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2010-04-28 - 12:14 p.m.

Between my official blog and my other blog, Iím afraid I havenít had a ton of time to update this poor neglected space a lot lately. In fairness to myself, I am also organizing my taxes* to file this week and getting images ready to bring to the Tulip Festival**, plus I just had my first BodyPump class with the new music release last night, so Iíve had to spend quite a bit of time getting the choreography down pat.

This is on top of trying to organize a couple of things for my Dad: I do his quarterly GST and expenses tracking for his business, and I most recently did this last week, plus Iíve agreed to co-present a seminar on photography as part of the lecture series at his fancy-shmancy social club.

Enough about me: so whatís new in the world of my kids, you ask?

I donít mean to brag - oh okay, I totally mean to brag because I think people should brag about their kids - but Biscuit has pooped on the potty several times this past week! I freely admit this is as much about us getting trained to notice when he starts doing that red-faced, bug-eyed grunt and swooping in to spirit him off to the bathroom, chirping, ďAre you pooping? Would you like to go to the potty? Letís go to the potty!Ē but he does seem to stop pushing when we hustle off, and then start again once heís ensconced on his wee throne. And when I ask if heís finished and wants to get off and he doesnít think he his, heíll shake his head and start pushing some more until he does indeed believe he is done.

So, Iím saying he definitely gets the concept, but lest you marvel too much I should add that he has only once asked for the potty before it was obvious the urge was upon him. But itís a start and Iím ecstatic for that. His sister was trained to use the potty for solids even earlier - at around 20 months - but we had heard that boys take longer so we werenít really expecting much to happen in the potty department for a long time, and certainly not before he was two! Whoopee!!!

Biscuit is ridiculously articulate these days (her continuing bÍte noire is past tense, where she just sticks an ďedĒ on any an all verbs, even ones that are already past tense by nature; think ďgottedĒ). I have to confess though, I am at my witís end trying to figure out how to stop her from biting her nails. They are often chewed down to the quick. It used to be one or two nails, but now no finger is spared. I admit that Iíve gotten angry and tried taking toys away, not to return until a day goes by that she hasnít bitten her nails. Iíve tried rewards with the return of the toys, plus the occasional treat when she doesnít bite for a few days. Nothing seems to work. Itís very frustrating, plus it makes me think that maybe itís a sign of insecurity. Isnít nail biting a primarily nervous habit? And I really do want her to be a secure, confident girl.

Any suggestions on the right thing to do in this situation? I was never a nail-biter so I canít really relate.

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* Taxes this year are incredibly complicated: I have standard income forms from two different provinces because I live in Ontario and work in Quebec; I have rental income from our other house and all the paperwork that goes with the deductions there; I have receipts for the Home Renovation Tax Credit to track; I have employee expenses I can deduct as a fitness instructor at the gym; and I have all the tax ramifications of owning my own photography business to deal with.

** Theyíre ready to pick up at the printers today, but now I have to choose mats for each and have them cut, buy the frames, and assemble the final products.

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