I can be very detailed and poetic in explaining why Stephenie Meyers' writing style drives me around the bend. So why am I so anxious to get my hands on her latest book? I guess sometimes good writing takes a backseat to a good plot.
Will Pee for Food
Thomas has been very, very, very stubborn about potty training. I didn't think it was possible for a child to be more difficult to potty train than Joseph. I have been putting it off because of the recurrent nightmares I have from three years ago. I am not exaggerating when I say that potty training Joseph was traumatic. I had two newborn babies that I was taking care of and Joseph just plain didn't care whether he sat in his own soiled underwear or not. Didn't phase him.
I have been telling myself, "It won't be that bad with the twins. They're much easier children!" Wrong. Elijah is a piece of cake, but Thomas won't cooperate for any incentive under the sun ... until today. I got the idea from someone else to use M&Ms for potty training. So today we hauled our desperate selves to the grocery store and bought some bags of the candy-coated goodies. We dumped them into a jar and I told the kids they could have three M&Ms every time they peed in the toilet. Voila! Five minutes later, Thomas was eating three yellow M&Ms! It was a miracle, I'm telling you. I can't hope it'll happen again anytime soon, but I'm stoked.
Is there a cure for this?
With children, there are some fights you fight.
There are some fights you choose not to fight.
There are some fights you turn a blind eye to because you don't want to deal with them.
Then there are those fights that you lose simply by not paying attention to what your kids are doing. The "I want to draw all over myself with this black marker I just found lying on the floor!" fight is one of those.
As if reading wasn't enough...
I don't mean this in a negative way, but: Thomas is a freak! An amazingly cute and intelligent freak, but this can't be normal:
What is he doing? He's spelling with alphabet graham crackers. The finished product says: "FAING NEMO" and he said, "Look! "Finding Nemo", Mommy!" Sure, the spelling ain't perfect but SERIOUSLY!?!? Who is this child? Reading at the age of three is actually fairly standard in my family and Josh's family, but SPELLING?
The pseudo-hippie, earth-loving tree hugger inside me was recently reawakened. I think the renaissance of globally-friendly eco-awareness was triggered by my whale-saving, amnesty international letter-writing older sister who gave me a few reusable shopping bags from Trader Joes. I started using them to haul stuff around when we went out of the house and fell in love with them. I now have a bunch of them that I love to take to the grocery store.
It feels fabulous to be saving the planet while I'm helping myself: these bags are easier to store than plastic bags, they're sturdier and are a fabulous way to make a "fashion" statement while shopping. When not in use, I just fold them up inside one of the bags and store them in the front seat of my car:
I've also been longing for an end to this war we're waging in the Middle East. I'll say this quickly so I don't get myself riled up:
1. Whether or not you agree with the justification for the war (which has morphed into "anti-terrorism" since the whole "Weapons of Mass Destruction" flopped), this has been handled badly.
2. This is costing us not only an arm, but also a leg, every single month. And for some people, their firstborn child. No pun intended. As Obama pointed out on Larry King Live, imagine what advances we could be making if we were putting billions of dollars into research for clean, renewable energy sources. It makes me almost sick thinking about it.
3. If you are LDS like I am, you might recall the justification for war discussed in the Book of Mormon: you can defend yourselves ala Title of Liberty psych, but you shouldn't be the aggressor. That is exactly what we did. Is the USA feeling the pain from that decision? I don't know: we had drought, crops are failing, we've had unheard of natural disasters, we're at war, the economy is sinking into an abyss and unemployment is soaring. Think about the "pride cycle" discussed in the Book of Mormon: where are we right now? I'm sure I'll blog about this again later.
4. War. Is. Ugly. I adore the men and women who are out there fighting on the front lines, because I couldn't do it. It's all very sterilized in the newspapers, hearing about the number of people killed. Numbers are so unexpressive. You can start to scratch the surface if you go rent a few of the last seasons of M*A*S*H. Even that is humorous and detached from where I sit blogging, but it's sobering to remember that people aren't numbers. People have parents, spouses, children, fiances and friends who are all too human when the news comes that someone they love has been killed.
5. I don't know the best way to make it happen, but let's finish this and get our troops back home.
So there you have it. I'm remembering my oh-so-hippie attitudes from high school and starting to embrace them again. I'm sure I don't have the whole picture and others disagree with vehemently. That's all good. Isn't that what the USA is all about? Freedom to disagree and have your own opinions instead of trying to make everybody conform?
Speaking of the whole picture, one of my favorite songs is "From a Distance" by the Byrds. (Yes, yes, Bette Midler is the singer most people associate with the song!) A good reminder that the larger your perspective, the smaller our problems seem. When you look from God's perspective, we're all brothers and sisters down here struggling to survive. It's only when you get in close that problems seem to overwhelm our vision. The root of the problem lies rooted in the human breast: the solution in the heavens.
It really would be asking too much to find a video compilation for this song that wasn't uber-uber-uber-cheesy, but the song is worth stomaching some of the cheese: