A Snapshot of Everyday Life

It’s been a very LONG time (VERY!) since I’ve posted to our blog. So, to get things going again I’m posting an e-mail I recently sent to our social workers in northern Nevada that provides just a little snapshot of everyday life in our home. Enjoy!

E-mail dated September 13, 2010

Saturday night we went to a BBQ where there was probably about two dozen guests…Ronald and Angelica were the only kids. Aside from Angelica grabbing handfuls of pretzels and cashews, both of them were extremely well behaved, without Jim and I having to keep tabs on them very much (or as much as usual). Everyone at the BBQ thought they were delightful children (I know, a first time for everything!). However, just before the turkey burgers hit the grill Angelica had a brawl with a barrel cactus (a big, round, low-to-the ground cactus with medium-sized needles).

She was in an area where we could see her clearly, but we weren’t able to see the villainous cactus. As only Angelica can do, on occasion, she managed to fall while innocently standing, and her lower leg, unbeknownst to us, landed on the cactus. But it soon became apparent (still a slight delay in her reactions) from her screaming and tears that something was more serious.

I went running over towards her and this little girl fell into my arms very upset and trembling from her experience. She ended up with a couple of cactus needles in her leg, which Jim easily pulled out, and there was some blood. The host quickly supplied us with some antiseptic and a BIG band-aid. As soon as the band-aid went on she was totally fine (it’s all about the band-aids!). During all of this Ronald was the best big brother you could imagine. He remained at Angelica’s side, and at one point held her hand, and kept telling her that everything would be okay. We praised him up and down for being such a good big brother to Angelica!!!

Once Angelica calmed down I thought it would be good if she faced her culprit! At first she didn’t want to go, but I convinced her that the cactus had been bad and we had to say something to it. So, I held her hand and we walked over to it and I said, “Bad cactus for hurting Angelica!” Both she and Ronald echoed my sentiments with, “Bad cactus! Bad cactus!” Then, at least 7-8 more times Angelica went over on her own to scold the cactus even further, as only Angelica can do, and then proceeded to put the other nearby cactuses on warning! It ended up being quite hysterical. She’s been running around and being her normal self yesterday and this morning. Of course, the moment you ask her how her leg is the actress in her comes out, “Oh, my leg hurts…my owies!” She has some tiny little bumps on her shin from the bad cactus needles, but she is just fine otherwise!

After the BBQ we were driving home and from the backseat we hear Ronald spell, G-A-Y (he’s really into reciting letters he sees in all sorts of places). Turns out we had passed a big billboard that was advertising the local Gay Yellow Pages! First it was the “gay bar” (skate park) and now it’s spelling the word “gay.” Hmmmmmm, he must be figuring out this two daddy thing rather quickly!

On Sunday morning we went to a brunch at the Hyatt hotel in downtown Palm Springs. Jim received a scholarship from a local organization and they had a brunch to honor the recipients. We tried to secure a babysitter but the two people we normally use weren’t available. So, we dressed the kids up and brought them along with us…I know, I know risky on our parts! The mayor of Palm Springs was even there (he’s running for a congressional seat), who is a somewhat closeted gay man with two children. Outside of Angelica dropping some scrambled eggs and sausage on the floor (we should have brought Humphrey with us!) they both behaved extremely well. Again, they were the only children in the room among fifty or so adults. This was a tougher environment compared to the BBQ the night before (minus the cactus) because it was a lot of sitting and listening to people speak, but they both came through exceptionally well. I lost count of the number of people who came up to us to say how well behaved our children were, and how they would never have dreamed of bringing their own kids to something like this knowing they wouldn’t be able to behave themselves, etc… Jim and I made sure we praised them throughout the event (we were there for a total of 2 hours), and continued praising them the rest of the day as well, partly out of shock on our parts, but they also earned it…BIG time!!! It was a very pleasurable event, and I’m glad it all turned out the way it did so we could have that family time together.

Now onto something that I know you’ve been waiting for…The Potty Express!

We continue to make good progress with both Angelica and Ronald, but Angelica has been the true success story recently. For the past week and a half Angelica has been doing ALL of her poops in the potty, and she makes sure to tell someone (if at home she tells me or Jim, at daycare she tells one of the adults) that she has to go poop in the potty, and then she goes and does it!

Last week I got them both home from daycare and the normal routine is to go potty then wash hands. When it was Ronald’s turn to go I asked him if he had gone poop today and he answered honestly with “no poop!” I asked him to work on going poop because it’s important to poop every day. I left him alone in the bathroom and before a minute went by I hear, “Daddy Thomas, I went poop!!!” (music to my ears!) So I go in there thinking I’ll find a poop the size of a golf ball (which is normal), but instead was greeted with, “Daddy Thomas, look, look, a BIGpoop!” And sure enough there was a gi-normous poop that was right up there with Humphrey! (I can’t believe how freely I’m writing about all of this!!!). Given my state of disbelief I was a little slow with the honorary high-five. Thankfully Ronald chimed in with, “I want a high-five for my big poop, Daddy Thomas!” I think I gave him a high-twenty-five by the time we were done. Then Ronald said, “I want a high-five from Angelica!” So we quickly got him cleaned up, pull-ups and shorts back on, washed his hands, and left the bedroom to find Angelica. She met us halfway and said, “You did a big poop?” And Ronald said, “Yeah, I made a BIG poop! I want a high-five Angelica.” Ronald got his high-five, but then Angelica said, “I want to give hug!” So they hugged each other, then gave a kiss, which was promptly followed by Ronald saying “Yuck!” and wiping his mouth with his arm. Then Angelica said, “You want to play with me?” And Ronald responded with, “Yes, I want to play with Angelica!” They went off to their play area together, skipping and holding hands (okay, maybe not skipping and holding hands), and played nicely with each other for a good 15-20 minutes! Who would have thought that a BIG poop would result in such a special and spontaneous moment!

All day yesterday I was expecting Angelica to poop. She didn’t go on Saturday so I knew there was something on the horizon (oh, the little details I now keep track of in my mind). Jim and I would check in with her throughout the day…”Angelica, do you have to go poop?” She would respond with a simple, “No.” As the day went on the farts started to creep out, followed by giggles and Angelica saying “Me farted!” History has proven that a poop was in the making (again with the crazy details…ugh!). Ironically, she and I were out shopping for some “big girl” underwear (she’ll start wearing them at school this week, and already wears them at daycare…she insists on it!) and I was starting to get a little paranoid because the farts were coming more frequently (and lingering) and I didn’t bring the backpack with all of the wipes and extra pull-ups, etc. (I know, living on the edge). “Angelica, did you go poop?” She would respond casually with, “No. No poop.” Being somewhat skeptical I would ask again, “Are you sure you didn’t go poop in your pull-up?” She would quickly retort with, “I said no!” (Translation…what part of “no” didn’t you understand?!).

Well, we made it home without incident and I asked her to go potty and to try and make a poop. “No poop!” I didn’t dare question her. But not ten minutes later, I’m sitting on the sofa in the living room and Angelica comes up to me and says to me softly, “Daddy Thomas, I poop in the potty.” Not sure of what she said I responded with, “What did you say, sweetie?” Now she is pointing in the direction of their bathroom and says, “I go poop in potty!” “Oh, you have to go poop in the potty? Okay, let’s go!” And off we went. She got situated on the toilet and I left her alone, thinking little Miss Independence would want some privacy. Not ninety seconds later, she comes running out to the living room, butt naked, saying “Daddy Thomas, I go poop!” So we all go in there, including Humphrey, to checkout her impressive poop. Humphrey sort of gave a look of, “I’ve done better!” but he was still excited! And Ronald was the first to offer up a high-five and congratulate Angelica, who was busy jumping up and down and saying, “You happy? You proud of me?!” to both me and Jim. Then, Ronald had to get on the bandwagon and say, “I’m going to do a big poop just like Angelica.” He couldn’t get his shorts and pull-ups off fast enough. Nothing like some healthy sibling rivalry! Unfortunately Ronald’s Whopper-sized poops (you may never be able to eat another Whopper chocolate candy milk ball in your life now…so sorry!) was no competition!

–Thomas L-L

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