Friday, June 25, 2010

Morning Sickness...a BLESSING?!?!

I seem to have "ideal juror" written all over me. I've been summoned more times than I can remember in the 10 years that I've lived in Redding and have served in 2 trials. I was *overjoyed* when I received yet another summons a few weeks ago to appear during my vacation time. I did truly enjoy my previous two experiences, but this time I was hoping and praying that they'd somehow pass me by. We've been moving and there's still a lot of work to do plus this is my vacation and my time to really focus on Priya without work being a distraction. Not to mention the fact that it's not the way I pictured spending the majority of my vacation time...

I'm 18 weeks along in my pregnancy and the morning sickness sadly has not subsided. With Priya I was sick all the way through - to the very day that she made her appearance in this world! I've been hoping and praying that this pregnancy would be different. But so far it hasn't been. So you can imagine my happiness when the morning sickness finally worked in my favor!

I appeared for jury duty yesterday morning still hoping and praying that they wouldn't select me. I was selected in the first random cut (before going up to the court room) and was then dismissed for a long lunch and instructed to return at 2pm. I had a queezy morning but the afternoon was much worse. And after getting sick two times in the afternoon I spoke with one of the employees in the room, she called the court clerk and eventually got me excused with credit for time served! What would I do if I found myself getting sick in a court room with no opportunity to make a run for the nearest bathroom? Needless to say it wouldn't be pretty. I've never been more happy to be sick in my life! Who knew that morning sickness was actually a blessing in disguise?!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

We're Moving!

This weekend is our big moving weekend. No, we aren't moving far...just to another (bigger) apartment on campus that will better accommodate our growing family. I have been in the same place for the last 10 years so packing everything up has been...interesting... How in the world were we ever able to cram so many things into such a small space?!

We started slowly taking small items over yesterday and today and have managed to get almost everything unpacked and into their new places. Our closets are nicely organized and ready to go, our kitchen cabinets are almost completely transferred and most of Priya's toys are in her new room. But there's still a long way to go. The majority of our move will take place on Monday (all the furniture and big items) and then we'll try to finish everything up throughout the rest of the week.

On a side note, I did something really stupid the other day. My cell phone has been missing for the past 2 days and for the life of me I couldn't find it. Today I finally realized that it had gone through the wash and was waiting for me at the bottom of our washing machine. It was completely dead (but at least it was clean). So if you've been trying to reach me and I haven't gotten back to you, now you know why. :) What a crazy mistake. Can I blame it on "Mommy Brain"? :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 4

Every day seems to improve on the next. Can I expect this to continue? Am I really lucky? Or are there potential pitfalls along the way? Priya successfully used the potty 6 times today! And the final time was the elusive poop experience! She woke up at about 9pm from sleep crying - and sadly continued to cry through the whole experience but she did it! We'll have to celebrate in the morning...

I can't believe I've spent this much time talking about using the bathroom! Who knew what parenting would do to a person? ;) I'm sure Priya will be mortified by these posts one day... Sorry in advance baby girl! I'm just so proud of you! :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Need Your Ideas!

The time is quickly approaching when we'll need to change the url of our blog to fairly represent the fact that we'll have more than one child ( just won't cut it anymore). We certainly don't want to make baby #2 feel left out. :) So it's time for a little contest. Who can come up with the most creative and winning blogger address? Ready, set go!

Day 3

Day 3 of potty training was our best yet! Priya earned 4 stickers on her reward chart for successfully using the potty 4 times! She even woke up this morning completely dry! This has never happened before! Now we just need to figure out how to get her to use the potty for the poo too! We haven't had success there yet. But I'm still celebrating! She's come a very long way in just 3 short days! Way to go Priya!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 2 Success

Day 2 of Priya's Potty Training Party was a bit of a roller coaster but ended with success. The morning was challenging as she really didn't want to cooperate and had very little interest in trying to even sit on the potty. She even asked me a couple of times to put diapers on - even to the point of pulling one out and lying down on the ground to wait for me to comply with her wishes. I know that it's hard to give up something that she's always known but I didn't want to derail her progress so we plugged along in her cotton panties. She refused to go before naptime (and hadn't gone since she'd woken up in the morning) and I debated for a while whether or not I should put her in pull-ups but I decided to be a "mean mommy" and let her experience the consequences of holding it in. About an hour into what's usually a 2 hour nap Ashish and I heard her crying and went into her room to find her standing in a puddle in her bed. It was the end of her nap but the beginning of greater success.

We ventured out in the afternoon to run some errands. I opted for pull-ups this time just in case. At one point she asked to go but then refused to enter the bathroom at the grocery store. By the time we got home she was ready and begged me to take her home to use the potty. Amazingly she stayed dry and made it to the potty! Her excitement over her victory was priceless! She even asked to go one more time before bed and was again successful!

I'm so happy to see the progress she is making! I know that there's still a long road ahead, but it's such an encouragement to finally see the progress. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Everyone Poops...

Disclaimer! Ramblings of a proud mommy ahead...

Now that I'm off work for the months of June and July we are going full speed ahead with potty training efforts (today marked the first day of our serious attempt to leave diapers behind). Priya has shown almost all of the signs of readiness and has had some success, but it's been difficult for us to be consistent with her in the midst of our varying schedules.

We've been trying pull-ups but they haven't been effective thus far because she can't feel that she's wet, just like in a diaper. We've tried padded cloth panties that absorb the wetness but they haven't seemed to phase her either. So today was "Operation Cold Turkey" day. I put her in cotton panties (with Elmo on them which was a huge hit) with absolutely no absorbency. We tried the potty a few times in the morning but no real success. We had fun though! Every time she sat on the potty we read a book called Everyone Poops. Priya's pediatrician recommended it just before I left for my Washington DC/Pennsylvania trip and it's been a huge hit with her. It helps to take the pressure off by focusing on the fact that everyone poops - animals, birds, fish, big people and little people - and doesn't just focus on the steps to using a potty. She has been asking for it again and again and has been reading it to her stuffed animals as well.

Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi: Book Cover

Around 10:30am I asked her if she wanted to try again and she said no. I stepped into the laundry room for a minute to transfer a load of laundry and heard Priya crying, "Mommy, I peed!" She was so upset and was crying pretty hard. Ironically, this was what I had been waiting for! She is so picky about her shirt having even drops of water on it that I knew if she'd just feel what it was like to really be wet she would hate it! I reassured her that it was ok and all part of the process of learning to use the potty like a big girl. I gave her a quick bath and she was back to her happy, playful self again.

We tried 2 more times before nap time and didn't have any success. I eventually put her in a pair of pull-ups (calling them panties) and asked her to call for me if she needed to use the potty and that I'd come right away to help her. About 5 minutes later I heard her crying (and assumed that she'd gone in her pull-ups already). But when I opened the door she said "I want to try again. I have to go potty." I praised her for telling me and immediately took her to the potty. About 2 minutes later she peed in the potty! We had a huge celebration and she just kept smiling and talking about how she was a big girl and that she did it! I'm so proud of her! I know that we still have a long way to go, but this was a big accomplishment that I had to record! :)

Way to go big girl!

End Of The Day Update:
I'm back as a proud mommy once again. Please forgive the bragging...I love recording milestones to look back on one day and I can't help but be proud of my little girl's accomplishments. :)

We ended the day with another victory. Priya remained dry from 1-7:30pm (I on the other hand had to go at least 8 times in the midst of that time - oh the joys of pregnancy). Finally at 7:30 she was ready for round 2 of successfully using the potty. This resulted in another celebration. Now on to Day 2 of "Operation Cold Turkey"...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Turtle Bay

Warning - Big Post Ahead! :)

This morning I took Priya to Turtle Bay Exploration Park. It was our first time visiting this amazing place. Priya had such a wonderful time we went back for another round after her nap!

We spent the morning in Paul Bunyan's Forest Camp playing in an awesome playground area that looked like a really awesome tree fort.

We then ventured over to the water feature where Priya enjoyed moving various pieces around to create a dam and change the water flow. It was about 90 degrees out today so splashing in the water was a welcome activity.

After her nap we came back and spent the rest of the afternoon in the museum. There is nothing like watching a child explore and experience things for the first time. Priya was wide-eyed and absolutely enthralled with the various exhibits.

Below Priya takes in the aquarium.

This was a really neat exhibit. It shows what a tree's root system looks like below the ground. Priya was delighted with it!
They had small caves to walk through...
And a teepee to explore...
We ended our afternoon building different types of structures - another big hit!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm Coming Home!

I am happy to report that I am currently sitting in the San Francisco airport, about 45 minutes from departing for Redding. I'll be in Redding in about 2 hours! It's been a great trip - loved the sightseeing and the conference was really good - but I am ready to be home! I am missing Priya like crazy and am very eager to see Ashish as well! :)

I've been up since 3am EST (midnight back home) and only slept about 3 hours last night, so I'm pretty wiped out. It'll be great to be home! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gettysburg, PA

We enjoyed being tourists this morning in Gettysburg. We stayed at this hotel below - at General Lee's Headquarters on July 3, 1863. Inside is a small museum that you can visit for free if you're a guest of the hotel.
After touring the museum, we did an audio tour through the battlefield - an 18 mile journey that takes you through the ins and outs of this violent battle. It was interesting to imagine what had taken place here almost 150 years ago. It definitely left me with a greater sense of appreciation for those who have fought to give us the freedom and the united country we now experience today.

The 2 pics below are taken from the top (1st pic) and then the bottom (2nd pic) of Little Round Top.

"Little Round Top is the smaller of two rocky hills south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was the site of an unsuccessful assault by Confederate troops against the Union left flank on July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Considered by some historians to be the key point in the Union Army's defensive line that day, Little Round Top was defended successfully by the brigade of Col. Strong Vincent. The 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commanded by Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, fought the most famous engagement there, culminating in a dramatic downhill bayonet charge that is one of the most well-known actions at Gettysburg and in the American Civil War" (taken from Wikipedia).

Confederate Charge Up Little Round Top, Battle of Gettysburg, c.1863 Giclee Print
At the completion of the audio tour we made our way over to the Visitor's Center and the *main* museum in Gettysburg. This was definitely the highlight as we took in a great video that really brought the Civil War Era and the Battle of Gettysburg to life. We also had the privilege of seeing a Cyclorama, a painting by the French artist Paul Philoppoteaux depicting "Pickett's Charge", the climactic Confederate attack on the Union forces during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.

Now we're in Grantham, PA at Messiah College for the annual ACSD conference. Becky Weber, a good friend from Simpson, just arrived and is my roommate for the next several days. This is gonna be fun. I am definitely missing home though. Priya melts my heart every time I hear her sweet voice on the other end of the phone line.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Last morning in DC and on to Gettysburg, PA...

We left Washington DC this morning and made one last stop before heading out of the city. I wanted to see the Pentagon and the site of the 9/11 crash. It was surreal to be in that place where 184 people lost their lives, a place that changed the face of history and our country in so many ways. Aaron and Kari had been in New York just prior to meeting up with me and had just see the memorial where the Twin Towers once stood.

After leaving DC we headed over to Gettysburg, PA to get in a little bit more touring before going to Grantham, PA for the ACSD (Association of Christians in Student Development) conference that is the "real" purpose for this trip (the conference begins tomorrow). Gettysburg is quite the city! It's amazing to think about the horrific bloodshed that occurred in a location that seems so peaceful and calm now... We went on an evening walking tour and plan to do a driving audio tour tomorrow. I wasn't able to get any good pics of this historic location but will be sure to get some tomorrow. Until then...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Touring Washington DC, Day 1

Aaron, Kari and I had a great day touring our country's capital. We signed up for a Hop-On-Hop-Off Open-Top Double-Decker Bus Tour that gives us 2 days of unlimited use.
Washington DC Hop-On-Hop-Off Open-Top Double-Decker Bus Tour
We started out at Arlington Cemetery where my morning sickness got the better of me. Great way to start the day, eh? But fortunately I was fine from there. Our first stop was the Lincoln Memorial.

From there we walked the length of the reflection pond, taking in the war memorials along the way.
We ended up at the Washington Monument.
It was about 90 degrees and quite humid today so we ventured into an indoor space and found ourselves touring the Holocaust Museum. From there we grabbed some lunch and then hopped back on the bus to take in as many sights as possible and making note of places we want to go back and visit in greater depth tomorrow. Below is the Capitol Building.
And The White House... Did you know that if you want a tour of the White House you have to book it at least 6 months in advance?
The Washington Cathedral...
The bus tour lasts a total of 2 1/2 hours and we enjoyed most of that time on the upper portion of the bus - dodging treacherous tree branches and attempting to avoid sunburns along the way. We walked almost 5 miles, drank a ton of water, saw some amazing sites and had a fabulous time doing it. Aaron and Kari have been so much fun to travel with. Tomorrow we'd like to visit the Ford Theater where Lincoln was shot, see the White House from a closer vantage point, tour the Smithsonian as well as several other important landmarks. Should be another fun filled and blister causing day. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm Here!

It's been a very long day, but I'm finally here in Washington DC! :) Actually, I'm in Alexandria, Virginia right now, but who's counting? Most of the day was smooth sailing. I got up at 3:45am PST, left for the airport an hour later, flew from Redding to San Francisco and then to Chicago. From there things got a little crazy on my connecting flight to Baltimore with flight delays, engine issues, and weather delays. I got into Baltimore, Maryland about 2 hours late and then we had a luggage delay and finally a hiccup with the car rental company whose network had gone out from the weather problems. But in the end it all worked out just fine!

I drove about 30 minutes to pick up friends Aaron and Kari Beadner (we all work together at Simpson) who had just come in on a bus after touring New York and Atlantic City for several days. We arrived about 5 minutes apart which was perfect. Now we're all settling in about an hour away from our meeting place at a fabulous Hilton hotel (which we got for quite a steal) and are gonna get some much needed rest before hitting the town and doing some sightseeing in the morning. I can't wait! It's gonna be great! So much history to see and learn more about! I love this stuff!

But for now I need to get some sleep. I'm operating on 3 hours of sleep! Yikes! Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

DC Here I Come!

Tomorrow I'll be heading out on an exciting adventure. I leave at 4:45am and will be flying to Baltimore, Maryland where I'll meet up with two friends and spend a few days exploring Washington DC before heading to a conference in Pennsylvania. :) I'm sure I'll have lots of exciting things to share along the way... :)

Sadly, Ashish and Priya have to stay home so I'll be missing them (this will be the longest I've been away from Priya and that's going to be especially hard). But I'm trying to focus on the positive and how much fun it'll be and how nice it'll be to have a break from the realities and stresses of life.