Thursday, September 30, 2010

Toilet Training From 1966

One of the magazines Dave found in our floor was a parenting magazine from the 60's (Your New Baby). This, I thought, would be loads of fun to read and see what they had to say. So, I will devote a few posts to different ideas from that time and magazine.

The first idea is as the title tells you, toilet training. I have to say, right away I was fan of this author.

"Contrary to many popular opinions, a baby is not capable of being toilet trained until he is about 18 to 21 months of age..."

The author believes that those children who use the toilet earlier than this are not trained but that the mother is trained. And since the mother is the one who has to remind the child and remember herself to put her child on the toilet it becomes a reflex for the child.

"He develops a conditioned reflex which makes him strain to empty his bladder or bowel every time he feels the ring of the toilet seat around his buttocks."

He goes on to express how unhealthy this is for the child because they no longer need to be responsible for knowing when they actually have to go to the washroom and thus soil and wet themselves when they are much older.

He claims that around 21 months you really should just have to tell your child about the toilet, let them try it out and they will likely be trained from that time on.

He also talk of how girls are easier to train because they only have to learn one bathroom position for both duties but also "girls wear dresses while boys wear pants." He also goes on to describe how winter is harder because boys have "training pants, long trousers with suspenders, an undershirt and a sweater to keep warm, he cannot possibly strip down fast enough by himself to do his duty."

Another opinion is that bed wetting should not be a worry until after the age of 4 since there are issues with weather and sweating. Apparently because a child sweats more in the summer they are less likely to wet the bed because they have less liquid in their system.

Now here is where I am very alarmed at his ideas. He mentions that you shouldn't try to potty train until your child has a regular bowl movement time. Im ok with that. However, then he said to help them understand doing their b.m in the toilet "use a daily soap or glycerine suppository for a few days to make sure that he will have his movement in the toilet."


That is just about it for the article. He suggests having a word for the duties (different for pee and poop but that are polite around company. "Perhaps you can come up with some dandy new ones. The important point is that both of you need to know what you are talking about."

I can just imagine:

Matthew do you need to go have a tulip? No? ok, do you need to do a rose? ya? ok lets go.

Ha ha ha!

Anyways, I dont find these ideas too different from today but I do love his language and his fervour.

" To me, it seems pretty small potatoes for a grown woman to boast that, by careful observation, she was able to learn that the baby evacuated at certani hours. That's not such an earth-shaking discovery is it?"

Oh, I love it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things You Find In A Floor

While Dave was demoing half the house he came across some interesting reading material. Look closely to see if you can pick out dates on some of these. If you dont look hard ill likely tell you anyways.

I love it. We have newpapers and catalogues from the 1920's and magazines from the 60's.

Those of you who know me must know that I am so excited about these dirty old things. I just cant wait to read some of the articles and stories and tell you all about them. I already have my first one chosen. It is a parenting magazine from the 60's. Are you holding your breath to learn all about what they have to teach?

Exhale, You'll have to wait for a future post for it. Hopefully that wont be too long in coming :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Tour For Future Comparison

I would like to give you a tour of a small part of our house as it is now. This way, when it is complete you can truly see just how much work was done. You can do a little compare and contrast.


This is what you see when you walk in our front entrance:Are you jealous? Not yet? Hmm, well hold on! This is just the beginning. eventually there will be a staircase in here and a powder room.

Watch the hole!
Here is the basement... or at least where there will be stairs to get into it.

Now, if you turn to your right we will move on with the tour. We wont be going upstairs since there are no stairs to climb just yet but I will have you take a look there in just a moment.
Dont just look right, go right in there. Eventually the doorway will be in the middle of the wall and there will be a mirrored door on your left as well. Move on please.

Here we have the Kitchen:
There isnt always a handsome man lying down on the job here. He is just watching a bambino while I keep him from his work to give you this tour!

This area will be an eating nook (where the ladder is), then a kitchen, then an island and then a dining room.

If you turn around you will see the living area (at least until the other half of the house is done. Then maybe this will be a formal dining room).
Now, look up. Yes, there really is something there. Not just some silly old ceiling.
You are now looking at the master bathroom and the walk in closet. There will be two windows there but they will be higher up and there will be walls... and a floor.

Now, look up the other way and you will see our bedroom.
And there you have it, folks. A royal tour for all of you fans out there of this little van der Meer family's house.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dave's Been Working Hard

Here is the barn which Dave has emptied and cleaned and has now parked our lawn tracter in there... You need a fancy toy for all our lawn.

Notice the dust in the air? Dave said that is when it is mostly settled. Crazy! This is apparently no longer there too.

Looking down from upstairs. No floor and no walls... who needs those anyways???

Here is the fire pit Dave has set up and made look nice. He has this fire going every day to burn as much of our garbage as he can.

Our basement. You can tell how old the house is since there is a stone wall foundation and the logs that hold up the floors are... logs!

Here is a partially full dumpster. It looks huge because... it is.

See? Its the same size as Dave's whole truck.

So, these are some pictures of past work. Dave will be taking some more tomorrow and apparently it has changed even more. Look forward to seeing it???

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

I decided to start reading another book on my list as I wait for my book on systematic theology to arrive and I have to say, it was a good choice.

It started at the end, and from there to the beginning I was unable to put the book down.

It is so well written. It is about an old man who has lost everyone and dies. He meets 5 people on his way to heaven who want to each teach him a lesson to bring meaning into his past life. It is not a christian book so the ideas are very different but it brought tears streaming down my face three different times. You love this old man and your heart breaks for him but in the end, it is beautiful.

Its been a while since my emotins got so wrapped up in a character. I strongly recommend this book, if you can seperate truth from fiction in terms of theology. Its imaginative and it is very hard to put down.

Monday, September 20, 2010

House of Horrors

I appologize for my lack of updating about the house. I went to visit it the other day and left feeling... terrified.

Dont get me wrong, I have complete faith in Dave's abilities. I just have trouble seeing beyond the stripped interior of our "house". Dave has half the house's enterior torn right down and you can see from the ground floor up to the roof. The house is so old that I also have this lingering fear that there will be hidden issues that will make things longer and more expensive.

Last night I had a dream, and it has made me uneasy since, that Dave was working in the house and something collapsed. He is at the house alone, no one would think to come check on him and if he went unconcious, how would I be able to know? Is he just not available or has something happened?

Anyways, I dont visit the house much yet since there is very little for me to do and no where for the boys and I to hang out but Dave has been taking pictures and I do plan on letting you have a peek at that which makes me shutter. Until then, this is my update.

Sorry its so brief and none- pictured!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Far Away Tree Collection

I have decided that I am no longer so gung ho about doing the book reading plan I had started because I took a break from one book I was reading (and not enjoying at all) and read a christian book. It was so wonderful to read. It refreshed me and it felt worth reading.

I dont want to feel like I cant read other books that are not on the list so I decided that I will just read the ones that interest me or that I have on my book shelf and in between them I will read others as well. I will just read what I want, when I want.

I did want to read this children's series:
It is a series of 3 stories about a magical tree in a magical forest and you can climb to the top and find a different world waiting there every week.

It is very fantastical and very simple. I started reading it and thought I would hate it just because the way the language is I felt like they were writing for stupid people. Then as the story developed I becgan to love it. The charaters are fun and different, the places are original and it was a very easy read.

I dont know how easily you can find a copy of these stories. I had never heard of them before and they are old and from England but if you can, they are fun to read. Or you can borrow them from me. If you have any kids, they would love reading them or having them read. Something I do like is they are written with "hidden" lessons in them. So the child who is selfish gets in trouble for being just that...
If you choose to read it, enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ode to Turning Two

Yesterday you turned two.

What a beautiful boy you are. You are always happy and mostly obedient and you seem to love life. I think of you as a baby and now as a two year old and I am amazed at how similar your temperment is in both stages. You happily take what you are given, you enjoy your surroundings and your temperment is one of contentment unless hungry.

Your favourite things in life at the moment are still balls. But we can now add cars and lego to that list as well. Marbels are a huge hit but I consider them balls.

You eat like a champ. I remember not so long ago having to take you to the doctors because you were not growing as quickly as the doctors wanted. You didnt eat much yet you never seemed unhappy. Now you eat whatever is presented to you and you are still small. It looks to me like you just play so hard the weight wont stay on.

You listen closely to me as we read and remember our catechism. Who made you? DOD! (God) what else did God make? efzing! (everything) why did He make everything? DORY! yes, for His glory.

You are a bright little boy, full of energy and craziness. Every room you leave, it appears a tornado has been there. Your little brother tries to follow you and enjoy your games but still isnt fast enough to keep up. Sometimes I like to peek in on you when you arent aware and I see you kiss your brother or stroke his back... You love him, even if somedays I cant get you to be kind to him at all.

You have begun to play with others. Its fun to watch you chase and be chased and giggle and copy all your little friends. You reason with Mommy and Daddy and you understand everything. You are stubborn in your own way. I see that your brother takes after you there too.

Two is an age that is a huge test for Mommy. You arent as obedient as you were and you love to test me and see just how much you can get away with. Thankfully, you are just so adorable that after a bad hour, there is such a refreshing hour that follows.

I love you so much. I praise God for you and thank Him for these two years. May He bless you with so many more years. Happy birthday baby.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


What was one this:

Became this:

And is now this:

And this:
is now this:

I think the torn down place looks even better than what it was at first. And how about that fantastic brick wall? If the bricks had been layed the right way we would be leaving it there for sure. Unfortunately they are turned on their sides. We may be able to recycle though. I really hope! The plan is to cut them and put up a wall elsewhere using them.

And it's a really great thing my dad loves to make fires because he spent the entire day yesterday burning up pieces of our dump.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Perseverance Pays

Pregnancy has been very unkind to my body. There are so many women who can carry their babies and simply put on 20 lbs and look amazing even with a full term belly. I, however, am not one of those ladies.

Pregnant with Matthew, I weight about 214 before he came. With Levi I was up to 220. Now, In the end I did gain less with Levi but the pit fall is that I never lost enough weight before I got pregnant again. And with bad eating habbits and extreme fatigue... well the scale numbers dont seem to suggest there is much hope for small numbers.

After having a chat with my sister, we decided to make a plan (3 weeks ago-we begin week 4 today). We decided to be extreme and cut back on sugar completely and really cut back on breads and pastas since they seem to be one of the worst foods for our bodies.

I started this challenge weighing 176lbs. And the weight began to come off pretty quickly. At one point I sat at 169 but refused to let myself get discouraged. Its a good thing when the body adjusts to a weight loss before losing more.

Yesterday and this morning I was 165! This is still a huge number for me but its coming off. I am eating well and still cheat by having Starbucks but I usually have to walk for it to get it.

Today I went on a walk with the boys and when I got home I still had energy. I chased Matty around the yard and felt so happy and light hearted... I think the 11 pounds I have lost have been enough to raise my energy level and my joy.

I know it sounds odd, or maybe it doesnt, but it seems like changing my eating has brought me out of depression. Today was and is such a good day. I dont know if I have felt this normal since before Matty was born.

I have learned with my diet changes that I think I might have an intolerance to gluten or some kind. Having not had much of it for 3 weeks, I sat down and had a small serving of whole wheat pasta with my parents and within a few hours I felt horrible. My stomach was killing me all evening until I fell asleep. It happened another day too when I cheated and had a tiny serving of kraft dinner (really crappy, I know. Yet who can relaly say no?). I was sick about an hour later.

Anyways, I'm happy, healthy and motivated to keeping working hard at this diet. With a walk everyday the pounds come off a little faster and I feel happier having been out. I pray I can continue in this way and be disciplined. Today and yesterday I have been desperate for a cookie or chocolate but so far I have resisted. Usually trail mix or some yogurt helps the craving pass.

11 lbs down, about 20 more to go before I even think to getting to my normal weight or 135. I CAN DO IT!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Mini Party with Friends

The boys and I headed to tante Nessa's house on Friday for a much needed visit and she had a special treat up he sleeve for Matty.

They were unable to make it to Matty's party so Ness decided to have a bit of a party for him.

Yummy cupcakes!!!

Thanks guys. Matty is so spoiled and blessed!

Friday, September 3, 2010

We Got Keys

Welcome to our dump!

Flowers growing "randomly" in the middle of our acre of land! Im pretty sure there was once a beautiful garden and those flowers are just strong enough to survive the take over of the weeds and grass.

Like the mailbox up there, the rest of the house is really in bad shape. Although, that's what we were looking for.

Dave started to gut!
This used to be a kitchen! And Dave said that there are actually 4 walls, one over the other, over the other and not enough studs. He said he was amazed the house was still standing... at least this wall.

This was an entry way. It will be part of the main entrance once it's all opened up.

You can tell that there once was a tenant or owner who cared about this house because of a few little special touches.

See the bird house on the top of the barn?

And proof that there was a lovely garden once. Now it is an overgrown framed box. The property has beautiful trees (we have a weeping willow) and there are some rose bushes that are getting strangled. I hope to get there and do some yard clean up... just so I can be some help to our property.

This house has been a long time coming. I have refused to let myself get excited about it because it seemed like we would never get it. However, now that Dave is in there and tearing it apart... I really am getting quite excited. I still dont think I will spend much time out there at the moment. It stinks like animal and dirt... bla!!!

So begins my chronicalling of our home.