He used the Potty!

Yep, my kid is 12 months old and he went potty all by himself (kind of) today.

We have had a little potty seat in our living room just for him ever since he was mobile at all. I wanted it to be a big part of his life- a normal but big part. He and Hula Girl climb all over it and use the foam part for a crown. He sits on it every now and then and has a good time.

He likes to watch the rest of his family members use the toilet. He will follow us in and say, “Peepee? Potty? Peepee? Potty?” He loves to help flush!

Today he was playing with his trucks in the living room with me when he started booking it toward his potty, saying, “Peepee! Peepee!”

I followed and took off his diaper. He climbed up on the potty and sat there, swinging his feet, and said, “Book?”

I got a book and started reading to him, and he sat there and WENT PEEPEE.

Then he got down, crawled toward the bathroom, and said, “Fush?”

I took the little bowl, emptied it, and he flushed. Then we washed his hands. And he went back to his trucks.

Sorry to devote a whole blog post to this, but WHOA.

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Another Sugery Update and 22 Months

Yep, I’m combining my Hula Girl topics here. Just want to play a little catch-up. I will be posting details about pregnancy and Gelato tomorrow, at 24 weeks.

Hula Girl seems to be doing well in general. She had a busy, busy week last week, including a few early wakeups in the mornings to get to appointments, shortish naps (and nights) due to overstimulation and overtiredness, and just a lot of stuff going on. It has been nice to be home since Monday, even though we miss Grammy and Grampy.

Her eye is actually still leaking, and not draining down through the duct. I know the ophthalmologist said that it could take a few days post-surgery to really see good results, and I guess the fluid is less sticky/profuse, but I am concerned that the duct was not completely unblocked. Worst case scenario would be that the duct will never be completely unblocked, and that we will just have to be very cautious and watch out for infections. We have seen much less bloody discharge from the eye (absolutely none today), so perhaps we’re on the positive side of the situation and I’m just being impatient.

One side effect of her previous week has been her penchant for sleeping this week. I could tell she was working up a sleep debt and that she was becoming overtired because her naps were generally shorter than usual, and her morning wakeups were up to an hour before her normal time. So we buckled down with early bedtimes and early naptimes, and we’ve really reaped some benefits from that during the past few days. She slept for a 3-hour nap on Sunday (not unheard of, but not her norm), then took a 3.5-hour nap Monday and Tuesday. She even fell asleep flat on her face on the floor during her independent playtime on Tuesday!!! Yesterday (Tuesday) when I woke her from her nap at 4:30, she was groggy and upset that I woke her up. So we did an early bedtime last night, and she actually slept in all the way to her waketime of 8:00 this morning.

Okay, that’s all the surgery update info I will have until our follow-up on Friday. So here’s stuff about her as a 22-month-old:

Potty Training and Early Waking: I have been wondering (and I will need to post this as a question on our Babywise Moms group) if she’s actually been waking earlier in the mornings due to potty issues. I know that the first and second mornings she woke an hour early, she had poopooed. I also know that she’s been waking dry from naps, and does NOT like to use her diaper. (After surgery on Friday, we got her home and she had not used her diaper at all- not even when under general anesthesia- but she went running to the potty as soon as her jammies and diaper were off.) I thought perhaps her early morning wakings were due to her needing to go potty but being aware that her diaper was her only option. Sure enough, when I got her out of her crib this morning at 8:00, her diaper was still dry. Um, yeah, my 22-month-old held her peepee all night. And, MAN, did she drink a lot yesterday. All her milk (16 oz total) plus at least 3 sippy cups of water (so around 30 oz). When I took her to the “big potty upstairs in [Hula Girl]’s bathroom,” she went for quite a while. Hm, I wonder if we need to transition to a big girl bed and put a potty in her room. Yikes.

“Terrible Twos”: Her personality is springy and bouncy and chipper and easy, like always. She has had some moments of “terrible twos” behavior, but those are easily overcome or quickly forgotten. She has been quite insistent on having some things exactly her way, but she’s learning that there is a balance between what Hula Girl wants and what Mommy wants, and Mommy’s desires often take precedence. For example, when we leave the house, Hula Girl sometimes doesn’t want to wear pants (or skirt or shorts) or undies, but Mommy insists.Aren’t Moms a pain sometimes? These moments are fleeting and, like I already said, quickly forgotten in our daily activities.

Eating Habits: Kid loves to eat. She will eat a variety of foods, but her absolute favorites are grapefruits (“day-doopssss”), oranges (“oh-wees”), and frozen corn (“woh-wee norn”). I have found that sometime she won’t eat a particular food that she liked yesterday, and in that case I can just offer it in a slightly different arrangement or style, and she’ll eat it up (hence her recent passion for frozen corn). She has not been into eating meat lately (I’ve heard this is pretty common with toddlers), so I have been working to provide protein in other things, like tofu bites (sick, but cover them in ketchup, and she devours them), beans, cheese, and smoothies (she won’t eat yogurt right now, but she’ll slurp down a smoothie like no one’s business). Occasionally she’ll try a bite of something, make a face, take it out, and put it to the side. This is fine. She is allowed to put any food to the side, and we don’t fuss over it at all. I have seen a lot of foods that were on the sidelines make their way back into the favorites category, and vice-versa. I figure we’ll just go with what her tastebuds are telling her, as long as we just keep offering healthful foods. It’s not like she spits out a strawberry in favor of a cookie. She has never had that option. But she might spit out a piece of zucchini in favor of a tomato. Meh, oh well! We ARE teaching her to say, “No, thank you,” when she takes food out of her mouth.

Growth: Our recent doctor’s office visits have given us a clue about her growth- she weighs 28 pounds and is 33 inches tall. I just used the Baby Growth Percentile Calculator on Babycenter, and discovered that she’s finally not so tall! She’s in the 25-50th percentile for height and 50-75th percentile for weight. That said, my mom and I were noticing just last week how much she’s thinning out. She’s still got muscles like Arnold in her calves, thighs, and buttocks, but her waistline is trim and she’s losing a bit of her baby fat elsewhere. Her torso is quite long (like her Daddy’s), so she’s wearing size 24 months – 3T shirts, while her legs are somewhat short (again, like her Daddy’s), so she’s able to wear size 18-24 months pants/shorts. Silly.

Interests: Hula Girl is interested in anything that equals movement, noise, or boisterousness. She loves climbing, jumping, dancing, balancing, rolling, somersaulting, shrieking, running, bouncing, crawling, slithering, scaling, tumbling, tickling, and tackling. She wants to sing every song she knows and do the motions all day long, especially at mealtimes and in the car. She loves to learn new signs and try them out at random times throughout the day (often she’ll sign things to Jonathan during bathtime and he’ll bring her to her bedroom utterly confused and ask me what she’s trying to say. (“Oh, she’s saying, ‘cloud!'”) Hula Girl also has a passion for books. She loooooves to read and to be read to. Her latest thing is to choose her own stories at bedtime, so she’ll flip through her nursery rhyme book, “No… no….no.. YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!”

Sayings and Vocalizations: This girl has been on a roll with language lately. She is getting more and more precise and eloquent. My mom got her to repeat a 20-word sentence the other day. It’s funny to hear her trying to repeat a sentence. She’ll say the last part first, and then remember there was more, backtrack, and say the full sentence. For example, I could tell her, “Tell Daddy, ‘You’re the best daddy in the world and I love you!'” She would then run to him and say, “Daddy love you…. Best daddy in the world and I love you!” (That is modified speech- hers would really come out like, “Daddy wuh you… Beh daddy inee woh in I wuh you!”)

Along with repeating sentences, she’s been saying things that echo my common phrases a lot lately. Just yesterday and this morning, in fact, she has uttered, “Okay! Okay! Okay!” using the same intonation that I frequently use. I found myself doing it all throughout the day since my attention was drawn, and I sure do say, “Okay!” a lot! She also threw herself down in her crib and said, “Oh my goodness!” (“Oh my neh-ness!”)… too funny.

Hula Girl has also started taking what I say to her and applying it to other children, animals, and inanimate objects. For example, when we apply her Orajel to her gums, we remind her, “No biting!” Yesterday we went out back and found a hill of fire ants. I told her not to get too close to them because they might bite. She said, “No biting, ants!” (“No bibeen, ahn!”) She has also been wanting me to hold/rock her stuffed animals and baby dolls in my arms while singing “Rockabye Baby”… then she will go in another room and do the same. Her version of “Rockabye Baby” is very cute, yet difficult to decipher- “Ock a bye baby inee tee bop/inee win boh dadoh wock/inee bow ake dadoh wah/nown mum baby dadoh in ahh.”

Her favorite bedtime (and naptime) routine has become telling Mommy and Daddy, “Sleep well,” a ridiculous number of times each night. She has to be the last one to say it, and she continues saying it as we shut the door and walk down the hallway. “Sleep well, Mommy, sleep well, Daddy! Sleep well, Daddy Mommy, sleep well, Mommy Daddy!” She’s actually quite good at saying “sleep well” very clearly. No subtitles needed!

 

 

Whew, I think that about covers my little Hula Girl for now. I will keep adding more when I think of it.

Another Potty Post…

…and hopefully the last for a while!

Hula Girl has been doing an awesome job with the potty. She is still unable (and unwilling to learn) to pull her undies up and down on her own, so she spends a lot of time bare-bottomed. But that’s okay. We’re heading into summer, and I don’t mind that cutie little tushy roaming around the house.

Haha, there is one time she actually requests to put on her undies- when she goes down her slide. Otherwise her little cheeks and thighs just stick to the slide and she can’t go down without a screech like nails on a chalkboard. Too funny.

However, there was one last hurdle we had left to deal with. Roomtime.

For those of you who are unaware of the concept of roomtime, here’s a little breakdown. Roomtime is a set time each day during which Hula Girl spends time alone in her room. She plays with her toys, she listens to music, and I frequently (every time) find her reading books when I come up to get her.

The purpose of roomtime is manifold. First, it teaches boundaries. I put out specific toys and books for Hula Girl and she plays with those only. She is not allowed to ransack her room (or her dresser drawers). Second, it teaches focusing skills. Because I set out a limited number of toys, Hula Girl has to make the best of it. She can’t flit from toy to toy, growing bored. Third, it gives Mommy a break. No explanation needed on that one. Fourth, and to Hula Girl’s great relief, it offers a set time during the day during which Hula Girl is free to think for herself and spend her time as she pleases. She can choose to play with the toys I’ve chosen for her. She can choose to read books. Heck, she can even choose to lay down on the floor and take a nap (and yes, she chooses to do this occasionally). But there is no one there telling her what to do, or how to use this toy, or what that picture is. Her imagination is free to roam, and she can talk to herself or her toys and process through emotions, ideas, new words, or whatever, without fear of being judged. Because, even though I’m a stellar mom who should win the World’s Best Mom award daily (ha!), I still can’t get through a day without judging her. Meaning, I tell her if what she’s doing is right or wrong. Who wants that all day long?! Yay, roomtime.

Ahem, back to the potty training hurdle- roomtime.

Because roomtime means 30 minutes of unsupervised (I do listen over the monitor) time in her room twice every day, I was afraid to leave Hula Girl in there alone with her potty at such a young age. I have heard horror stories of kids who have decided to play with their poopoo and smear it all over everything. Also, the one and only time I tried it prior to resorting to diapers during roomtime, we ended up with a poopoo trail across the room. She had started to go on the potty, but got excited to tell me about it, and ran across the room to knock on the door to get me to come in. So…. poopoo trail.

For the past month and a half, I have just put her in a diaper during roomtime. But then we hit a couple snags.

First, she stopped going peepee in the diaper and would only use it for poopoo. Then, she’d be bursting to go peepee by the time we got downstairs. I thought it might be kind of unhealthy for her to hold all that peepee (it is a LOT by that time) for the potty.

Then, her regular diapers started giving her a bad rash. We have switched around and tried three different brands since (including just using her ULTRA stinky cloth ones), but everything I put on her has given a rash. (Interestingly enough, her nighttime diapers do NOT give her a rash. So weird.)

So for the sake of her bladder and her skin, I opted for bare-bottomed, potty-in-room roomtime today. And do you know what she did!?

My crazy amazing girl went poopoo and peepee in the potty, and left it alone until I came back for her. No mess, no fuss. Perfection on try #1. This girl blows me away.

Of course we celebrated by having a “special treat” of 2 chocolate chips. Then we called Grammy, Ama, and Daddy to share the excitement. All of them were  impressed, as they should be. They know what a big step this is for us.

I want to take a moment to note that I do not (consciously) expect perfection from my daughter. She is, however, a very sensitive girl who is compassionate like none I have ever seen toward other children and who can’t stand to see anyone (including herself) fail. If she sees another child fall down, she reacts with sorrow, “Oh, nooooooo!” If she sees me make a face, she’ll ask, “Mommy cry?” I have said it before, and we see it more and more, she is sensitive. I think this quality in her causes her to hold back until she’s sure she can do something before she tries it. She is also a quick learner, which means that she can try (and succeed) at almost anything very soon after observing it or thinking it or being asked to do it. Just thought I’d clarify so that people don’t think I push her too hard. In fact, I rarely push her at all, except when it comes to table manners. Boy, oh boy, does she need some help with her table manners… but that’s another post.

 

Hiatus Over (It’s a Long One!)

As pointed out today by Chelsea, I have not blogged in a while. Funny thing about pregnancy brain is that I really truly thought I hadn’t blogged in 3 days. But then I realized it’s actually been two weeks. Oops. Guess I’m a bit behind. I was napping some days, but other days I was reading a book series. Now I’m reading The Help just because I’ve heard it’s good. Yes, reading frequently distracts me from other things in life, like this blog.

Let’s see… what have we been up to around here?

The weather has been absolutely fantastic for the past week. Punxsutawney Phil was wrong wrong wrong when it came to our outlook this spring. We definitely got maybe a couple extra weeks of winter, but we’re certainly in spring mode now. All week long the temperatures have been in the 70s and  the skies have been sunny and cloud-free. It’s even been less windy- dare I say mildly breezy- all week long. Hula Girl and I have been taking advantage of this weather and we’ve been on the go!

Monday was our trip to the YMCA, where Hula Girl splashes around in the Pirate Pool. Unfortunately the Pirate Pool was closed. I think they replaced all the water in the pool and the water temperature was only 78°. Brrr. So we kicked around the big pool and the lazy river, but Hula Girl was very sad that she couldn’t run around and splash as she normally does.

Tuesday was storytime as usual. A funny thing that happened here was that Hula Girl and I got a chance to practice her obedience. We were headed out the door of the children’s section to the checkout machines. She started to run. I called her by name and said, “Come here.” She did not listen. So I got out the big guns. “Uh, oh.” Yes, it took those two little words spoken in an almost-singsong voice to get her to stop in her tracks and turn to face me. Then I said again, very firmly, “Come here.” She smiled, came running over to me, and hugged me. I knelt down to her level and said (whispered), “When mommy says, ‘Come,’ you come. Say, ‘Yes, Mommy.'” She said, “Ye-thhhh, MO-mmy!” Then we walked on, holding hands. The librarian watching the whole scene smiled and said, “She’s so obedient!” Why yes, Ms. Librarian Lady, she is. Thank you for noticing. We’ve worked HARD to keep her that way!

Wednesday was our hang-around-the-house day. Hula Girl woke up Wednesday morning with a runny nose. She had also woken up numerous times in the night just kind of whining. Great, she’s sick, I thought. I was quite disappointed. We played outside a bit and played inside a lot (with the windows open). I put her down for her nap early, and lo and behold, she slept for… 1 hour, tops. Greeeeaaaat… I will say that Wednesday provided me one of the more pleasurable experiences in my week. When I put Hula Girl down for her nap that day, I put on a swimsuit, slathered myself in sunscreen, and laid out on my balcony overlooking the reservoir and read a book. Those of you who know me in person are thinking, How long did that last?! Yes, it was totally unlike me, and I will rarely do it. But it seemed like a great idea at the time. And I’m pretty sure I got some good vitamin D. After all, I was using the horrible sunscreen left over from last summer. (I will try to find the post and link that one here soon.)

Thursday dawned and Hula Girl didn’t seem so sick after all. She only had a few whining sessions the previous night, and was silent after 10. No runny nose, just slight congestion. Therefore we deemed it necessary to have a visit from Grammy, who accompanied us to the park. Oh, the glorious sunshine.

Today we had another bum-around day but we also visited the playground at the elementary school near our house. Have I mentioned that schools around here are on a 4-day-a-week schedule? SO nice for their teachers, but really, how do the kids learn anything?! Their year is not very much longer than traditional school years. My neighbor tried explaining it to me one day by saying that her kids are in school longer each day. Based on the times she provided me, her kids are in school exactly 6 hours less each week than my students were when I was teaching. I can’t imagine teaching everything I taught with 6 hours per week less time to teach! So, maybe not so nice for their teachers. Hmmm… Anyway, we visited the playground here and Hula Girl got her kicks swinging and sliding and collecting rocks. Cool.

As far as generalities for Hula Girl go, she’s getting so much more grown-up these days. She’s talking much more clearly, she’s attempting to pronounce words accurately (hence the Ye-thhhh, Mommy!), she’s able to name and identify all her colors. We’ve been working on letters and numbers here and there, and her letter flashcards (index cards on which I wrote the letters of the alphabet in purple marker; high-tech stuff only in my house! lol) are her favorite possession. Of course, this morning she tried to wash the “o” and now it’s a blob. But she loves those flashcards. She has really been great about using the potty. We have had some accidents here and there, but we’ve cut out all rewards for going potty. She stopped asking for them, and I am not going to remind her. 🙂 I think her new reward is getting to wash her hands. She would spend hours standing on her step stool in the bathroom, washing her hands and toys, if I let her. Sometimes I turn on the water in there (she can’t reach the faucet- just the water stream) and tell her to wash her hands because I need a few kid-free minutes in the kitchen. She’ll poke her little head out the door and say, “Hi, Mommy! Wah-ans!” (Wash hands!). She’s really quite proud of herself. And let’s face it, water’s fun.

My pregnancy is going well. Yesterday marked 20 weeks. So, halfway there… or MORE than halfway if I get my way. I’d like to deliver a week early this time. Hula Girl was induced on her due date and arrived one day late. I want to feel what it’s like to actually go into labor. I’m doing some research on natural birthing methods. I’m not sure I could actually handle it all-natural (I mean, that epidural really made things easy last time), but I kind of like the idea of at least going through most of labor in an upright position (unlike last time, when I was forced to lay on my left side for 14 hours straight). Actually, now that I’ve written the last two sentences, I think I will just do a separate post on that topic once I have done more research and have more to say about it.

As far as the pregnancy goes, some fun things have been happening. I had already been feeling Gelato moving around in there for a few weeks, but now Jonathan has been able to feel it from the outside. And today as I have been sitting here writing this post, I have actually seen my stomach move a few times when Gelato’s given a particularly hard twitch. None of it actually hurts yet, so I know Gelato’s still quite little.  I actually threw up this morning out of the blue. I haven’t had nausea for weeks, but after gulping half of my glass of supercold water, I just had to do it. So weird. I felt fine afterward, so I just took it more slowly the next time around.

I have been having some aches and pains in my back and hips. I have also been hot. I am kind of not looking forward to our summer here, where it’s expected to be in the 90s and 100s every day from May to October. But my plan is still in place to laze around in the baby pool in the shade of the house every day while Hula Girl naps. Maybe the nice breeze/wind will help cool me off a bit, too.

Okay, I will be posting more frequently again. Pinky promise. Then you won’t have to read mountains of information all at once. 🙂

The Village People who live near Me!

Yep, you guessed it. We joined the YMCA. Before I let you in on all the details of Hula Girl’s and my first visit, let’s discuss the video that’s undoubtedly driving you crazy or making you bust a move right now.

First of all, nice outfits. Second of all, dude has a really nice voice if you really listen to it. Third of all, love the shot of the Empire State Building at the end of the video.

And that’s about all I have to say about that. Except this:

Okay, so our visit.

We left the house at about 9:00. Hula Girl had gone pee-pee just prior to leaving the house, so I thought we were golden. We arrived at the YMCA parking lot at 9:10. She had had an accident and wet through her only pair of pants for the day. Fortunately, I had some pants in the car left over from another trip… a few months ago. She wears a 2T or 24 months right now… but these pants were definitely 12 months. Heh. Lucky for her, she’s still got a skinny tushie, so I stripped off her wet pants and undies and stuck her in the silliest little highwater fleece pants imaginable. Poor kid.

When we arrived inside, she started saying, “Hi!” to everyone we saw. Literally, everyone. I got directions to the family locker room and then to the pool from there. This YMCA is big enough that we actually had to ask directions- it’s quite new and nice, but confusing all the same.

We changed in the family locker room (there are separate changing rooms where you can lock yourself in with your wriggly toddler so she doesn’t run around in the buff while telling everyone hi. Thanks, YMCA designers. I mean that.)

After changing, I took her out to the pool area, only to discover that we weren’t allowed in the big pool room, which houses the big pool, the wave pool, the lazy river, and the baby/toddler pool. The big pool was being used for a lesson, so apparently that means the toddler pool can’t be used. Boo. But not to be deterred, we just went in the therapy pool…with all the elderly citizens (a.k.a. “Village People”) of our fine city.

(Whoa, I totally JUST realized that “citizens” and “city” likely have the same root word. Greek or Latin? And yes, I am really interested in etymology.)

The old folks loved Hula Girl and her friendly disposition. She must have said hi to each of them at least 12 times. They thought she was the cutest thing on the entire planet*. Many of them launched into stories of their own grandchildren, which I listened to and laughed at the appropriate moments. I bet those kids really are that cute. But yes, my kid is cuter. Heh. Then one sweet old lady started talking about how she doesn’t have any of the little ones around anymore. Her youngest granddaughter is 23, and none of her grandchildren are married or close to having kids. She told me it’s great for the elderly to see young kids, because it brings back such hope and laughter. So, that was nice. I thought of my friend Kate, who just blogged today about visiting an elderly woman from her church, and how Kate’s kids love visiting just as much as the woman enjoys their visits!

*One nice thing about Hula Girl getting all the attention is the way I felt more comfortable with my oversized pregnancy body in a swimsuit. Yes, I did take Jonathan and Hula Girl shopping with me so I could get a maternity swimsuit. But still, I felt self-conscious. But the old people only really cared about Hula Girl and her supercute bikini. 🙂

So all in all, the therapy pool wasn’t that bad at all! The warm water definitely felt really nice. And Hula Girl didn’t even need her swim diaper- she waited until we got out of the pool to go “pee pee inee boppy.” Clever girl. And really, what 20-month-old can hold it that long in warm water?! Insane.

I am very excited to go back to the Y really soon. I want Hula Girl to check out the ChildWatch room. It looked like a lot of fun when we walked by! There were lots of kids running around and having a good time. I am also excited to get her in the baby/toddler pool since it has a “shipwreck” in the middle, complete with mini-waterslide and fountains!

Pregnancy Brain Much?

Those of you who know me in person know that I’m not always the most organized individual. For instance, I have a well-established track record of losing and then finding my debit card and driver’s license at least 7 times a year. For weeks, if not months, at a time. My propensity for losing things and/or critical information seems to be enhanced during my pregnancies. In fact just this last weekend I found my debit card which I had been looking for since the end of October. Fortunately (?) for me, it is a rare store clerk who will ask to see ID* any longer, and so I just take Jonathan’s card if I know I’ll be purchasing anything.

*Jamba Juice, however, always asks to see id, even if you’re using a debit card. They run it as a credit card, and apparently debit/credit card thieves like to quench their thirst on the way to the ATM to empty your savings account.

Now, I’ve done other dumb stuff during my pregnancies. Jonathan’s least favorite is when I completely forget everything he and I said in a conversation less than 10 minutes after said conversation occurred. Sometimes I’ll even tell him the same story 3 different times in one evening. Or I’ll totally forget that he asked me to do ________ that day, and when he asks about it, I will swear up and down and all around that he never asked me to do so. But I definitely believe him, and not me.

Well, this morning was no different than any other morning in my fuzzy foggy pregnancy land. I locked Hula Girl and myself out of the house. Completely. On purpose.

See, we went to visit my parents at the end of last week and stayed through the weekend. The fun part was that I surprised Jonathan by having my parents keep Hula Girl overnight on Thursday and through the day on Friday so that he and I could have a belated Valentine’s date Thursday evening and get to the OB/GYN’s office for Gelato’s monthly appointment early Friday morning. My mom decided that instead of moving the carseat from our car to her car, it would be easier to just trade cars. (Score! We got to use the heated seats on our Valentine’s date!) So I took my house key off my key ring, shoved it into a pocket in my bag, grabbed the garage door opener, and left. And since I had the garage door opener, I didn’t move the house key out of the bag pocket. No need.

Fast forward to this morning. House key still in bag pocket. I grab Hula Girl, her wagon, my cell phone, and my key ring, and head out the front door, making sure to lock it behind me. Then I went to place Hula Girl in the wagon and noticed that the front-facing seat was still wet from when I hosed it down yesterday, so I thought I’d dash into the garage to grab something to wipe it down with. Take out the keys…. and nothing useful. Car key? Check. Mom and Dad’s house key? Check. Uncle John’s house key**? Check. So I start freaking out and saying, “Oh, no… oh, no… oh, noo….,” and thinking of ways to break into our house.***

**For reference on why that is so ridiculous, my Uncle John lives in Orange County, California. And I haven’t used his house key since I stayed with him while I was in my senior year of college… five years ago.
***Certain former neighbors of mine will remember the day they had to help me break into our house last summer/fall. YES, I have always been this way. But YES again, I am blaming it on my pregnancy brain now. You can laugh all you want, but remember that if anyone gets blamed for any damage to that window screen, I couldn’t have done it alone.
Alas, I came up totally empty-handed (or empty-brained) when it came to solving this issue without husband-intervention. So, I called him up at work, which I have never done before since his boss scares me, and asked him to please come rescue us at his earliest convenience. But if his earliest convenience isn’t right now, then I’d like him to come right now.
See, here’s the kicker: Hula Girl was out there in her undies and fleece pants, with no diapers or extra undies or any way of getting comfortable in the event of an accident. I can just imagine the conversation at the Mommy meet-up: “Oh, yes, potty training was going so well until I took her outside and her pants froze to her bottom. She was kind of reluctant after that…”
Fortunately weweredressed for the (windy, cold) weather. And I had intended to take Hula Girl on a wagon ride around the block to get some exercise. Apparently the OB/GYN doesn’t think chasing after a 20-month-old is enough exercise… remind me to deal with that one in another post. So we got TWO laps around the block, which is more exercise than I thought it’d be. And then Jonathan saved our lives.
Unfortunately I don’t see this problem going away any time soon… until August at least. (And those who know me really well will likely agree with me when I say that this problem might be a lifelong issue that will never be resolved..) In the meantime, do any of you have tips/tricks to help keep your brain intact during these troublesome months? Much appreciated.
After a preview, it has come to my attention that my post has really weird spacing issues happening today, occurring around things in italics. So yes, I did mean to put spaces there… they’re typed in and everything. It’s just displaying weird.
And I still haven’t put the key back on the ring! I just realized it! Someone please facebook me at around 9:30 tonight and remind me to replace the key on the ring!

And… we’ve got Poo-poo!

Okay, sorry, but I am really excited about this one.

Hula Girl’s potty training has been going pretty well. Over the past week or so, I’ve had to put her back in a diaper for long car trips, doctor visits, and other things. I have not enjoyed putting her in diapers, and neither has she. She even told me when she had gone pee-pee or poo-poo in her diaper, just because she didn’t like it at.all. But now that we’re home for a while and back to our normal routine, we’ll be full-on undies folks (except for naps and nighttime sleep).

The marshmallows don’t really seem to give Hula Girl that special buzz any longer, so when we were at my parents’ house, my mom started giving her animal crackers. Those were a hit! But then Hula Girl stopped using the potty altogether and threw a major tantrum when I asked her to “try” before we left for church on Sunday. Seriously, 20 minutes of screaming.

I am 100% dedicated to keeping our potty training as happy and easy as possible. I refuse to get into a power struggle with her over it. So, on Sunday, when I asked her to sit on the potty and “try,” I did put her on the potty for about 3 seconds, and then held her in my arms while she screamed and cried and begged for me to put her down. I did not respond, I didn’t let anything show on my face, and I didn’t let Jonathan enter the room. But guess what? She still sat on the potty (which I praised her for), and I won. Immediately after she calmed down a bit (but while still crying), I put her down and got her dressed for church. She even helped a lot by lifting her feet to put her legs through her pants and pushing her arms through the sleeves of her shirt. She was sad but cooperative. I’ll take it.

So far today she has not wanted to sit on the potty to pee-pee. She held it for about 2.5 hours this morning before having an accident. But she did have an accident. She got a natural consequence since she soaked her high chair and we had to switch to her booster. She LOVES her high chair still, but agreed that it would be nicer to sit on a dry chair. I reminded her to go in the potty when she needs to go, and she said, “Yeah!” So I am hoping that next time she needs to go (and is not in a diaper for nap), she’ll remember to use the potty.

But even with all that regression, we had a major breakthrough today! She actually ran to the potty, sat down, and pooped! She was so proud of herself! And I was overjoyed as well! We called her Grammy and Jonathan, who both congratulated her while she bounced up and down and ate a large Christmas tree Peep I had left over from Christmas. (Hey, it was all I had in the house except marshmallows, and she doesn’t even like those anymore, and I had to give her something EXTRA big for going poo-poo in the potty! This is a significant accomplishment!) She went poo-poo in the potty twice this morning before we left for grocery shopping, and I am thrilled!

So, all in all, we’re in remedial pee-pee training but advancing in the poop department. Here’s the plan for the next few days:

  1. I will be visiting Target this evening after Hula Girl goes to bed to pick up some of the thick cotton training panties that will absorb a little more urine in the case of an accident. (Her undies do nothing to stop the flow, and she floods the floor when she goes.) She’ll wear these thicker undies when we leave the house.
  2. We will continue in just undies at home for the next week or so. I am hoping to teach her how to pull down her undies unassisted in this time. She can get them down to the middle of her thighs, but hasn’t quite figured out how to bend over to pull them the rest of the way down. I think once this step is accomplished, nothing will stop her!
  3. We will continue rewarding for pee-pee or poo-poo in the potty. We’ve switched to chocolate Bunny Grahams (she picked these at the store this morning) since the marshmallows weren’t cutting it anymore. I actually like using these better than using marshmallows anyway. Less sticky handprints! If Bunny Grahams lose their appeal, I have planned to try mini M&Ms, and if those don’t work, we’re going to a sticker chart with a dollar store toy as a reward. (It’s good to have your bases covered, right?)
  4. I will also be reinstituting clean and dry “checks” (with rewards) since I feel like some of her refusal to use the potty is a power thing. If I am rewarding her just before asking her to “try,” there will be less of a struggle. Plus if I keep her reward fresh in her memory, she’ll have more motivation to earn her rewards. I plan to do these checks at the normal times we’ll be using the potty. For example, before and after meals, before leaving the house, upon returning, and between different activities. I won’t be doing them every 20 minutes any longer, since she doesn’t need to go that often.

And… that’s the plan. I am working hard to focus on the positives (poop!) rather than on the regressions. If I keep a good attitude and don’t give in to the temptation to just go back to diapers, I think we’ll be fully day-trained in another week or so.

Potty Training Day 2

So far today has been even better and more consistent than yesterday! Hula Girl has used the potty lots and lots. She still loves those ba-boh-bohs! It’s so funny to behold her squishy little bottom, red ring still imprinted on it from the last potty visit, running toward the potty as she cries, “Pee-pee inee boppy!” (Pee-pee in the potty!) Then, as soon as she goes, she declares, “Pee-pee inee boppy, Mommy!” and I rush over to look, and we jump up and down, then she carries the pot to the toilet, dumps it, and flushes it. Next, we wash her hands and finally, finally, she gets her marshmallow. On numerous occasions, she’ll stand there licking her marshmallow, and then she’ll say, “Nudda ba-boh-boh!” (Another marshmallow!) Then she’ll run back to the potty and squeeze out… you guessed it… 2 more drops. She’ll repeat that routine at least 8 times in a row.

I am really pleased to see that she’s stopping her playing to run to the potty. I am rarely conducting “checks” anymore- she is going before I get a chance to check her for dryness. I like the ownership she’s taken over this whole thing. She is proud to go potty, and happy to help clean up when she does. I was even brave enough to leave her for her independent playtime in her room with her potty today instead of putting her in a diaper. We practiced having her call me if she went pee pee or poo poo. So, I hear her over the monitor, “Poo-poo inee boppy, Mommy!” I run upstairs, open the door, and see a trail of poo poo across the room. She felt herself starting to go, then got up to run across the room and knock on the door to let me know she did it. I was so happy that she remembered to call me. We put the pieces in the potty and then I took care of the disposal. She was over IP by that point, though, so I stayed with her in her room for the rest of her “independent” playtime. I hope she does even better tomorrow!

Tomorrow we’re going to visit a play group for the first time. I am considering putting her in undies and bringing the potty and marshmallows and just letting her continue with training while we’re there. But I also know that she’s not super-good in new situations… so we might do a diaper. Actually, I just made up my own mind. Diaper it is. That would be too much for her to handle all at once, I think. I would just skip the play group but since it’s a new thing for us, and we’ve finally FOUND one to join, we really need to attend.

I’ll keep you posted!

(A Little Too Much) Potty Training Success!

I guess this post might be preemptive or something like that, but today is Day 1 of Operation: Get the First Kid Trained in Plenty of Time before #2  Arrives. And so far, Day 1 has been much better than I expected.

I first thought about potty training when Hula Girl was about 9/10 months old. I bought a potty chair and sat her on it occasionally, most of the time having a “success.” However, I wasn’t very stringent about it, and it kind of went along the wayside as we went on vacation, then we had summer, then we moved, then _____, then _____. Finally, she turned 18 months old and it started to freak me out because I had planned on doing early potty training, and the older she gets, the more likely it is that we’ll just call what we did “potty training” and I won’t be able to get my SUPER MOM BADGE for being ahead of the game.

So of course, at 20 months, I decided to just bite the bullet. I have heard that potty training is, like, the hardest thing ever and if you survive, you get a special all-expenses paid vacation to a child-free land where you can relax all day and drink pineapple-coconut smoothies and eat chocolate until your teeth fall out. No? That’s not true? Oh, well, at least I won’t have to change diapers a million times a day. (Actually, I don’t really mind changing diapers. It’s the hefting my big 28 pound toddler up onto the changing table or kneeling all the way down to the floor while pregnant that gets to me. My back is KILLING me at the end of each day. And I’m only 15 weeks in… I shudder to think what it would be like in May.)

Anywho, I’ve read a lot of research and looked up plenty of methods. But the one that made the most sense to me is the way my mom trained me. Some would call it “bribing” but I like to refer to it as providing positive reinforcement for desired behaviors. And let me tell you what- it works too well. Allow me to explain what we’ve done so far.

We went yesterday and purchased some mini colored marshmallows. I did a practice run yesterday afternoon, where I put her in undies for 30 minutes, and checked her to see if she was clean and dry about every 5 minutes. When I found that she was, in fact, clean and dry, she got a marshmallow. She fell in love with them at first taste. She’s never had candy before, after all.

Here’s what happened this morning:

7:30 go get my bright cheerful girl out of the crib, strip her down, and plop her on the potty, reminding her that if she goes pee-pee, she gets a marshmallow

7:45 arrive downstairs, do a “check”, hand her a marshmallow, and put her on the potty for 5 minutes, praising her for staying on the potty until the timer beeps

8:00, 8:15, 8:30 conduct another “check”, hand out a marshmallow, try again for 5 minutes

By 8:30 I started to wonder if she’d ever need to relieve herself. She’d been up over an hour… and still… nothing…

8:45 she peed while sitting in her booster seat eating breakfast. changed undies, moved on with the day.

9:00 conduct another “check”, hand out a marshmallow, try again for 5 minutes

9:30 conduct another “check”, hand out a marshmallow, put her on the potty and… VOILA! 2 drops of pee-pee in the potty! happy dance! yay! hooray! now let’s take the potty to the bathroom and put the pee-pee in the toilet. then flush, wash hands, and MARSHMALLOW TIME!

9:36 Hula Girl informs me she has gone pee-pee. she indeed has another 2 drops waiting to be flushed. MARSHMALLOW TIME!

9:42 Hula Girl informs me she has gone pee-pee. yup, another 2 drops waiting to be flushed. MARSHMALLOW TIME!

9:50 Hula Girl informs me she has gone pee-pee. hang on a sec… just 2 drops waiting to be flushed? MARSHMALLOW TIME!

9:53 Hula Girl informs me she has gone pee-pee. surely she can squeeze out more than just 2 drops. MARSHMALLOW TIME!

9:58 Hula Girl informs me she has gone pee-pee. 2 drops again. MARSHMALLOW TIME!

10:03 Hula Girl informs me she has gone pee-pee. someone has taught this kid the law of conservation. 2 drops waiting to be flushed. MARSHMALLOW TIME!

10:10 Hula Girl informs me she has gone pee-pee. stingy, this one. 2 drops waiting to be flushed. MARSHMALLOW TIME!

10:15 Hula Girl informs me she has gone pee-pee. OMG if she doesn’t pee more than 2 drops next time…. MARSHMALLOW TIME!

10:23 Hula Girl informs me she has gone pee-pee. YESSSSSS! a big one this time! she spilled it all over the bathroom while trying to pour it into the potty. oh well! MARSHMALLOW TIME!

Then, it was time for independent playtime, and man, was I ready for a break! I had actually planned to go up with her so I could help her use the potty during that time as well, but I just slapped a diaper on that cutie little tushie and called it good. 30 minutes of peace…

11:05 conduct a “check”, hand out a marshmallow, try again for 5 minutes

11:30  conduct a “check”, hand out a marshmallow, try again for 5 minutes

11:45 Hula Girl informs me that she has gone pee-pee in her booster seat. I confirm. good thing I placed a towel beneath her while she ate.

12:10 conduct a “check”, hand out a marshmallow, try again for 5 minutes

12:30 is naptime, so she got a diaper, a kiss, and a “good riddance for a while!” Mommy needs a break!

I have been pleasantly surprised at how much simpler this has been than what other moms have made it sound. I think the holding off on sugar until it can be used as a bribe was a good move on my part, too. My kid’s addicted to “ba-boh-bohs” now, but hey, it could be worse! 🙂

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