Friday, July 13, 2007

I was telling Abbie that I have to go to my friend Cindy's salon tomorrow and get my grey hairs colored brown again. Abbie asked, "Why?" I told her, "Well, those grey hairs make Mommy look old, and Mommy's not old, is she?"

"No, Mommy, you're new!"

Thanks, Sweetie!

May I Recommend...

LL Bean's Junior Book Pack!

All my girls are very petite for their age, especially compared with their American-born classmates. When it came time to shop for a backpack for Hannah to take to Kindergarten, well, they were huge! I'm not kidding - almost as big as she was! Then my friend, Betty, told me about LL Bean's Junior Book Pack. That summer, we were visiting Al's family in Maine, so we stopped by the LL Bean Store (a little piece of heaven right here on earth, thank you!). Hannah tried a few on and they were the perfect size for her! They are still large enough to hold standard-sized folders, notebooks and binders - there's just less empty space. And at $19, they're an incredible value! You can get backpacks a little cheaper at Target and WalMart, but they're not nearly as well-made. Hannah's has lasted through Kindergarten and First Grade, and she'll use it this year for Second Grade as well - it still looks great and all the seams are intact. Today I ordered one for Rachel to take to Kindergarten. They come in solid primary colors and a few really cute patterns. No, no Hello Kitty or Barbie, but hey, kids go through those phases pretty quickly anyway!

So for those of you with children who are a little smaller - especially many of our "China Girlfriends", I highly recommend these backpacks when it's time for school!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

We Found Her "Currency"!

Abbie, though completely capable physically, has had no interest in using the potty. I have tried all the tricks, including M&Ms and other bribes. When I told her that she needed to use the potty consistently in order to go to preschool in the fall, her reply was, "That's OK, I don't really want to go to preschool." (Insert frustrated Mommy sounds here.)

So a couple of weeks ago, I found a local church that was holding a VBS that included preschoolers as young as three years old. So all three of my girls would be able to attend. As long as Abbie was potty trained. So I did what any self-respecting Christian mom would do - I prayed. And I admit, not just because I wanted Abbie to have the VBS experience (though I knew she'd love it), but also because it would be good for me to have a little break - just three hours a morning for five mornings. That's it. Lord, please let her use the potty so she can go to VBS and I can get some extra stuff done without all the extra "help"!

I approached Abbie with the plan. She would learn to use the potty over the next two weeks, and then she could go to VBS with her big sisters - just like the Big Girls! "But Mommy," she replied, "who will stay with you while we're all at VBS?" I saw where this was going. Me: "Ummm... uuuuuhhhh..." Abbie: "No, I don't want to go to VBS. You'll be lonely." Oh, honey, really, I'll manage!

But then, she gave it a little thought, and said, "OK, I want to use the potty!" Hallelujah! Day One was a Monday, and she stayed dry all day! Granted, she went potty about a hundred times, managing to squeeze out a couple of drops most of those times. Did I mention that I sweetened the deal with an M&M each time she went? Being the generous little soul she is, she insisted on giving each of her sisters an M&M, too, to help her celebrate. Day Two was dry, too! Day Three, there were a couple of accidents. Then for the rest of the two weeks she was totally dry! Woo hoooo! It seems we have, in the words of Dr. Phil, "found her currency", her motivation, the thing that will do the trick! She, and her sisters, are having a wonderful time at VBS, and we have tackled potty training in the process!

So, am I totally nuts to be a little sad that another one of my children is growing up and becoming a "Big Girl"? It was nice not to have to spend money on Pull Ups the last couple of weeks, but boy, my baby isn't a baby any more! Oh, and her little fanny looks so tiny in her pants without the extra padding! And she loves her new Tinkerbell panties!

Thank you, Dear Daughter!

Yesterday morning, as I was running around preparing breakfast for the girls, Hannah studied me carefully and said, "Mom, you're the size of a teenager!"

She's still wondering why I gave her such a huge hug...