Sunday, June 28, 2009

Marathon pooping

Now that pooping is no longer an issue for Lincoln, we're facing a new . . . um, predicament. Lincoln hasn't had an accident in over a week. He tells me every time he has to go to the bathroom. He produces nearly every time he goes. HOWEVER . . . now, instead of going to the bathroom and getting everything out (is this gross?), he is what I would call a marathon pooper (I believe my sister Lindsey calls it industrial pooping) and likes to break it up into several trips to the bathroom:

Lincoln (sitting on the toilet): "Mom! I'm done pooping!"
Me: "Is it all out?"
Lincoln: "Yep."
Me: "Is there any more coming?"
Lincoln: "Nope. I all done."

So we proceed to wipe, pull up underwear and pants, wash hands, put a sticker on the potty chart, return to our pre-bathroom activities.

- 90 seconds pass -

Lincoln: "Mom . . . I have to poop."

Repeat five to seven times - preferred timing for this routine is bedtime and sacrament meeting and the grocery store.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The longest post ever . . .

Okay . . . so it's been a while. Sorry. Because of my failure to stay current on posts, I will now proceed to combine about three weeks of posts into one very long segmented one. For those of you with the attention spans of gnats (like my children), this post is not for you. Consider yourself warned.

June in the GemKemp family - in no particular order:

We headed to Utah last week because Greg had five days off. It was a great trip - I can't remember a better one, actually. Lots of time with family, cousins, sunshine . . . and bikes! Link has a bike with training wheels now, too, although he couldn't be less interested. Here's a great shot of Ethan and Brody . . . we had some good afternoons racing bikes in the church parking lot.
We went out on the Pontoon boat on a whim one afternoon and had a ball. Greg, Ben, Mike, Rich, Brody, me and our boys were there. Brody and Ethan were the only ones who caught fish (with help from daddies, of course). Proof of boys happily cat-fishing with their daddy:

Okay, so before I went on vacation to my parents' house in May, Lincoln started showing a lot of interest in toilet training. He peed in the toilet a few times before we left but in the interest of savoring vacation, I decided not to push it until we got back. To my surprise, while we were at Granny and Grandpa's, he really ran with it and started going pretty consistently in the toilet. We even achieved poop a few times while we were there. He was not, however, interested in peeing standing up (which was the magic for Ethan when he was potty training). After we got back, I got really tired of mopping pee up off the bathroom floor every time Lincoln went to the bathroom (because no matter how hard he tried to "point down" he always peed right in between the bowl and toilet seat and made a mess - those of you with boys know exactly what I'm talking about). So we started putting Cheerios in the toilet so he could aim and make them spin. Success . . . no, backfire.
Now that Lincoln could pee standing up, it was like Armageddon trying to get him to sit down on the toilet which meant pooping was now out of the question. After cleaning poop out of underwear for days on end . . . and out of the bathtub . . . and off the floor, I wondered if I just ought to put him back in diapers until he left for college. No joke - when he had to poop, he would get this panicked look on his face and start to squirm and kind of whimper. I knew the signs. I would whisk him away and sit him on the toilet - kicking and screaming. Over the last few weeks, I've spent hours on our bathroom floor trying to remain cheerful: Reading books, singing songs, making up stories . . . doing anything I could think of. We would push the way we imagined different animals pushing when they had to poop (that worked once with Greg but never with me). We tried EVERYTHING but to no avail. In fact, Lincoln mastered the art of clenching so hard he could hold it for days even though it was painful for him.
Then last Sunday after the warning signs at church, the resistance, the clenching and denial, we got home and I was so sick of the battle, I put him on the toilet, closed the door and left him there screaming. Ethan poked his head in to try to help (which he has been wonderful about - even giving demos and tutorials), but he was met with more screaming and "get out of here!" And then . . . it got quiet. A minute later, Lincoln started yelling again but with a different tone. "Oh, mom! I hear my poop! Oh, mom . . . oh, mom! I pooped!" Could it be? Success? Yes!

So we discovered the trick. When Lincoln has to poop, he squirms and whimpers and dances and fights me when I put him on the toilet. BUT . . . I leave him there, screaming to himself, and now we're down to less than a minute before "production" is achieved. This has worked without fail for nearly a week now. In fact, just this morning - moments ago - Lincoln was watching a movie with Ethan and said very calmly, "Mom . . . I have to poop." No fighting. He just did it. *Sigh. Although there were days I didn't think we would, it appears we've made it. We're finally down to just one in diapers.

I try to hang on to the wonderful things that my kids create and put them in a file. In the fire, the file I had been building was lost, so I'm very particular about collecting and saving the best projects, drawings, etc. Whenever we go grocery shopping, Ethan is pumped when we're done because he gets my grocery list. This week, he made one of his own and it just thrills me. Seriously - how fantastically adorable is this?

So I talked Greg into "helping" me build a toy box for the kids since we've been using a U-Haul box that's totally trashed by now. I found one online that I loved online, kind of crate-like, so we tried to build it like that. I looks kind of like an Army crate, or so Greg says. I really did learn a lot - he had me cutting lumber and drilling/screwing/fastening the box with him. We were, however, a little ambitious in our measurements. When we finished - the first time - it was more like a boy box than a toy box. We could've shipped all three of our boys - comfortably - to the destination of their choice. Needless to say, we reevaluated and made it a bit smaller (still large enough to hold maybe two boys) . . . and now the kids can get toys in and out without help. It's even got one of those lid with spring-loaded hinges so it won't slam down on little fingers. Now I just have to sand it, paint it, and stencil it, and it will be the greatest toy box ever! Really, though, it's not hard to beat a U-Haul box.

Ethan loves T-ball. Well, I think he loves the idea of T-ball. More than playing, he loves to make sure the little girls his age are watching. Seriously - sometimes I have to get involved to get him to focus!

And apparently there is some serious contemplation that goes into batting in T-ball. This is something I didn't know. Also, just in case you haven't had the pleasure of watching children play T-ball, be aware: It takes a village to hit the ball.

The other day Porter stood by himself for about three seconds before sitting down. Ethan got really excited and said, "Mom! Porter can stand all by himself! Now he can be a human like the rest of us!" Well, he's a pretty cute human if I do say so myself.

Whew! You made it. If you read this whole post, let me know and I'll send you a gold star.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

T-ball and 4-year-olds

Ethan had his first T-ball game today - in a town 55 miles away. I guess that's what you get when you move to the middle of nowhere. It was rainy, cold, and muddy, but those kids were having the time of their lives. Ethan is left-handed but doesn't have his own mitt, so he's a little backwards with his throws, but man does he love to run! In fact, he loves to run so much . . . he never wants to run home! He just keeps going from first base to second base to third base. . . and then cuts back across to first again. Apparently we have some work to do with our understanding of the baseball diamond.

And any sport with young children is hilarious to watch. If a child hits the ball, he stands in awe of his achievement until an adult runs runs along side (read: drags) him to first base. If he is playing the field and a ball is hit anywhere within 40 feet, all children in the proximity (at least those who aren't busying themselves picking dandelions) come running and shove each other out of the way in order to be the person to "catch" the ball. Ethan so loved getting the ball that he would even get it for the other team if it ended up near his feet.

This is way better than watching the pros.

On the way home, we were singing silly songs and I was trying really hard to stay upbeat so the three littles in the back didn't melt down and scream all the way home. Out of nowhere, Ethan said:

"Mom, when we die, we will get hanged up on a cross just like Jesus, riiiight?"

I proceeded to explain to him that we aren't all going to die the way Jesus did and that the people who did that to Jesus were not righteous.

"So how are we going to die?"

"I don't know how we'll die, Ethan. Nobody knows exactly how they will die, but I promise you will not be hung on a cross like Jesus."

"But I thought mommies and daddies knew everything . . ."

I didn't have a response for that.

The bathtime warden

Lincoln and Porter were in the bathtub the other night. I was busying myself putting away laundry, etc., so Ethan was sitting in the bathroom with the little boys. I couldn't help but smile listening to him. "Lincoln don't splash . . . Porter sit down . . . Lincoln don't splash . . ." And then I heard a little insight into the way we try to explain things to Ethan:

"Lincoln, don't splash."
"Because it makes Heavenly Father sad, and he told us not to do that."

Danika's visit & the PAC

Danika came from Rexburg last weekend to visit for a couple days...and we had so much fun! MY very favorite part - believe it or not - was the short jog Dani and I took to the grocery store to return some movies. I'm not a runner, but it was slow enough to survive . . . and it was fun to just visit. My boys, of course, are totally in love with her. We spent an hour or so on Saturday at the PAC (Pinedale Aquatic Center) - a beautiful rec center that would probably accommodate a town of 20,000. We feel so spoiled to have it to ourselves in this little town of 1800! A GREAT activity for visitors (hint, hint)!

Below are some pictures (albeit fuzzy, but you can still get the feel for the place). There's a huge indoor water slide, a submarine to explore and slide on for the kiddies, lots of water spraying/dumping props, and a built-in lazy river. The PAC also has an 40-foot indoor climbing wall, a indoor "floating" track, racquetball courts, a racing/lap pool, and a gym! We stayed until the little boys' lips were blue and they couldn't handle any more fun. Thanks for coming, Aunt Danika. We miss you already!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Today I vow . . .

To STOP eating Lincoln's potty treats!