Here's a quick and dirty update for far-flung family and friends:
The cupboard under the stairs: My husband was home from work between Christmas and New Year's. He spent the time transforming the space under our stairs into a completely wired closet that now holds a chest freezer set upon a platform with built in drawers. We bought the freezer off Craigs List for $80 and spent probably $100 on the construction supplies, most of which was covered by some gift cards he got at work. The door, which locks to keep out the kiddies, looks like it should have been there all along. In addition to storage of bulk pantry items, we'll also use as a time out nook bad little children (kidding, really, I am). I am so proud that my husband wired the closet himself (without burning down the house or electrocuting himself). Pictures soon, I promise.
Potty training ... again: I have decided that I am powerless over potty training and that my life was becoming unmanageable. I put the boy back in diapers because I just couldn't handle the whole process without severe irritation. But it backfired when I just started getting really irritated every time I changed his diaper. So now my life has also become wet and smelly ... again. Let me explain:
About the middle of his week off, my husband decided to just put Danny in underpants and let him, uh, soil himself. I was not convinced at first. This sounded like an awful lot of extra work (ie laundry, undressing and dressing a soggy tot) for me, I mean, us. But he's responsible for cleaning himself up so big boy pants it is ... for now. On the second day, we accidentally left him in training pants for his nap. He woke soaked and miserable, screamed for about 10 minutes while he was cleaning himself up. Jim looked up the stairs, smiling, as I wearily listened to this shriek fest.
"See, he's upset. We're not," he says. Good point, I conceded. Since that day, amazingly, I've been able to just let go of the process (with the help of very absorbent training underwear and rubber pants to prevent a dozen soaked pants a day).
We're trying a mix of tactics to elicit drama-free potty visits, including the use of a warning and buzzer system. I set the timer and tell him that when it goes off it's time to go potty. He's been good about it. Today, the oven timer went off for dinner and he ran through the kitchen yelling, "Potty time." It's a start.
Thing 3: The pregnancy is going well so far. On my last midwife visit, on Christmas Eve no less, the baby's heart rate was 144 beats per minute and I was measuring right on schedule. I've finally started gaining weight ... um, 12 pounds in 6 weeks. (I blame the holidays.) But that still puts me only 8 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. This baby moves around more than Fiona did, but not nearly as much as Danny. The neat thing is that this one moves around when the kids or Jim talks to him/her. And Danny has felt the baby move and sometimes tells the baby not to kick me.
So that's the news from the Meehan monkey house. Stay tuned for photos of the closet ... I'll post some soon.