Friday, November 19, 2021

Week in Review: A Play, Pee Charts, Countdown to College Break, and a Husband Brag


Our high school put on The Diary of Anne Frank last weekend, and Andrew (age 17) was in it!

Ok fine, it was only a Voice-over role, but it was a step up (or maybe down) from playing a dead body in Arsenic and Old Lace in 2019.  If there's a way to be in a play without reeeeeallllly being in a play, Andrew is all over that role.


Ok I need some mom advice.  Embarrasing because you'd think I would know what I'm doing at this point in motherhood, but God keeps me humble by giving me special children.  Brendan is five and the best little guy in the whole world but he just can not stop wetting his pullup at night.  He gets sad about it and makes his own "Pee Charts" to try and motivate his bladder, but he physically can not seem to wake up enough to know he has to go to the bathroom.  Brendan is such a momma's boy and wants to please me above anything else in life, and so I don't want him to feel like he's letting me down, but look what he wrote:

"Brendan's Pee Chart.  If I don't pee 10 times my mom will be :)"

How sweet is he?  And how can I help him?  Advice please!


Declan's soccer team had a pizza and pool party to end their season.  Declan (age 7) has really turned the corner with his confidence in soccer and it showed on the field this year.  Young mom Colleen would say that we might have a college superstar on our hands, but old mom Colleen knows that our kids usually peak in 8th grade :)

Whatever God wants (but please God let them all be able to afford college somehow!)


Speaking of college, I miss my oldest so much that it hurts my heart everyday.  I asked another mom who has three kids in college how she handles having them gone, and she said it never gets easier and it's just terrible, and I totally feel the same way.  It's like a piece of my heart is just walking around Ohio and HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE LIKE THIS??  

BUT he is loving Franciscan and the whole college experience and he comes home soon for Thanksgiving break (which will be 3 months since we've seen him!!)  Here's our text exchange yesterday:

I can't wait to cook JP all the things and smoosh his face all day.


Can I just brag about my husband for a second?  

He is constantly giving of himself, his time and his talents and yesterday was the perfect example.  

He is the Theology Dept. Chair at the high school (and has 2.5 Masters degrees - ha!) and because of this, he gets asked all the time to help out in various ways in our Diocese.  In addition to teaching, he has been the DRE at our old parish for years, then ran the Middle School Youth Group at our new parish for a couple years, started and directed a summer camp at our kids' Catholic elementary school for five years before the pandemic stopped it, given talks at our parish and others, and been involved in committees in the Diocese.  

Just yesterday, he went to teach his seniors as normal, and had to leave for a Diocesan meeting with Fr. Spitzer about implementing a new curriculum, then went back to teaching.  At the end of the school day, he helped out at the monthly middle school youth group meeting at the kids school, then came home and prepared couples for marriage through an online Marriage Prep course, and then taught an RCIA class for an hour and a half via zoom at night.  He's also recently been recruited to be on a Diocesan team to create and implement Mens Groups in our parishes.

Phil does all of these things voluntarily and without complaint and nobody even knows...until now... because I think he's great and deserves some credit in this world even though he does it for credit in the next.  Sorry Phil, I know you're completely embarrassed right now but I love you!


Phil and I started watching this and it's scary but not too scary so far...anybody else watching?


Today my cutie patootie parents are picking me up from work to take me out to lunch and I am so looking forward to it.  Cherish every moment :)

I hope you all have wonderful Thanksgiving prepping, football watching, leaves raking, going-out-to-lunch kinda weekend!


  1. Using a pee alarm (not the technical term ;-) ) from Amazon were what solved our problems around here. Some of my kids could not learn to wake up in the night without it. But it takes 1-2 weeks to start working for some kids. And they may not wake up on there own at first so you may want to use a baby monitor or sleep in the room with them for the first week or so. We also use the big bed pads on Amazon especially when they are weaning off the alarm just in case. Did wonders for us!

  2. Two of my kids struggled with night wetting and to be honest, it was really difficult at times. We tried all sorts of different things including consulting with specialists. Honestly the answer is simple - it stops when their bodies are ready and sadly for some kids this is just much later. It is not anything the child is doing wrong. I wish there was an easier answer!

    1. One of my 3 boys struggled--he was so embarrassed. The funny thing is that he had potty-trained really easily and really early, but nights, his body just couldn't manage. Once I realized how common it was, I stopped stressing about it or making an issue of it. I taught him to help with the sheets, to toss his pull up, and then we just waited. I think he was 6 or 7 when he finally stayed dry at night.

    2. One of my 3 boys struggled--he was so embarrassed. Once I realized how common it was, I stopped stressing about it or making an issue of it. I taught him to help with the sheets, to toss his pull up, and then we just waited. I think he was 6 or 7 when he finally stayed dry at night.

  3. Phil is such a gift to your community as well as you and your family! How grateful he must be that you recognize it! So glad JP will be home soon!

  4. I feel like five is still really young. Maybe try the pee alarm, but otherwise, I think you can stop stressing about it for another 2-3 years.
    While I miss my oldest at college, I find I'm so busy that my days are going by at their usual breakneck pace, even though she's not here. I don't have a lot of time to miss her-does that make sense? And over the last few years, between her classes, fencing, and work, I hardly saw her anyway. So while I miss her, I feel her absence less than I did the first couple weeks after she left. But I am looking forward to seeing her in less than a week, even if it's for a short visit. I think it will be harder once Byron goes off next year and I have two missing. I anticipate him texting/Facetiming less than Addie so that will probably make it harder.

  5. Dittos on the "letting it be." My grandson at nearly six went from wet pullups every night to none, literally overnight. At the same time his 3 yr old brother had no issues at all. It is what it is and will pass.

  6. I have had 2 sons for whom nighttime accidents were common - one until 5 yrs and one until 7.5 yrs. It usually didn't matter what they ate or drank, if they went to the bathroom right before bed or not. I generally just did a lot of wash, and let them take the lead if they wanted night time underwear or not. Sometimes it just takes a while for the body to send the right signals. I'd not worry about it for now. Tell him his body just isn't sending the right signals yet and it'll get better.
    (My daughter with DS still wears a night time underwear at 9 yrs old - she is also completely random about staying dry or not. Usually if I can get her to go to the bathroom right before bed, she stays dry, but not always! However, my daughter is also at risk for sleep apnea, which can have bed wetting as a side effect. So we're getting that checked out.)

  7. The bed wetting is common, and most likely just a case of his body needing to catch up. Most doctors don't even consider it to be an issue until after the child is 7. Don't make a big deal out of it. Provide support and encouragement. I think the chart will maybe be a step in the wrong direction, as he's putting too much pressure on himself. He's setting himself up for failure in something he has no control over.

  8. Sadly I have nothing to report for helpfulness other than making sure he’s not constipated (which they can be even with apparent “normal” bathroom habits.) I have 3 boys who cannot stay dry at night, ages 11😱9 and 6, and we’ve done all the specialists and tried all the alarms and routines. The urologists they’ve seen have all given the same prescription: time. (And making sure their little colons aren’t distended and pushing on their bladder by doing a weekend miralax + Gatorade clean out. Not fun, but resets them to baseline empty so you can rule out that factor. My almost 8 and almost 4 year old daughters have both been night dry from the advent of potty training. Poor boys … when asked if we’re saving for college, I say we will reallocate those funds from the pull-up account one day 😂😭

    1. Miralax stirs really well into apple juice as well. (I have a kid with a blockage that we are trying to clean out.)

  9. I agree with most comments here....time and a couple more years for your sweet lil' boy. My boys were great about night time dryness but daughter, oh my gosh. I think till the end of 2nd grade. Just a deep deep sleeper. Still is at age 29. But suddenly age 7, just like her bladder caught up. I know it's not easy but just plan on pull ups and tell him his bladder needs to grow a couple more sizes. His chart is adorable but I hate that it might make him feel bad when he fails. You are a super mom.....

    And missing that college son....It's hard, so hard, but it does get a lil easier month to month. Thank goodness for silly texts and facetime and Zoom.
    Your husband is inspiring. You are indeed blessed.

  10. Fr.Spitzer is a rockstar, I'm a big fan! Thanks be to God for men like Phil.

  11. So, 5 years old is a little on the young side to worry. On the other hand, he really wants it and seems motivated so you could run with that. Of my 4 children, 2 struggled with this problem. All the advice to not make a big deal of it and time will help are true. It's comforting to know that you're not alone, and maybe he needs to hear this, too? My daughter starting taking a medication and it's been working since she was 12. My son had success using a program called TheraPee, which involves an alarmed pad underneath the sheets that senses wetness. I had done my research about it, and at first my son was not interested, probably around age 7 or 8. Over the years, I would worry that wearing a pull up was part of the problem, and yet I really didn't want to be up changing sheets all night long. Once spring 2020 came along and we had no place to go, we revisited the idea of trying an alarm program. This time, my son was on board; he was almost 10 years old. We also decided that the $150 for the online program in addition to the alarm was worth it. (I think it was eligible for flexible spending account money, too.) Anyway, the program did work. It was not always easy. You begin with watching a video with your child where the doctor who designed the program explains to the child why he wets the bed and it's ok, and how it can be changed. Every few weeks, there is another video check in with the doctor which is encouraging. All the while, you and the child are keeping track in the program's online calendar of all of his progress. You track how many times a night he wets, wakes up himself or if the alarm woke him, etc. Anytime he is dry he places a star. The video is geared toward the data collected. I was shocked at how motivating those stars were to my son! (He was also very, very sad and it broke my heart how dejected he was on the days when we had to chart a wet night. He started praying about it at bedtime. Oh my!) After about 3-4 weeks, he really started to hit his stride and would have more and more dry nights in a row! By three months, he was officially "cured" although he still had some random accident nights when he would be up late for sports last spring and drink extra water before bed. Some of the concerns I had were about the alarm waking up the whole house since it is so loud, and changing sheets all night long. First of all, the alarm IS very loud, but much like having a baby in the house, other kids have an amazing ability to ignore it all. Smart kids! As for the sheets, we layered an extra set of mattress protector and sheets underneath so that if he wet the bed, all we had to do was strip the wet ones off and the new set was already there. I was shocked that at the very beginning, sometimes the alarm went off several times a night. The pull up had been fooling me that he was just wetting once a night, and if I could only figure out the "sweet" spot when to wake him up, I could cure him myself. That never worked, but TheraPee did. Good luck to you!

  12. Re: no 2. I don't have any advice besides the alarm and giving it time but I hope in the meantime Brendan isn't too hard on himself and knows it isn't his fault

  13. I wet the bed from the ages of 8 to 13, it was embarrassing. For me the triggers seemed to be constipation and anxiety.

  14. Poor Brendan. I can't offer any advice, because mine never went through that. I'd have to guess that it is not his fault but his body just can't wake up enough yet. It'll happen.

    Your Phil is a superstar. He is one devoted man. Great that you can see how needed he is and how willing you are to share him.

    College costs. Yikes. It is so much. Scholarships abound though. Ed is a junior and still applying for and getting small scholarships.

    I do really enjoy having my college kids at home. I miss them, but I have to say that I've adjusted. I know they are so happy at school and doing their 'thing'. I do tend to make the kinds of meals that I know they will love. Ed has the world's best chef in his fraternity house, so he often sends up bragging photos. I've seen both of my college boys this fall and they will both be home for Thanksgiving. Next year three will be away at college. Bracing for that.


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