Thursday, February 28, 2008

9-1-1

So....just wondering....when do you teach your kids to dial 9-1-1 in case of an emergency?

I was asking myself this question the other day while I was going to the bathroom enjoying some peace and quiet. OK - seriously - where else would I find peace and quiet at my house? AND usually it's not for that long because Catherine comes upstairs and sits on the step stool and wants to converse with me.

In the few moments before I was joined by one of the girls I got to wondering what would happen if I passed out or fell and was unconscious and I was home alone with the girls. I know, pretty deep thoughts for toilet time - you don't even want to know what I think about before I fall asleep! I just pictured them crying and yelling for me but not knowing what to do.

This in line with the thoughts that I believe most of us have when we're home alone for the night or we've just heard a story about some type of tragedy averted by a quick thinking parent/adult. Who else has developed a plan in the chance that there's an intruder in your home? Is it usually a pretty ridiculous one? Because mine alternate between getting both children out of their rooms and into mine (if not mine, then Ella's, b/c Catherine doesn't have a real door - see I have thought this through) and somehow pushing a dresser against the door since we don't have locks (I'm counting on having alot of adrenaline!) OR waiting until the intruder is at the top of the stairs and beat him (or her, I'm an equal opportunist here) so he (or she) falls down the stairs. Not sure what I would use to accomplish that though...a lamp is the first thing that comes to mind but all we have are sconces. Darn. Or, I could follow the advice of some informative email I've received once or twice and have my car keys with me so I could set off the panic button and scare them away. That seems much more reasonable.

At our gourmet dinner club this weekend somehow we started talking about house fires and smoke alarms and fun stimulating things like that. My plan in case of a fire was to take both girls out onto the little roof outside Catherine's window and then somehow survive the one & 1/2 story jump to the pavement below - but hey, it's better than the two story option, right? I said
was because I recently amended my plan to go out the bathroom window because then we would be on the porch roof and have a one story jump, grass and hopefully neighbors coming to catch us. Plan B involves getting soaking wet and wrapping wet towels around our heads and mouths and running straight down the stairs as fast as possible through the smoke and flames because our door is right at the bottom. Of course I would use a wet towel to open the door so my hand wouldn't melt off because of the heat.

Are you impressed with how much I have thought this through? Anyone else out there care to share their plans because I know I'm not alone in this?!! Perhaps you might not have as detailed of a plan but I guarantee once you start typing, those details will flow.

So anyway - back to my initial question - when should kids learn to call 9-1-1? I just taught Ella this week, but it's tough because I don't want her to accidentally dial it or do it when it's not an emergency. Also, there's a very real chance that Ella would not be able to find one of the three portable phones that are never on their chargers. We're lucky because we have an EMS station down the street from us so perhaps I'll have to teach Ella a plan B - to run down to the EMS station and get help that way. I know, I know, I'm so practical!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Household updates

I'm glad you all enjoyed our WWF video. When I watched it I realized that the last think you heard me say was "good job Catherine" - which cracked me up because it really sounded like I was her coach - which is the exact same thing that Courtney noted in her comment. I actually almost went back and added something to that extent before she commented on it! In case you were wondering - they made this little game up on their own and during Catherine's jump she actually completely misses Ella - lands on all fours on the other side. A couple of the other times she tried she did a full belly flop - after that we figured we needed to get something on tape!

And moving on...

Two weekends ago we had the wonderful privilege of a visit from Mike Sharon and Caleb Koerber. Mike had a week off from classes, so they took the opportunity to visit the PA Koerbers. We were on the first leg of the trip and after a weekend with us they headed on to Clearfield to visit my parents. Here are a few of my favorite shots from their visit.

Isn't Caleb adorable? Don't you just want to pick him and snuggle him? And the answer to your question is no, it doesn't make me want another baby! I enjoyed getting to know Caleb and then letting mom and dad take over!

Look at my little brother, looking so comfortable in his role as a dad. Was there ever any doubt?
I think they are watching the movie Cars and learning an important lesson about enjoying the drive.

Was there ever any doubt that he would be loved by his cousins? Catherine especially wanted to give him lots of hugs and kisses. When we left for church before them on Sunday Catherine cried the whole way to church (only a mile) asking over and over "where's baby, where's baby".

For more pictures, you can always check out Mike and Sharon's blog at http://www.mskoerber.blogspot.com/

I realized that I kind of just left you all hanging with the potty training saga that was going on over in our neck of the woods. Hmmm, how to describe what ended up happening...oh yeah, we quit! It became apparent that although Catherine has the ability to go long lengths of time without peeing/pooping, she really was not interested in going on the potty. One night I gave her a cup and sat her on the potty for about 20 minutes with nothing happening. I even took pictures for proof! I think the cup is somewhere in the tulle-like fabric of her princess dress.
We persisted for almost a week of underpants wearing until she pooped her pants (for the second day in a row) while we were out at Chick Fil A. If the kid just does not care that she has poop in her pants, what can you do? Tell me please, what can you do? Anyway - I figured we'd take a break but still keep the potty out and still talk about it and offer it as an option, but I needed a break from it and I hope we'll start again soon when Matt can be more involved as well and when we don't have as many places to go throughout the week.
One other area that we've been working on for the last few weeks has been the kids' eating habits. We definitely developed some bad habits because the kids tend towards being picky and often I don't have the energy at night to fight that battle. Matt has had a few months of not feeling top notch and if he's not able to be there to support me in enforcing some dinner time rules, I really can't do it. I know, I'm weak. Oh well. But the past few weeks we've had some breakthoughts - especially with Catherine. Last week, there were three nights in a row that the kids ate what was set in front of them without squawking about it - or at least very minimal squawking. That included food like chicken, pork tenderloin, peas, rice, more chicken and meatloaf. The meatloaf was our first real breakthrough with Catherine - I honestly think it may have been the first time she's had red meat, except it was made with ground turkey so I guess that doesn't even count. I'm encouraged by the progress we made even though I know we still have a long road ahead of us. I'm content with baby steps!

I have a bunch of stuff I've been wanting to blog about that I'll save for future posts, just wanted to give you a Demo household update that was a bit overdue!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Snow White vs. Cinderella: Smackdown!

If you read this blog regularly, you know that both my girls are into all sorts of girlie stuff. And if you know me, you know that I very occasionally worry that they will grow up to be super girlie and not at all interested in the things that I loved - most specifically, my love for sports. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Anyway, it's times like these that remind me that they can be both a girl who loves princesses and dress up as well as a girl who loves sports - perhaps a new kind of professional wrestling?

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

So how are you all celebrating Valentine's Day this year? Not much in store for us because this tends to be a family day. Ella and I made sugar cookies and decorated them to put in with our homemade Valentine's Day cards for her class. Now before I sound all Martha Stewarty I have to let you know that although I did make the cookies myself we used Betty Crocker icing out of the tub and the homemade cards consisted of pieces of folded constructed paper covered with stickers, glitter and heart cut outs - all of which involved Ella basically going crazy with the glue stick. Matt thought I was crazy for doing homemade cards but at one point Ella said "this is sooo much fun!" - how can I deny her that fun? Next year with two kids in school, we'll probably take another approach - 32 cards might put me over the edge that I'm trying so hard to avoid!

For dinner I broke down and got a really expensive cut of meat (but still on sale) and I'm going to make Pioneer Woman's Roasted Beef Tenderloin. Yeah - I'm get excited everytime I look at the pictures. That will be accompanied by potatoes and vegetables and for dessert we're doing chocolate covered strawberries and pretzels - perhaps it will just end up being fondu! Nothing super creative, but it's fun to have a reason to splurge. I came very close to putting the pricey tenderloin back but I figured we needed to treat ourselves and I have already warned Matt not to look at the wrapper.

Big Mama (seriously, she is one my favorite bloggers) has a great post up about those 80's and 90's love songs that, in her words "make you want to couple skate everytime you hear them."

So of course it got me to thinking about the songs that I used to try and record off of the radio and the ones that I used to rewind over and over again trying to learn all the words.

I've created a Pandora station and I've been having so much fun listening that I'm starting to think about heading on over to iTunes to make a mixed tape, uh, I mean CD.

For me, Richard Marx immediately came to mind. I was able to play the first few chords of "Right Here Waiting" on my little Casio - what a song. I remember seeing Richard Marx at the Clearfield County Fair and just waiting for him to play it!

Total Eclipse of the Heart was one that I listened to over and over again and spent some time learning the words with a friend. We were stumped by the phrase "living in a powder keg and giving off sparks" for a long time. I'm still not totally confident we got it right!

Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi - take my hand we'll make I swear....take me back!

Groovy Kind of Love - Phil Collins - perfect slow dance song

Be With You - Mr. Big - this is a great one to sing along to

Desperado - The Eagles - why don't you let somebody love you...or just dance with you - definitely danced to that at some post football game dances. Also a friend sung it at a talent show and actually did a good job of it so it's up there with the favs.

Everything I do, I do it for You - Bryan Adams -

In general, Journey, Aerosmith (listening to right now - "I still miss you babe and I don't wanna miss a thing!"), Styx, REO Speedwagon, and I'm sure many more. I seem to have a hard time remembering until I start reading what other people are mentioning.

I'd love to hear what songs bring you back to your middle and high school days of love or just wannabee love. All of which makes us very thankful for our current love!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Compassion blogging

I wanted to pass along something cool for you to be tracking over the next few days. Compassion International has sent a team of bloggers to Uganda and they will be live blogging over the next 6 days, as they share their experiences of how Compassion is helping to release children from poverty in Jesus' name. Since I mentioned releasing, one of the bloggers is musician Shaun Groves and he wrote a pretty awesome post about what he thinks Compassion's slogan should be - and it has to do with releasing! Take the time to check it out! Underneath my blogroll you'll find a handy little widget that details this adventure...

I regularly read Shannon and Sophie's blogs so I have definitely enjoyed just the traveling updates they've posted so far. These women are no different from you and me except for the fact that they have taken this blogging thing to a whole new level and were asked to participate on this trip. But other than that they are moms leaving their kids behind and facing down their fears and anxieties to make this trip and share it with us. I hope you are able to follow them throughout the week. Sophie already has her first post up after being out in the villages and visiting with people for the first time.

In other news. Still no peeing on the potty. Only one accident so far. Still need help!

We found out yesterday that Ella has bronchitis so she is staying home from school today and missing a birthday party. Thankfully, she didn't remember the party was today, because she's already upset enough over missing school because it was supposed to be her special day with me bringing the snack and being the helper. As you can imagine, there have been many many tears shed over this in the last 24 hours. I was able to find someone to switch with me last minute so she'll have her special day in a few weeks - if not it wouldn't have been until April and that would not have gone over well.

I told her that she could pick three special things to do today so she could have a special day at home. The first was watch a movie in the morning so Catherine and Ella are up in bed watching Peter Pan. That is why I am able to blog at 9:30 am. Typically not home this time of day. But now I have to go upstairs and coax them down for breakfast before it becomes lunchtime. The joy of watching TV trumps all physical needs!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Things that make you go hmmm...

Today was day two of potty training with Catherine. Yesterday I put her Dora underwear on her and encouraged her to try and sit on her potty every so often. She (and Ella) got a sticker for trying and one m&m for pee and two for poop. Pretty basic potty training stuff.

On Friday she was pretty willing to sit on the potty and hang out there for a bit. Then she'd say "it's not working" and that was it - but I encouraged and cheered her on for trying and she got a pretty princess sticker. At one point she sat there long enough to squeeze out a tiny little turd. Ella said it looked like a ladybug. hmmm. Yay - two m&m's!

So in two days we've had no accidents in her underpants. That's including today when we were out and about for three hours. The thing is - not once did she pee in the potty. She sat on the potty a number of times like I said before but....it just wasn't "working". Of course I put diapers on her for nap and night time and that is when she does her business. Apparently Catherine can stay dry for up to five hours at a time which is great - but I don't want her to just not pee until naptime. It seems that can't be good. Before I noticed that she didn't pee alot except while she's sleeping but I can't believe that she never did.

Any ideas on how I can get Catherine to pee in the potty? I guess I could give her lots and lots to drink until she absolutely has to go. I never really thought it would be an issue - I wasn't aware that I was dealing with super bladder! Anyone have any thoughts or experience with this? She definitely wasn't as interested in sitting on the potty today - probably b/c she never had to go.

I guess this should be an interesting undertaking - it was so easy with Ella that I wasn't anticipating any issues with Catherine. That means I'm sure I'm really in for it!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bits and Pieces

First of all, thank you all for your Trader Joe's ideas. Maybe I'll head back there again this week! I actually put all of the items you guys recommended into a list on Word. I was this close to posting it on here, but I figured that might come across as pretty dorky and I like you all to think that I'm really cool - yeah right. Let me know if you want the list and I'll either post it, or email it to you.

I'm trying to keep up with my books and letting you all know what I'm reading. I'm a bit behind, just finished a Thousand Splendid Suns, by the author of the Kite Runner. I know I was a bit late in the game reading The Kite Runner. It's not a book that you're going to chuckle and laugh through, because in many ways it's a very tough read emotionally, but it's just so good and eye opening into the history of Afghanistan, even though the story is primarily about a relationship between two boys. So if you haven't read it - go do it! Don't watch the movie first - always read the book! :)

As for movies, just last night Matt and I watched a movie that we'd had for awhile and never had time to watch. Amazing Grace had been recommended by so many and I knew that I wanted to see it, but again, I knew I wouldn't be laughing or chuckling through it, as it is the story of one man's battle to end slave trade in Great Britain. It was very inspiring and moving and I'm glad I watched it - I hope you'll consider it next time you're in Blockbuster, or just add it to your queue.

I guess that a common theme with me is that the movies and books I enjoy most are those I've avoided because I knew how intense they were and I knew they would make me feel. Not that you have to always be in the mood for something intense/emotional but I know that it's usually worth it because it usually makes me think about life beyond my own walls.

In other news, yesterday we officially, unofficially signed up Catherine for preschool. Perhaps you remember my struggle last year to pick which school to send Ella to - I ended up being very happy with my choice. This year the struggle was over whether or not to send Catherine or wait another year. She'll be old enough but that means paying for two kids in school for a year - yikes! On the flip side, it also means that Ella and Catherine will have two days a week when they're in school together - wow! Basically God provided a way to make it work so we signed her up! I can't even being to wrap my head around it. Catherine will be 8 months younger than Ella was when she started and I hope she'll be ready. Of course we don't have to send her if she's not. Also - I can't believe that I'll have two mornings a week when the girls are both in school. I think it will be harder to send Catherine because she's still my baby but I know that she'll enjoy it and she has a few friends that will be in the same class as her as well.

Finally, since I haven't been posting many pictures, I figured I would post these two short videos of the girls singing happy birthday to my mom, their Nama. The first one is their warm-up and the second one is when they decided to perform.

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Enjoy!

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