Monday, July 31, 2006

Sounds from the office

Silence. Dead silence.

The cube I've been put in at my new job is on a floor with very little activity. In fact, there is only one guy close to me and he's not at his desk very often. When he is there, I feel very self-conscious thinking that I must be breathing too loudly or wondering if my clickity-clicking on the keyboard annoys him sometimes. I don't dare talk on the phone when he's around.

I am able, however, to visit other project floors with more activity and it's kind of strange for me. You see, this company for which I'm now working has their home office in Australia. And the project on which I'm currently working was started by one of their predominantly Australian offices, so many of the people who've come here to finish the project are Aussie. Plus, the project is to be built in Trinidad, so the client has a "Trini" accent. (very similar to Jamaican accent) I find myself listening to their accents instead of listening to what they're saying most of the time!

At my previous job, almost all of the projects on which I worked were for Saudi Arabian or Kuwaiti companies. And the people working at my old office are predominantly Texan, Indian, and the occasional Eastern-European. So, the sounds here seem much different than the sounds there.

But, this morning, I happened to be walking down the hallway and instantly felt at home. There were a couple of guys speaking Arabic. Funny, huh?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

First night at the theater - movie theater...

Well, we took the kids to their first movie this past Friday night. We went to see Cars.

Considering the fact that we have many of the Cars toys, as well as books, and therefore already knew the story line and ending of the movie, I thought it was really a good movie. (and I didn't even get to see the whole thing)

The thing I liked about it most, was the "moral" behind the story: respect your elders. (yeah, now I'm considering myself an elder!)

But, I think it's something that our society really tends to overlook these days: Respect for your elders. Heck, respect for anyone!

So, not only is it a well-made kids movie with enough jokes for the parents who watch it, it's really one of those feel-good, choke-you-up, and make you feel silly for getting emotional about talking cars kinds of movies. :) (and the kids liked it, too - Ok, the girl didn't make it through the entire movie, but she liked the 1/3 she saw...)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Back to the bodily functions

Been one more week without an update on the bodily functions, so it's time...

The boy... well, now that I've been trying not to care quite so much about it, it's at least easier for me.

Actually, I think he IS getting better. On Sunday morning, Monday morning, and this morning, he actually pooped on the toilet with no problems. Tonight, however, apparently, he wasn't getting enough attention, so he pooped in his pants. But, I'm trying not to let it get to me...

We went spent some time with some friends this past weekend who told us their boys did almost exactly the same thing as our son has been doing. And it took them several weeks to break their boys of the habit of pooping in their pants. So, maybe it's not quite as strange as we thought it was.

The girl... after I got home tonight, we changed the girl into some "big girl underwear" and asked her if she needed to go pee-pee. And she did! On the toilet!

And then, something really amazing happened after supper tonight - she told us that she had to go pee and she hadn't gone yet! That's a first. So, I hurried her to the toilet and she went. Ha! Ha, ha, ha!!! I can hardly contain my glee. :)

So... baby steps. We're working on it and we might actually be making progress!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Yeah, Floyd!

So, Floyd Landis won the Tour de France! He had a great time trial on Saturday and was able to take the yellow jersey for the final time that day. Way cool!

Now he just has to go get his hip replaced and see if he can return to form for next year! Yeah - isn't it weird that all of the American Tour de France winners overcome some kind of adversity to win the Tour?

Greg LeMond got shot by his brother-in-law in a hunting accident after he won one Tour, but recovered and went on to win two more.

Lance Armstrong survived advanced cancer and ended up winning seven Tours de France.

Now Floyd Landis has been living with chronic hip pain and will get his hip replaced during the off-season. We'll see how that affects the rest of his career...

Anyway, Yay, Floyd! Another American winner of the Tour de France!

Thursday, July 20, 2006




WOW! That's about all I can say about today's Tour de France stage! You know how I said it wasn't looking good for the US for the rest of the Tour? Well, Floyd Landis did something incredible today.

Today's stage had 5 mountain climbs to go over. So on the first climb of the day, Floyd decided to put it into high gear and ride away from everyone else.

Of course, all of the other riders thought he was crazy and figured he'd run out of steam well before the end of the stage.

Not so!! He stayed away for the entire stage and gained back almost all of the time he lost yesterday. It was an amazing ride. Something that will go down in the history books. Seriously.

So, he's now in third place, only 30 seconds behind the guy who's in first place. There's one more stage where anything can happen - Saturday's Individual Time Trial. And Floyd is a great time-trialist. He's got a serious chance. I'm so happy for him!

We've been DVR'ing all of the stages and re-watching them every night. On Tuesday - the first big day in the mountains!- my husband was out of town, so he missed all the coverage and didn't know what had happened. So when he got home at midnight, we watched the coverage. Until 3am. Yeah, we're a little stupid when it comes to watching bike racing.

So now, I'm off to settle in for a long night of watching today's coverage that we DVR'd from this morning. It's a good thing the Tour will be finished on Sunday. I can't take these late nights for much longer! :)

Go Floyd!... oh no, Floyd!

Brief Tour de France Update:

Tuesday was a good stage for the US! Levi Leipheimer had a good stage and regained some time on the "general classification" and Floyd Landis regained the yellow jersey - everything seemed right in the world. (Aside from the fact that George Hincapie is still not riding all that well. sigh...)

Yesterday, however, Floyd cracked big-time on the last climb up to the finish line - he lost 8 minutes on the day (which is a LOT of time to lose, if you hope to win the Tour) and now there is only one American in the top 10 - Levi Leipheimer in 9th place.

Doesn't look good. :(

Monday, July 17, 2006

Poop Update

We're still having trouble with the boy. He still likes to poop in his pants. Yes, he likes it. I swear, everyone we talk to about our potty training issues tells us that someday, he won't be afraid to poop on the potty. No, that's not the problem. He's not afraid, he just seems to prefer to do it in his underwear.

This past week, we've not been asking him if he needs to go. Occasionally, I'll tell him something like, "You know that if you need to go potty, you should tell us. I expect you to tell me." - hoping that it's just the pressure of being asked about it all the time that is making him reluctant to go.

And it has actually kind of been working. He's maybe 75% underwear, 25% toilet these days. You know, I find it kind of depressing that I'm excited about those numbers. "Someday," I keep telling myself.

And the girl really can't force herself to produce another "penis" - she got way too freaked out about that. But, we also haven't been pushing the whole thing with her so much, either. She mostly wears pull-ups these days, but treats them like diapers. Whatever. I'm just not all that worried about her.

Anyway, since it had been a week since I wrote about the poop, I figured I'd better let you all know how it was going! I know you just live for these poop updates, right? :)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Well, I didn't see that coming

It has taken me a full two days to get over the shock of Thursday's Tour de France Stage. Wow. I can't believe how it turned out!

George lost more than 21 minutes on the stage. For those of you who aren't regular bicycle race watchers, that's bad. That's really bad. That's so bad, in fact, that there's pretty much no way that George has a chance to even place in the top 10 this year. I'm in mourning.

On the other hand, Floyd Landis looked really awesome. And that's really good for Floyd.

Today he gave up the yellow jersey to a guy who he's hoping he'll be able to beat in the mountains or the final time trial next week, so we'll see how that works out for him. I hope it does - Floyd's a good guy.

The next big stage should be on Tuesday next week when the finish is on l'Alpe d'Huez. It's going to be a long hard stage and will really be a test to see who is going to make it to the finish in the yellow jersey. I can't wait to see how it plays out!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

No Chain

So, my regular readers (all three of you) now know that I'm a big fan of George Hincapie. George is the only member of Lance Armstrong's team who was on the team for all of Lance's seven Tour de France wins. So, he and Lance are good friends.

During all their time together, they came up with a kind of "code word" for when they were having a good day on the bike: no chain. They felt so good on the bike that they felt like they were pedalling along with no chain on the bike - no resistance.

I pretty much feel the chain every time I ride! Especially now that most of my riding is done with either 24 or 40 extra pounds on the back of the bike. :)

Tonight, however, my husband got a taste of riding with no chain. His chain broke! We were out for our "family bike ride night", and as we were going up a hill, his chain broke clean off his bike.

We were only 3 miles away from home, but still thought that would be a rather long walk home, so we decided instead to limp along for a little less than a mile and get to the park where we were planning to have our picnic. Then I could leave them all there and come back with the car to get them.

So, my husband got back on his chainless bike and I rode next to him and pushed him along. It was at least a good workout for me. :)

Interesting stage tomorrow in the Tour

Well, tomorrow should be an interesting stage in the Tour de France! It's the first stage that ends in a mountain-top finish and that should show which of the riders is really in contention for the overall win.

Poor Georgie didn't do nearly as well as I had hoped in the Individual Time Trial last Saturday and now has a minute and a half to make up on Floyd Landis, but nothing is definite yet and I'm still hopeful that George will be able to hold his own in the mountains. Now, if only his team would help him out a little...

Of course, I do think it would be cool for Floyd to win the Tour - he's a really nice guy and from the US, and I think it would be great for the Americans to continue dominating the Tour, so I won't root against him, but my heart belongs to Georgie. :)

Tomorrow is also my husband's birthday, so he's looking forward to taking the morning off from work and spending some quality time with OLN. Should be a good day!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Oh - you say I have a new job?

Oh yeah, I kinda forgot about that - the new job!

This is my first full week at my new job and I guess it's going fairly well. My first day at work, the department head took me to lunch and discussed the plans that he has for me and what project he thinks I would be happy working on. It was quite the change from my old job where it seems that everyone has very little input into their career path and the department just put people where-ever they needed people.

I'm actually working on a "horrible" project, as the department manager referred to it. But it's supposed to be a temporary assignment and I'll be moved to a real project soon. (hopefully this is true - I've heard that line many times from my old employer)

Anyway, so far, so good! I'm enjoying my drastically reduced commute (it's only 2 miles away from our house) and I came home for lunch today with no problems.

The only thing that could possibly be a problem is that this new office has very little storage space. And I need to figure out what to do with the 5 boxes of stuff that I had accumulated at my old job. Looks like I'll be doing some more purging this weekend.

One step forward, two steps back

Caution: Description of poop included in this post.

I'm sure you're all hanging on the edges of your seats (all two of you!) wondering how the potty training is going.

Well, after not speaking to the boy Thursday night and part of Friday, he didn't poop at all on Friday. I knew we were in for it on Saturday. So, Saturday morning, I began the process of monitoring every "quiet moment" the boy took. Suddenly, he looked up from his toy and said, "Mommy, I need to go poopy." I thought in the background that I heard angels singing, but in my haste to get him into the bathroom, I couldn't fully confirm it.

The boy sat there and pooped. It was soooo cool. And I thought we might have finally made it over the hump. I made sure to be extra-super-duper happy and give him all kinds of praise and hugs and attention for the rest of the day, just to try to make sure he would want to do it again.

It didn't work. Yesterday, he pooped in his pants twice. I told him after the first time that if he did it again, he couldn't go to his little friend's birthday party. He told me he didn't want to go to the party and he did it again.

I'm once again at a loss. Today, the husband and I are attempting the approach of not asking him if he needs to go. Maybe he just really needs to feel like he's completely in control of the situation. ??? Maybe he's just a little bit too much like his mother and doesn't want anyone to tell him what he should and shouldn't do? (Oh, why couldn't I have been a little more repentent about all my bad behavior earlier?....)

In an attempt to create either synergy or peer-pressure (whichever works), we switched the girl over to underwear yesterday, too.

Get this - she pooped on the toilet yesterday morning. I was amazed. However, she got a little freaked out by looking down there and seeing it coming out. She looked at it and said, "Penis!" At which point, I laughed and told her that it wasn't a penis - that girls don't have penis', only boys have penis' and girls have vaginas.

But then she freaked out because it was stuck there and wouldn't drop into the toilet. She wiggled her way off the toilet and was trying to run away when I managed to get ahold of her, dig the poop out, show it to her, and drop it in the toilet.

I was able to get her back on the toilet to see if she could go some more, but she couldn't bring herself to make another "penis". (she was really kind of scared at that!)

I'm headed home at lunch today to see how everything is going. I'm a little hesitant to go...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I've lost it

Ok, that's it. I've really lost it. It's been 4 weeks - 4 long weeks of cleaning poop out of underwear. (and I don't even have to do it most of the time!)

The boy doesn't care. It doesn't bother him. Nothing makes any difference to him. Last weekend we realized that the whole train thing didn't end up really making any difference to him, so we did away with the trains. We just took away the whole train set and told him he could have it all back after he learned how to use the potty.

It had become a game to him. He knew that if he pooped in his pants, he had to give up a train. So he would go poop in his pants and immediately tell you which train he wanted to give up. Occasionally, we would be able to catch him in the act and bribe him with the idea of getting a train in order to get him to go poop on the potty. Most of the time, though, he just really didn't care. So, we gave up on that idea.

But, ever since we did that, he hasn't pooped on the potty once.

And this whole thing has become a totally stressful thing for him. Anytime we ask him anything, he immediately gets defensive and starts talking about how he knows he's supposed to go poop in the potty.

We could ask him, "What do you want to eat?"
He replies, (IF he replies at all) "I go poop on the potty."

That's the other thing - he has become completely unresponsive. He ignores pretty much everything we say to him. And he's begun to ignore everyone else, too. He won't answer anyone these days, he just pretends like he doesn't hear anything.

But then later, I'll hear him saying something like, "You know better than that." and I know that he's heard every single word I've said to him.

For the last couple of weeks, I thought that he was just interested in getting attention. And he's been getting a lot of attention for pooping his pants constantly - why should he make any effort to go poop on the toilet?

So, this week whenever he has pooped his pants, we don't tell him that we're disappointed in him, or act like we're upset, we just take him by the hand and say, "Let's go clean it up."

And so the new thing for him to do now over the last couple of days is, "Ew, let me see it. Yuck, yuck, yuck!" and he laughs and giddily jumps up and down.

OK, I know the answer from many people will be that he's just not ready and we shouldn't torture ourselves anymore. I would gladly do that. However, we have paid for him to attend preschool this fall. And I know he would LOVE going to school. The problem is that if he's not potty-trained, he can't go to this school.

So, I'm at my wit's end. I don't know what to do with him and at this point, I'm so disappointed and depressed about the situation that I can't stand to be around him. Tonight I told him that I don't talk to little boys who poop their pants and I left the room without telling him good night. Nice mother, eh?

What the heck are we supposed to do?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th!!!

Happy 4th of July, all! I'm currently enjoying a little quiet time while everyone else in the house is napping. It's truly a wonderful feeling. The boy hasn't napped since last Friday, I think, and his personality has slowly morphed into his over-tired, unable to listen to anything, yet completely maniacal little self. Today the husband and I were at the point where neither of us could stand to be around him. I kept on saying today that I can't wait to start my new job tomorrow - if only for the fact that I won't have to be around him for awhile. Horrible, but true.

So, this afternoon for nap, I sat in his room with him and made him close his eyes so that he would actually sleep. And I've discovered that he's really good at playing possum! A couple of times, I thought he was asleep, and then he would pull the covers down and sit up and look to see if I was still watching him! Yesterday, he actually did psyche me out when I attempted this and after I left the room he started playing and then he pooped his pants.

Today, however, even though it took 40 minutes for him to fall asleep (how can he stay awake like that when he's so incredibly tired?!), he finally did go to sleep and I was able to sneak out and not wake him up.

When he's rested tonight, it should be much better. Whew. :)

Prediction already wrong

Well, it turns out my prediction for the Tour de France is already wrong. Alejandro Valverde crashed today and broke his collarbone. So, he's now out of the Tour. Luckily, he was only my pick for third place, so I think we're still going to see a great fight between George Hincapie and Floyd Landis. And who knows?! Maybe there will be an all-American podium now in Paris at the end:

1. George Hincapie
2. Floyd Landis
3. Levi Leipheimer

Boy, that would really make the French mad! :)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tour 2006 Starts TODAY!!!

Well, as seems to always be the case in cycling, there must be some sort of doping scandal to spice up the season.

And this year, it's totally screwed up the Tour de France!

Before yesterday, my picks for the Tour would have been:
1. Jan Ullrich
2. Ivan Basso
3. Floyd Landis

I wanted so badly for Jan Ullrich to do well this year. He's been playing second-fiddle to Lance Armstrong for so long, I wanted him to really do well this year. He seemed to be in great shape this year and won the Tour de Suisse just a couple of weeks ago, so I was really pulling for him.

And Ivan Basso - He won the Giro d'Italia this year and totally dominated the field, similar to the way Lance did every year in the Tour. However, it's hard to maintain that type of form, so I thought he probably wouldn't be able to win the Tour only a month or so after the Giro.

And then there's Floyd. He's such a hard-working, nice guy. It's hard not to like him. Plus, his team is dedicated to him, so I thought he had a good chance.

Well, everything has changed now. Ullrich and Basso have been kicked out of the Tour. I'm SOOOO disappointed for Ullrich. There's this big doping scandal that has been uncovered in Spain. Operacion Puerto. It sounds pretty bad. I'm still hopeful, though, that Ullrich is innocent of doping and that he's just been "hanging out with the wrong crowd", but I'm guessing we'll never know the truth.

So now, everything has changed in only 24 hours. My husband and I, being huge George Hincapie fans, are hoping that the Discovery Channel team will change their strategy. They've been saying all along that they have three or four members able to challenge for the overall victory. Georgie being one of them. However, Lance has proven seven times that you cannot win the Tour without having a team dedicated to one person. So, this seems to be the perfect time to change their approach and focus on George. He's great at time-trialling, he's strong and fit, and with a team devoted to him, he could really do well in the mountains.

My current picks, then, are:
1. George Hincapie
2. Floyd Landis
3. Alejandro Valverde

In three weeks, we'll find out how good my prediction is. In the meantime, we'll be prompting both kids to yell "Go Georgie!!" at every available opportunity. :)