Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Elimination Communication

"As featured on Good Morning America..... London and Angela!"
That right people London and I got our "15 min" of youtube fame today. (ok more like 20 seconds but we will take it). The video clip that I posted on youtube when London was 5 weeks old was used as an example on Good Morning America for a segment they did on Pressures to Potty. Now as much as I love that they didn't make Elimination Communication look bad, I really didn't care for the fact that they made it sound like potty training. They didn't ask me but I don't feel any pressure at all to have him potty trained, I didn't start using elimination communication to get him potty trained. I did use cloth diapers in hopes he would get there sooner though. :)

Elimination Communication, EC, isn't about potty training, its not about catching pee/poop, its a natural, non-coercive, its goal is not to be potty trained....its goal is to successfully have communication between baby and parent about baby's elimination needs.  Noticing your child is trying to tell you something they want and you are helping fulfill that need. Its the same as noticing a kid making a licking their lips or rooting as communicating with you they are hungry. Yawning or rubbing their  eyes to communicate to you they are sleeping. EC is just noticing your kid is grunting/doing the wiggle circular butt move/curling their legs a certain way as telling you their need to eliminate. Then just like you give them food, putting them down for nap, you take them to the potty....they don't HAVE to drink/sleep or go potty....but often times they do.These are things a child is born to communicate with their caregivers from day one. But not one that western cultures teach caregivers to look for. I myself  found it strange at first when I was told about it while on my travels in Asia. I thought people were trying to make their kids grow up to fast and expecting way to much from them or simply it was impossible for a newborn to do, or you had to hover over you child all day/night. However once I saw it in practice and realized how that a newborn was clearly "telling" their mom they needed to go.... well once you know the cues its hard to ignore. I don't think we give newborns enough credit.

Now I consider myself to have an EC graduate. What this means is that London successfully communicates with me when he needs to eliminate. He uses the "toilet" sign-language motion to tell me. He is working on saying potty/pee/poop as well.  This does not mean he is potty trained. A potty training graduate can remove their pants/underwear, get themselves on their potty, use the potty, wipe themselves and then get their bottoms back up. London isn't close to doing this yet. Right now he tells me he has to go and I do the rest. I'm in no rush to get him potty trained either. We just show him what we do and he tries to copy that. He can get lose underwear off by himself, he can get on his little potty chair almost correctly, he tries to wipe but usually falls when he does since he wipes from the front. He can't get his pants up  or on at all. He physically can't do some of that right now, its getting closer but we aren't there yet. 

Here is a great website for more information if you interested- Diaper Free Baby.
And we only did EC part-time. Never diaper free! London was in cloth diapers till he became a graduate!

Here is the full video that got GMA attention!-

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


All ready to go!
 Per wiki- "Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System(GPS) to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (tupperware or similar) can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaching is often described as a "game of high-tech hide and seek," or I like to call it "adult treasure hunting".
Here is a little video explaining it:

The Cache
It was briefly mentioned in my Day In The Life Of post. But I wanted to talk about it a touch more since its one of my new things in feb! The official Geocaching website is where I got started. I entered in my local info and found 9 caches in the area. I wanted an easy one for my first try.
This one was in a park that I have been to before and really liked. My coordinates were S 19° 51.230 W 043° 59.769. I plugged this info into my GPS and off we went! I do need to add here that I have never used the walking GPS guide before. When we got to the park I was doing the guiding and I got us lost. Troy then took over and realized I never hit the "start" button so thats why it wasn't telling us where to go but only showing me a distant map. Oh well at least we figured it out! So with Troy's guidence we came to the area. I saw the box first (or troy let me think I did!). 
 Unfortunately this cache is not maintained well and I'm pretty sure people are stealing the trinkets. :( I found a very weathered/tattered log book and that was it. No pen, no "gift", the log book wasn't even in a weather proof container. There was a piece of trash..... a bottle lid-which I took because hey I wanted SOMETHING! LOL The log book was just laying in a water valve box.

Me signing the log book
It was so very disappointing that was all to be found. I logged my info in to the book and we left a pen and a "gift" for the next person. I hope no one steals it. And I'm not sharing what it was.....if you want to know come and find it!
As much of a disappointment this cache was it was really fun looking for it and i'm not letting one bad one put a bad taste in my mouth. The rest in this area seem difficult to find (location hard to get to with a child). We will have to wait till we move/travel to do it again, but we will keep this up!
View of the park from the cache. (not the pretty part)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day in the life of...

Did a little project for some online friends and wanted to share with you all. Two days here actually. A weekend day with daddy home and a normal everyday with just london and I.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fried chicken....not like grandma's.

So I tried to make Grandma B's fried chicken..... FAIL! I burned my hands so bad from oil while flipping the chicken I'm not cooking till they heal. No pictures because it was that bad and my hands hurt to bad to take photos. :(
I tried to do it from memory, maybe that was the problem. Here is what I did.... (PLEASE help me out on what I did wrong).
Bought whole chicken with skin cut up (I need to learn how to do this myself I think!). Rolled chicken pieces in a salt/pepper/flour combo till coated. Heated up frying pan with 1/2 inch thick canola oil. Places chicken in pan. Waited about 10 min till skin was brown then flipped..... pour oil on my hands in the process! Cooked another 10 min then put chicken on papertowels to dry off a touch. They LOOKED fine but when I cut into it they were still pink and undercooked. But I would have been burning them if I let them cook longer. So the skin tasted great but the chicken was bad. My ideas of why it may not have been as good--
Maybe the pan was to hot?
How long do you let it cook for?
Next time vegetable oil not canola oil?
Tongs not spatula to flip with!
I would LOVE to learn to make Grandma B's gravy also but I can't remember how she did it and i'm sure in true grandma form she has no idea on measurements. UGH! Alice if you read this---HELP!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day.

I <3 you!

A cute simple way to spruce up a meal with love....
Cut strawberry hearts! I put them on london's oatmeal today.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What is a VPN and how to get it

What is a VPN?
Per Wikipedia a VPN is-
"A virtual private network (VPN) is a computer network that uses a public telecommunication infrastructure such as the Internet to provide remote offices or individual users with secure access to their organization's network. It aims to avoid an expensive system of owned or leased lines that can be used by only one organization.
It encapsulates data transfers using a secure cryptographic method between two or more networked devices which are not on the same private network so as to keep the transferred data private from other devices on one or more intervening local or wide area networks. There are many different classifications, implementations, and uses for VPNs."

In other words-----a VPN make the internet think your computer is really located in the "host" my case I have it located in the USA.

Why do you need a VPN?
Well if you travel/live overseas you have noticed when you get online that many of the USA sites block other countries from viewing. Or in China and some other countries who monitor and block what their citizen's can view it gets you around that also. So when I log into my VPN it allows me to view ABC/Fox/Hulu/etc so I can watch all my American tv without having download it. It also lets me use my Pandora and my Swagbucks! (more to come on those sites later). Plus if you want to hide yourself while looking at other's blogs it will tag you in the VPN's city not the one your in.... now I sound all stalker like don't I? :D

What do you use?
I have been using for my VPN for many months now. I simply sent them an email (from the one you want linked-and I have never gotten spam from them once) to: promotions at vpnod dot com and in the subject line entered VPNod. I got my password info in a matter of minutes. To learn how to set it up follow these very simple directions that even come with pictures (yes its dummy proof!)
And there are some other operating systems it also works for but I'm not linking them all- just go here-

What don't you like about it?
The only thing so far that I don't like about it is that sometimes it take about 2-3 sign in attempts to get on to the VPN. But thats well worth it to watch Grey's Anatomy and get my swagbucks! :)

Is it legal?
The use of VPN is legal in all countries EXCEPT: Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.....but its not like I was planning on visiting those warm/fuzzy feeling locations any time soon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Troy's Favorite meal

This is the recipe that troy begs me to make. I think its fine but not on my favorite list. Either way I found the ingredients (or at least what I think they are) at the store so he is getting it for dinner tonight. What is this cooking masterpiece you ask?

Tator Tot Hotdish (or casserole to you non-SD people).
1 lb browned hamburger
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of corn
Mix the above and put on the bottom of a 6x6 casserole dish.
Top with frozen tator tots. (or here I found what translate into "Balls of mashed potato pre-fried frozen")
Bake at 350 degree for 45 minutes.

Yep thats it! Good thing his favorite is so easy....makes it simple to spoil him!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Old Fashion Pancakes

Perfect Pancakes
 I need to start this by stating I have never once tried making pancakes....even from the box!

I was in the kitchen and followed this recipe to a tee:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • WAY to thick batter.
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

 1st and 2nd tries---way gooey in middle.

Then I got my frying pan ready and started making them.....well I oiled the pan with canola oil (mistake!). So my first pancake was black, left the oil off for the following. Then my next pancake got burnt on the outsides but was still gooey in the I thought my temp was to high. I decreased the temp and again...burnt outside gooey inside. Hmmmmm, I knew I was suppose to wait for bubbles to form and edges to turn light brown then flip, I studied up online before trying these! Then troy walked into the kitchen (and pretty much saved the pancakes). Turns out my batter was VERY thick and that was the issue. So I poured some milk in until Troy ok'd it for being the proper constancy. Then Troy demonstrated how to cook one for me. Ahhhhh, NOW I get the bubbles thing. Apparently overly thick batter doesn't bubble. If you haven't ever tried this before you flip the pancake when the top looks like the back of my thighs
Time to flipping!
(slightly bumpy and crater like, so imagine some cottage cheese :D ).
Once I figured it out I was a pancake making fool and they turned out
great......golden brown cooked through! Once done eating and after a long talk with Troy, and thanks to facebook friends, I realized that *I* eat mine weird. I like peanut butter and maple syrup on my pancakes, Troy is a butter and syrup guy......turns out so is London. But Troy did agree that this was the best recipe and best tasting pancakes he had ever at least I got that! :) 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Drinking Games: Three Man (dice game)

And next on "educating' the Polish with our American drinking games......Three man!
You need two dice.

Game rules:
+ Take turns rolling once (normally clockwise) to determine who will be three man fist. The last person to roll a 3 or a total of three is it. You may need to go around more than once if no one gets it.

+ After the initial three man has been chosen, any time a player rolls a three on either die, the three man must take a drink.

+ If the player rolls two 3's, the three man takes two drinks.

+ If a total of 5 is rolled the player behind them must drink.

+ If a total of 7 is rolled the player in front of them must drink.

+ If doubles are rolled than there is a "roll off" (excluding 3's).  The person who rolled has to choose two other players and hand them each one of the dice. Then those players must both roll their dice at the same time. The player with the lower number must "drink the difference". So if one players rolls a 1 and the other player rolls a 3. Than the player who rolled the 1 must drink 2 drinks (3-1=2).
     ** HOWEVER if both players roll the same number than the original roller gets both dice back and has to drink the TOTAL in what they roll.  So if they get the dice back and roll a 3 plus a 5 they get 8 drinks (3+5=8).

 + If the player rolls any of these options, the player is granted another turn. Other rolls expire the turn and pass the dice to the next player.

+ If the player rolls one or both the dice off the table than they are automatic new three man and lose their turn.

+ If three man rolls double 3's they can give away three man to whomever they would like.

No real way to end or win the game...its mainly just played till no one can/wants to play more. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How to revive Play-Doh

I went out to buy some new Play-Doh and you would be shocked on how much they want ($10 for 2 jars). So instead I decided to try to revive our Play-Doh. We get tons of Play-Doh time at our house so we really can't go without! :)  I looked up ways to just make some but a couple of the ingredients are one's I have access that post will have to come another day. Instead I got my hands wet and just started kneading the doh (you could also just put a couple drops of water on the doh and knead). I had to do this about 3-4 times for it to soften back up into its former glory. However when you do this be warned the color does bleed out some, it doesn't lose its color, but your hands gain some (didn't stain luckily it just washed off). But I bought us some more Play-Doh time!
I am also told that if you wrap it in a wet paper towel then put it back in its container for the night it works. Just make sure that its only for one night because Play-Doh will grow on you....not in the good way ;) Also if you know your child will not play with it for a long time put a drop or two of water in the container before tightly sealing it and storing it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Drinking Games (cards): President and Asshole (also known as P&A or just asshole)

So I'm teaching the American drinking games to our co-workers who are originally from Poland. And having some fun doing so! We taught them how to play Spades and Yahtzee last week, and everyone (well not the pregnant girl of course) just socially drank. Now its time for the drunk games. So tonights game was P&A. I'm going to go over how *I* used to play it....or at least how I remember to! LOL

General Rules:
- 2 is low....Ace is high. No one cares what suite it is.

- Deal out the entire deck of cards to the players....if more than 6 players 2 decks is needed. (don't play with more than 13 confusing LOL)

- 10 card is the "clear" card. This single card can be played on anything to wipe out the pile. Playing a clear card does not forfeit a player's turn, as he/she is responsible for starting the next pile.

- You must play an equal or higher card than what has been laid. So if there is a single 5 played you need a 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10*,  J, Q, K, A to beat it. OR equal or great number of cards.

- If there is a pair you must play at least a pair. You may play a higher pair,  a 3-of-a-kind or 4-of-a-kind if you wish but you may NOT through a single card. (With the exception of a 10 which is the clear card).

- If a player passes because they can't not play, he or she must drink. If the same hand gets back to the person who layed down that hand it is cleared and they get to start again.

 - If the player matches the previous players laid down cards the next player is skipped and must drink.  For instance, if a 3 is played on top of another 3, the next player is skipped and must drink. If a three is then played by the player after the skipped player, the player after him/her is skipped and drinks. However if a 3 is played and the next person lays double 3's this does NOT skip, you must match the exact hand laid.

-Another 'clear' can occur when a player is able to complete a four of a kind on the board by 'jumping in' out of turn. For example, if 2 Jacks have just been laid down, and you have the other 2 Jacks, then you can just 'jump in', regardless of your position, and lay down your 2 Jacks to complete a running 4 of a kind. The result would be the social, where everyone drinks, AND the cards are actually cleared to the player who 'jumped in'. So they get to start it off again (if they have any cards left of course). This is why it's important to pay attention, because this is a great way to lose a ton of cards fast. This type of social only applies if you're able to compete the 4 card set in time... if the next player laid down a card, it's already too late.

- Last Card - when a player has only one card remaining in his hand, he must alert the table by declaring "Last Card". If a player fails to declare last card, he is the automatic Asshole for the next round.

- First person out has highest rank in next game, and it goes in order by going out. So second player out is vice-president, etc, etc. (for the following games its best to sit in order of rank).

Roles for the players:

President- Can make any player drink at any time, no-one may make the President drink. The President starts each round.

Vice President- Can make any player drink at any time (except Pres), the only the Pres or self can make the VP drink. The VP goes second in each round.

Normal People- Can make the players who finished AFTER them in the previous round drink.  This is why sitting in rank is best.

Asshole- Deal the cards, starting with THEMSELF and proceeding in order of player hierarchy from low to high until all cards are dealt. This ensures that the President begins with the fewest number of cards if the hands are uneven. While dealing, the Asshole may order anyone to drink (unlike during play, where they can not make anyone drink). Similarly, no one may make the Asshole drink while he/she is dealing. Only the Asshole may clear the cards. If anyone else attempts to clear the cards, he can be made to "drink for Asshole tendencies"....including president. They are beer-bitch for the game, so if anyone needs a drink refill asshole gets it for them.

Special rules:
 If the President remains President for three consecutive rounds can create a new rule. The new rule can be any of the above rules not in use already, or any other bonus rule, like the following...

+ Before the hand starts, President gives the asshole his lowest card, and asshole gives the President his highest card (10 clear card trumps ace). If either is caught not giving his absolute lowest or highest card (this means breaking up a pair of threes if you are the President) they are automatic asshole for the next hand. If eight or more are playing, President and asshole exchange their *two* highest and low- est cards, and VP and vice-asshole exchange their *one* highest and lowest card.

+ You can't say the words "drink/drank/drunk" or you have to drink.

+ Changing the 10 from a "clear" card to a "wild card".

+ Presidents can call a 'board meeting' (like a waterfall). Everyone starts drinking and is not allowed to stop drinking until the person above them in rank stops drinking (ie - the VP cannot stop until the President stops, the Treasurer can't stop until the VP stops, etc). Only the President can call a board meeting.

+ Little green man rule: You pretend to have a little green man sitting on the rim of your cup. You must remove the little man from your cup before you drink. And replace him to the rim of your cup after you drink.

I will add more suggestions on other games....feel free to borrow special rules from/for any game that has it as an option.