Thursday, March 27, 2014


After all of the stories I have been telling about Charlie lately, I know you are all going to find it really hard to believe that this guy is not yet potty trained.

Yeah, this guy. The one in the cape.

But seriously, the boy is not even close. Oh, sure, he will tinkle any time you put him on the potty and he has even dropped the deuce a time or two, but we're nowhere near starting real deal potty training. I had this gut feeling that he just wasn't ready, that he just didn't get it, and it was confirmed a few weeks ago when I decided to put him on the potty every hour and even let him go commando for a bit. He was a real sport about it and didn't complain once, but about 15 minutes after a successful sitting, I picked him up to find that his pants were soaked. 

"Charlie," I said, "Did you go pee pee in your pants?"

"No," he said. "I go pee pee in the potty."

"But your pants are wet." I stated.

"No they not," he firmly responded.

And we went back and forth for a bit before I realized that he not only had no idea that his pants were wet, but he did not realize he had gone potty. Oh, and I also realized how futile it is to argue with a toddler. But that's a lesson I can never seem to learn. 

That same week, I picked Charlie up from school one night and asked wise Miss Darlene what she thought. She confirmed that he just didn't get it yet, but not to worry, because these things can sometimes happen in a matter of days. I took great delight and comfort in it when, to illustrate her point, she jerked her thumb over her shoulder at another tot and said, "This guy really surprised us. Came in one Monday and he was potty trained. You could have knocked Miss Jackie and I over with a feather."

It was good to have someone second my gut instinct. Like a rubber stamp for my laziness. And I also liked hearing that there are other hopeless cases in Charlie's class. It's good to keep expectations low.

Fast forward to this past week, and Charlie did the deed not only at home one night, but at school the next day. It was, you might say, A REALLY BIG DEAL. 

And then that was it. No mas. 

But it's fine. Because, like everything else with Charlie, there is no point in pushing matters, especially when he will just play the cute card and win anyway. 

Case in point, the conversation he had with my mom this weekend after I changed his dirty diaper. 

"Charlie," she asked, "where are you supposed to put poopy?" 

"In the potty!" he responded. 

"Well," she said, "Do you put your poopy in the potty?" 

"Always," he said. "Always."

And then he flashed her his signature smile. 

My mom threw her hands up and laughed. I laughed. And felt strangely satisfied that I am not the only one to get suckered in by his hijinks. 


He's good, that one.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring break for everyone (except my parents)

Last week both the Jones kids and Mary Clare's school were on spring break, so my parents kindly offered to take Brennan and Alexandra for the full week, and Mary Clare and Charlie for a portion of the week. Saints. They are saints.

The kids had a ball. Brennan and Alexandra went to my uncle's farm, visited Nana's school and playground and did some baking, and then on Wednesday they headed across the river and Mary Clare joined them for some science center and park action. The whole group then picked up Charlie at school after his nap time. Charlie was thrilled to introduce his Nana and cousin to everyone in his class, and Alexandra was completely aghast to find that Charlie is not responsible for putting away his own cot after nap time. (As my sister said, "What kind of shim sham place do you send Charlie, anyway? No wonder you don't have control of that kid.")

They spent the next few days zipping around the yard on their ATVs and running amok. The first day as they headed outside, my dad told my mom, "Keep the ice maker running." Sadly, not for cocktails, but rather for ice packs. Mary Clare, Charlie and Alexandra go through them like gangbusters.

In between the melting ice packs and subsequent meltdowns, they also worked in a visit to Papa's fire station, another stop at the rectory of my parents' church (where Charlie was kind enough to shake his booty for the adoring, if not appalled, masses), and took in the new Muppets movie. Suffice it to say, they were busy.

I picked up our kiddos on Friday afternoon following the movie, and let's just say that after going non stop for a few days and not taking the most regular naps, they were super fun at dinner that night. If they didn't look like they were ready to pass out at the table, they were sobbing into their fish. That's what my parents like to call a successful visit.

Chip and I took advantage of the free evenings to wrap up some more projects around the house (painting, yard work, more painting, more yard work) in anticipation of the Great Play Set Build of 2014. More on that later.

Long story short, it was a great week for everyone all around — just not such a restful one for my parents. But my mom did take to Facebook to say how nice it was to have all four of her grandchildren at their house for a week, so I have it in writing. Just don't call them after 8 p.m. this week, because they will probably already be asleep.  Heaven knows they could use a break.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'm fluent in toddler

The other night after dinner, Chip took the kids upstairs to get them ready for bed while I finished up the dishes. As I walked up the stairs, Chip said, "Do we have a book called "Ham and Cheese Sandwich" that's new? Charlie was asking for it." Without hesitating, I said, "He means "Green Eggs and Ham."

The next morning, Charlie came blazing into the room to wake me up, proclaiming, "Mama, I have an issue! I have an issue!" He had a tissue. But he also usually has an issue as well. Usually with one of his family members, and usually about something monumentally important like not letting him open the basement door, "beating" him down the stairs or not offering him a full cup of water. 

But we're talking about his butchering of the English language. Which, like his sister, is totally adorable. Mary Clare still busts out an occasional "I not know that," whereas Charlie is more likely go with "No me go to school!" and "No me wear train socks!" Make no mistake about it, the "No me ____" phrase is always delivered with feeling.  

"Ambalance" is elephant, and some notable phrases include "the sun likes me," which means the sun is glaring down on him while he sits in his car seat, and "I use powers!" which means he will feed you a line of BS about what he did while wearing his super hero cape. 

There are more, so many more, but alas, I am not able to write them as they come out of his mouth, as they are usually tied to a demand request of some sort. So, yes. Operation: Regain Control is coming along about as well as you would expect.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Two lassies and a lad

Despite the fact that Mary Clare doesn't believe* that today is actually St. Patrick's Day (if there is no school party, it can't be legit), I still managed to get the entire family in a bit of green today. Never mind that we don't have an ounce of Irish in us — we Lindhs are team players. And if all of us in green (and good moods) isn't cause for a photo, then I don't know what is. Of course, as Mary Clare pointed out, it is a shame that you can't see Charlie's shirt as it is the most Irish one of the bunch, being that my parents brought it back from Ireland, but eh, you can only ask for so much.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and happy spring break! 

*Of course, we argued about it this morning while I did her hair. It ended with, "Well, okay, but I am going to ask Mrs. Porterfield when we go back to school next week, because I really don't think today is St. Patrick's Day."

Fudging the post dates

Remember how back in January I wrote that I would be writing Mary Clare's fifth birthday post, but adjusting the date so it would match up with her actual December 25 birthday? Well, I wrote it shortly after that January post, but just now added the photos. My iPhoto libraries (and Mac in general) were acting up, but thanks to a hard drive upgrade and other Mac wizardry compliments of our friend Justin, all is good in computer world.

So, long story short, Mary Clare's fifth birthday post may now be enjoyed by clicking here or going to the post directly in the December 2013 archives on the right. Hopefully you don't cry reading it like I did while writing it. I love writing the birthday posts, but dang, they just kill me. All that pride and love really gets the old waterworks going.

Friday, March 14, 2014

I mean, really

Overheard this morning as the kids ate their breakfast:

"CHAWLIE! Do not wipe your hands on my forehead!"

Of course he had a napkin. And a bib. And a shirt and pants, for heaven's sake. But clearly his sister's forehead is the preferred place for doing some quick hand clean up. 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Alex attitude

I haven't posted much about the Kansas City cousins in quite some time. Well, you know how it is. You have to take care of your own first. Or so the law says.

Sherri did, however, send a very funny Alex anecdote a few weeks ago that continues to delight me every time I see it in my in box. It's so good that my parents have probably recounted the story at least three times each. 

One morning, Brian walked into Alexandra's room, surveyed her bed strewn with stuffed animals and her precious babies, and said, "Alex, someone needs to clean all of this stuff off their bed tonight." To which she huffily responded, "Well, that someone is not me!"

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hamper police

So, doing laundry in this house is not nearly as easy as it was on Botanical. A laundry room on the same floor as the bedrooms is one thing I definitely miss about our old place. (Which is completely different from one of the people I miss about our old place — hi, Regina!)

Now that the laundry room is in the basement, it's a bit more of a process. I don't really throw in loads here and there any more, I have specific days that I try to knock it all out, usually about two days per week. And when the schedule gets a little off, as it often does, the hampers get full. And then I hear about it. No one likes a full hamper, it seems.

This morning after getting Charlie dressed, I asked him to go put his pajamas in the kid's hamper. A short while later he came shuffling back into the room, head down and pajamas in hand.

"There's no more woom, mama. No woom for my pajamas."

So I went with him, and we made room. Crisis averted.

Later, as we walked downstairs with the kids, Mary Clare looked at me and said, "Um, mom, I think that maybe after you get home from my field trip today, you might want to do some laundry. Because there's no more room in my hamper."

So I heard.

After Chip quit laughing, Mary Clare went on to say, "Well, there might be room for one more thing. One really, really, flat thing. That's small."

So, you're telling me there's a chance.

I appreciate your optimism, Mary Clare.