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Friday, 30 June 2006
Cue the Hallelujah Chorus!
Mood:  party time!
Topic: Nicklaus
Nicklaus is using the toilet - like a real person! I hope to heck I'm not jinxing things by saying this, but I THINK we just might be able to get him completely potty-trained before pre-school starts in September.

I have been SO stressed about this, because up till now, even though he'd usually sit on his potty chair without complaint (where something may or may not happen) he has never initiated the act. The past 2 days have seen major breakthroughs.

I attribute it solely to the refinement of my bribery technique. You'd think I would have learned something with Noah, but he wasn't nearly as difficult as Nicklaus. So I broke it down into 3 day goals. Get 4 stickers on your potty chart for each day, and after day 3 you get whatever "potty prize" we agreed upon. He's now the proud owner of 2 new Thomas the Tank Engine videos.

We actually went to Trader Joe's today wearing underwear. All three of us. Yes, even me. Nicklaus' were on backwards, as were his shorts, because "I can do it myself Mommy!".

I've just been so stressed about this because I really want him to be able to attend the same pre-school Noah did. He had such an incredible experience there, plus the fact that Nicklaus already knows the teachers, the surroundings, and several of the kids who will be in his class. But he wouldn't be allowed to go unless he was potty trained.

And all kidding aside about my bribes being the reason for his success, his progress marks a real physical/medical milestone. Being able to control his bodily functions is the last of the big hurdles he faced to completely rule out any sort of neurological damage that his tumor or the resulting treatments and surgeries might have caused. So it's a really big deal. He's never shown any signs of neurological impairment, but you just don't know until you pass ALL the tests.

This week he ACED the whizzing final. WHEW!

Posted by catherino at 1:05 PM PDT
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Wednesday, 21 June 2006
Introducing the new "Lazy Boy Potty Chair"
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Nicklaus
It's never too early for a man to develop an appreciation for a comfortable chair. That's why my 3-year old uses the new "Lazy Boy Potty Chair" with matching ottoman. Poop all your cares away in comfort and style.

Posted by catherino at 1:38 PM PDT
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Monday, 27 February 2006
Toy Story 3?
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Nicklaus

I've written before about Nicklaus' fascination with his penis. Since he's been old enough to communicate, he's talked to and about his beloved member on a regular basis. So it was no great surprise to me this morning, when changing his diaper, that he declared that he would like to say hello to his penis.

Nicklaus: Hello penis!

Penis: no response

Nicklaus: He had a good dream.

Me: Really? What did he dream about?

Nicklaus: Woody!

I mean really, I ask you, what else would a penis dream about?

Posted by catherino at 8:17 AM PST
Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006 10:32 AM PST
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Tuesday, 17 January 2006
Happy Birthday Baby
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: Nicklaus

Three years ago today you made your dramatic entrance into this world. At the time, it was the most terrifying, heart-wrenching day of my life. You were so big and healthy looking. How on earth could anything really serious be wrong with you?

I learned a thing or two about strength that day. It took all I had to lever myself into that wheelchair a couple of hours after you were cut out of my belly. It took even more to keep battling down the waves of nausea that kept rolling through me. I knew if I got sick, the nurses wouldn't keep rolling me down the hallway to see you in the NICU. And I HAD to see you. They wouldn't let me stay long. And of course I couldn't hold you. And then they wheeled you in your isolette to my room to say goodbye. You were on your way across town where they could do more for you. Here's what you looked like when you left that day:

The next day they sent an ambulance all the way from Stanford to come pick you up and take you back there. You were a really, really sick little boy. But we still didn't know why:

In the days that followed, I learned a whole lot more about strength - and courage. We all needed a whole bunch of it to make it through the nightmare of hearing that you had cancer. And when we needed a little more - when what we had was pretty much tapped out - all we had to do was take a look at you. At not even 10 days old, you'd endured so much. Operations and scans and pokes and prods and tubes and wires galore. And then the ultimate insult - pumping toxic, but ultimately life-saving drugs into your little body. We didn't even know it was possible for a newborn baby to get chemotherapy. We were on our way to learning a lot of tough lessons like that.

But you just kept on taking whatever was dished out at you. Oh, you didn't like it much. It's not that you were passive about it by any means. There's a question I guess I'll always have about you. Did fighting such a a battle make you so strong and stubborn? Or did you win your battle because those traits were yours to begin with? It's a chicken and egg thing. The answer doesn't really matter, but it still rolls around in my head.

What amazed me the most I guess is that you were still able to smile so much. Even when the chemo had taken all your energy, all your immunity - and of course all your hair - you still had the greatest smile in the world:

And now look at you. Three years old! You're still stubborn as hell. You're still a fighter. You're my little mighty mite. The chemo that saved your life has stunted your growth a bit - but we wouldn't dream of telling you that. You take great pride in telling me, "I'm BIG!". And you are buddy. In every way that matters. You're smart as a whip. And you are SO funny. You're funny on a level that's older than three. Oh sure, you love to laugh about poop with your brother and tell the the most awful knock-knock jokes that make no sense to anyone under the age of 5. But you also know how to play to your audience. Your performance at your birthday party was especially great:

Happy Birthday big guy. Thank you for all the important lessons you've taught - and continue to teach to me. Mommy loves you so much. You're my very own super hero:

Posted by catherino at 12:01 AM PST
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Saturday, 12 November 2005
Mommy Knows Best
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Nicklaus

Should I feel guilty for giving my 2 year old night-time cold medicine at noon just so he would finally take a nap today? Because I don't. I mean, he does have a stuffy nose. It's not like I only gave him the medicine to make him sleep. But yesterday was DAY 3 of skipping his normal 2 hour afternoon nap. And there was just no way on God's green earth I was putting up with that again today without a fight. My weapon of choice just so happened to be Tylenol Nighttime Cold.

So really, it's a win-win situation. He gets relief from his stuffy nose and some much-needed rest. And I get a break from a kid who has been even more challenging than usual lately. Nothing wrong with that!

Posted by catherino at 1:51 PM PST
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Monday, 31 October 2005
Little Big Man
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Nicklaus
As of today, my little bird has flown the crib coop. Thanks to a whopper of a nightmare last night that left him convinced that there were bugs in his crib, he's moved on to the "big boy bed". I've had a twin bed in his room since...well, since before he was born and it was Noah's room. For the past month or so he's been taking naps in it occasionally, but never wanted to sleep in it overnight.

Until last night. So today I disassembled the crib and moved it out. It's time, I know. He'll be three years old soon. But it's just another sign that my baby is growing up and really isn't a baby anymore. Talk about bittersweet conflicted feelings! Not quite 3 years ago, we didn't even know for sure if he'd make it to such a milestone. How can I feel sad about him growing up when I prayed so fervently for God to give him the chance to grow up?

The truth is, I'm really not so sad. A little melancholy maybe. A little wistful and prone to sighing a bit more today. But mostly just so proud that my little big man has come so far and overcome so much. Congratulations buddy - you're becoming such a big boy.

Now go pee in the damn potty already so I can quit changing diapers!

Posted by catherino at 2:06 PM PST
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Wednesday, 6 April 2005
It's what's for dinner
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Nicklaus
No, not beef. I just had the following conversation with Nicklaus after he came in from playing outside:

Nicklaus: I tase bug Mom
Me: You tasted a bug?
Nicklaus: Yeah
Me: Did you eat the bug?
Nicklaus: Yeah
Me: You swallowed a bug?
Nicklaus: Yeah. Bugs crying.
Me: The bug is crying? Because you ate him?
Nicklaus: Yeah

All this time I thought he was just a picky toddler! But no - I just haven't been serving bugs I guess.

Posted by catherino at 12:28 PM PDT
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Sunday, 20 March 2005
A boy's first true love
Mood:  silly
Topic: Nicklaus
While changing Nicklaus' diaper just now, I overheard the following (translation provided):

"Heh-yo penn-is!" (Hello penis)
"Teekle, teekle" (tickles his penis, giggles like mad)
"Ah yah you penn-is" (I love you penis)
"HEY! Where penn-is go?!? Bye bye penn-is! See y'ater!" (see ya later)

Sigh. It's true love alright. And if he's anything like his daddy, the passion will only increase as the years go by.

Posted by catherino at 10:35 AM PST
Updated: Monday, 21 March 2005 8:04 AM PST
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Sunday, 6 February 2005
Baby Talk
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: Nicklaus
Sometimes I wish I had hidden cameras stashed throughout the house so I could capture the sights and sounds of my boys playing together. They can be so darn cute sometimes. But everytime I try to film them, they immediately stop whatever it was I was trying to get on film and start acting goofy or self-conscious and they basically just SPOIL THE DAMN MOMENT!

But especially these days, I wish I could bottle up the sound of Nicklaus talking so I'd never forget the way his 2 year old voice sounds. The way he says "Teh-too Mommy" for thank you. The way he will only refer to Noah as "bruh-er" (brother). The way he stages elaborate train wrecks and then yells "CRYSHE!" for crash.

I love the way he calls for me whenever he wakes up - and then when I walk into his room he says, "Hi Mommy! You're back!"

I love the way he calls his blanket a "beh-benk".
I love that he calls his binky a "geeky" just like Noah did at that age. And the way he refers to himself as "Gick-us" - just exactly the way Noah used to say his name when he was two.

I love that he calls The Wiggles "Giggles". But if you ask him if he wants to see the 'giggles' he says, "NO Mommy - GIGGLES!" as if to say, "You dimwit, didn't you hear me?!?".

I love the expressions he comes out with, like "Oh dear!" and "Goodness sake!" - except that when he says it, it sounds like "goo-ness ake".

I love the way he says I love you ("Ah ya you"). I love the way he asks for a "beeeg uhg" when he wants a big hug.

I love when he asks me to sing "Inkle inkle tar". It just wouldn't be as precious if it came out perfectly.

God, I love that kid.

Posted by catherino at 12:35 PM PST
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