope that subject will be allowed into preschool someday.

11:13 am. Call from subject's bedroom: "MOM! I have a problem!" Trainer runs in. Subject has had small (liquid) accident in BB unders. Quickly clean up, sit on toddler pot again, and both parties help clean up small mess on carpet. However, this accident is followed by two quick successes of subject voluntarily acknowleding need for potty and producing pee. Sticker chart looks overly full, but trainer suspsicion does not outweigh determination to persevere!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

28 years ago....

Ah! Maybe the secret to potty training is in this picture....the trainee needs white cowboy boots with fringe and no undies. Note to self.

This is the "boots 'n buns" pic my dad referred to in the comments of the previous post. Yes, that cute toosh belongs to yours truly.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Here we go!

My dad has a saying. When he knows he needs to get something done, he'll take some kind of action or announcement or purchase that takes him past the point of no return. The saying is "I threw my shoes over the fence." In other words, I don't really want to go over the fence, but now that my shoes are over there, I have to. This weekend, I am making a blognouncement that we are officially beginning potty training this week. I'm hoping that by telling all of you, you will keep checking in and we'll stick with it. I'm throwing my shoes over the fence. :)
I know that being 9 months pregnant and then having a newborn may not be the best time to go for this big undertaking, but Carson is giving us crystal clear signs that he is ready. At least 4 times in the last week he has stopped one of us, or grandma, in public to say that he has to go to the bathroom, and wants to go right now. He has even gone #2 on the toilet in our house twice. Now, he only tells us about once a day that he has to go. The rest of the day (how many pees is that?!) he is perfectly content to go in his diaper. So, it's not like we have this in the can. (Haha. I'm so funny.)
My last day of teaching is Tuesday, so we plan to start on Wednesday. I'm writing now in case some of you with older kids (especially boys) can give me any of your success tips or ideas.
Here are some pictures of recent events leading up to the big training. The thing is, we have TWO toddler size potty seats--one stand alone chair and one for the big toilet. And yet, he likes this method. Go figure. So, stay tuned for what I'm sure will be some very funny and probably gross updates on the PT. (potty training)

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I made some changes on the blog layout. Hope you like it! Because it took me a long time to figure it out. :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Wow, thanks for all your sweet comments on the last post. If I could have foreseen that I might have gained 30 pounds, cut my hair and whined about it a long time ago. ;)

Sorry, one more pregnancy post this week. Another symptom I have had in both pregnancies is that I have really bizarre and random dreams, and I remember them more clearly than normal. With Carson in utero, I specifically remember JJ and I being chased through a huge house by a sweet older woman in my choir who slightly resembles the grandma on the Tweety Bird cartoons. She was chasing us with a gigantic shotgun.

This time there have been some wierd ones, but last night I had a dream about Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News anchor. Now, it was nothing really scandalous, but there was some definite school-girl-like adoration on my part in the dream. I guess I do find him attractive, partly because I've seen (on other venues) that he is really funny. Don't worry--I told Trent. But seriously, how random is that?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Pregnancy Musings Vol. 3

36 weeks.

I am so, so hot. No, don't worry, I haven't had a 180 in my self-esteem since the short hair cut, I mean I am so freaking HOT all the time I have new empathy for menapausal women and all people who live in Arizona. I cannot seem to regulate my body temperature and it's kind of amusing if you think about it, because naturally I tend to feel much colder than Trent and we are always disagreeing about the covers on the bed or the temp in the house. Things have changed now! I want the ceiling fan cranked up high and lay in shorts and a tank top throwing the covers off like they are hurting me, while he snuggles up under the layers. I also open the freezer and stick my head in for a couple seconds about a dozen times a day.

Whoa...funny thing just happened. Our computer desk has a pull-out keyboard shelf, and in order to get up close to it, my huge belly is resting/pushing on the edge. Sydney just kicked so hard it scooted the shelf forward while my hands weren't even touching it. Weird!

Also, good news from last dr visit. I actually lost a pound in three weeks! Don't worry all you "Don't diet! You'll hurt the baby!" people, I am NOT dieting. (Have I mentioned Magic Shell?) It probably was the stomach bug. Sydney is perfectly fine according to every measurable test. The other good news is that because of the ultrasound measurement and the fact that although Carson was "on time" it turns out he was actually late, my doc said that if Syd is not here on time, she'll only wait as long as July 8th to induce. I really like having that date in my mind! Don't get me wrong....June 28 still sounds better, but at least it's not indefinite. There is an end in sight. Now? We wait....