The Potty Training Chronicles – Day 1

PT Chronicles finalWe finally started potty training today!  I have to admit, I was both excited and unreasonably frighted to start, but hey, I had to get things going eventually.  We actually had a pretty good day.

As soon as Charles got home from swimming lessons, I got really excited and showed him his potty.  We started by getting it out of the box and getting it set up with the 3 AA batteries that are required for the headache-inducing songs to play (but my toddler loves them so, meh, small price to pay).  The potty got him really excited.  Then, I managed to bribe him into taking his pants and diaper off and in exchange he got to pick a pair of really cool boxers to wear.  After repeating that now, he was going to pee in the potty like a big boy, he was allowed to go on with his business.

After about 10 minutes, I checked him.  His boxers were wet.  “Oh look, Charles, your boxers are wet, you peed in them”, I said in a cheery voice.  “Don’t worry, let’s get them off.  Remember, pee goes in the potty.  How ’bout you go sit on your potty and mommy will give you a marshmallow”.

I did not put another fresh pair of boxers on after that.  (Yep, the little guy went around the house with naught but a shirt on for the rest of the day)

After that, we had a few accidents.  He wasn’t used to monitoring his need to pee or announce it as he’s never had to.  We always got him on his potty as soon as we could and cleaned up, never making a big deal out of accidents.

Eventually, though, a positive accident happened.  He was sitting on his potty watching some Youtube videos (hey, why sit on the sofa when you can sit on a singing potty instead, right?) and I heard the darned thing congratulate him.  He just kept sitting there as though nothing had happened.

Well I got excited.  I paused his video, got him off the potty and showed him what was inside.  Then, we started a routing of emptying in the toilet, wiping, flushing, washing hands and putting a sticker on his chart (no marshmallows needed!).  The second pee we caught happened the same way, by accident.

After that, he started announcing that he was peeing while in the act.  Now that was progress!  We were even able to get him to finish peeing in the potty once he had started on the floor.  Eventually, he started asking either his father or I to put our computer in front of the potty.  He would then sit down and a minute or two after, we would hear his potty congratulate him.  By then though, he didn’t need his potty to tell him that he had gone; he would stand up and announce his success.

I was thrilled to see how far he’d gone in one day, but that would not be the end of the progress.  By the end of the day, Charles was announcing that he had to go pee before going.

Then, before supper, he talked about needing to go #2.  I got him on the washroom toilet and we sat there together chatting.  At one point, he asked for a diaper.  But I repeated that diapers were just for bedtime.  He eventually got off the toilet, had supper and then took his bath without going.  After that, I got him in a diaper and we did his bedtime routine.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to find him in a dirty diaper tomorrow morning (which is why I put on a nice coat of cream on his bum first), but I’m ok with that.  We’ll take this potty training thing one step at a time.

Tally of the day:

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7 pees caught.  I’m thinking that’s pretty good.

Was it longer for your kids to learn to use the potty for bowel movements?  Do you have any winning strategies (besides patience) to help a toddler along?

Top 7 Signs of Potty Training Readiness (+ 5 More!).

Signs of Potty Training Readiness”

Type in those five words in Google, and you’re sure to get about 105,000 hits in about as long as it takes you to hit the “enter” button on your keyboard.

hits

See what I mean? ^^^

The amount of information out there is actually overwhelming.  There are articles, checklists, quizzes – all there to help you determine whether your toddler is ready to ditch the diapers.  Luckily for you, I did all the legwork.  After compiling the information contained in the top ten sites, I have a list of 7 potty training readiness signs.  Each of these 7 signs have come up on at least eight of the ten sites I visited.

7 signs

1.  His bowel movements are well-formed and pretty regular.

Check

2.  She can stay dry for 2h periods (and may even be dry upon waking from her nap).

Check

3.  He is able to get undressed/dressed (or at least pull down/up his pants) with little to no help.

Partially – He can get his pants off if I pull them down past his bulky cloth diaper, the same goes with pulling back up.

4.  She dislikes being in a wet or dirty diaper.

Nope – He could stay in his soiled diaper all day and he wouldn’t give a crap (pun intended).

5.  He is interested in the washroom habits of family members and likes to come and watch.

Check – besides the fact that bathroom attendance is one of his favourite activities, he also likes to give a play-by-play of what’s going on.

6.  She clearly shows she is having a bowel movement.  This can be a verbal indication (“I’m going poopoo!”) or a non-verbal (hiding, squatting) one.

Nope

7.  He can follow simple instructions.

Checkbut he sometimes chooses not to.

So where does that leave us?  He absolutely nails three of the signs.  He completely flunks two.  And the last two allow for an ambiguous interpretation.

Luckily for you, I’ve got a checklist of another 5 signs of readiness!

Ready?

1.  You’re tired of playing catch-the-streaking-toddler, avoid-the-pissed-off-toddler’s-kicks and try-not-to-become-deaf-from-your-toddler’s-Banshee-like-screams during every single diaper change.

2.  You don’t have any carpet in your house & know how to use a Swiffer.

3.  You’ve read numerous blog posts/articles on different potty training methods.

4.  You’re not above the use of bribery and you have the mini-marshmallows to prove it.

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These little guys are the most important part of my potty training efforts.

5.  You (and your significant other) have got at least a full week coming up to devote to potty training because of Christmas hollidays.

We’re starting on December 20th, by the way.  Feel free to check out the “Potty Training Chronicles” page that should be coming up in the next few days to laugh with me (or at me), cry with me and send your own stories.

Randomness

My brain’s not really working today and I felt like posting, so I figured I’d go ahead and post a few random thoughts/photos/videos instead of trying to write a coherent text.

1.  After spending weeks sucking on her hand, Amélie has found her thumb.  Of course, sometimes it takes her 15 minutes to find it, but when she does, she’s happy.

P10102302.  I’m finding it hard replying to comments lately (it might have something to do with the fact that my daughter seems to have declared naps longer than 30 minutes to be a complete waste of her time).  If I haven’t replied yet, I’ll get to it eventually.

3.  Either iPhoto’s facial recognition is really bad or my kiddos really look alike because each time I upload photos of my daughter, this is what happens:

No, no, silly computer.  That is Amélie, not Charles!

No, no, silly computer. That is Amélie, not Charles!

4.  Whoever said that a breastfed baby doesn’t get sick obviously didn’t have a daycare-going-germ-covered-I-love-my-little-sister-so-much-I-want-to-touch-her-all-the-time-especially-in-the-face toddler.

5.  Yep, I’m the proud mother of a mucus-filled 3 month old and 2 year old (I’ll spare you the pictures).

6.  While I was at my dentist’s office yesterday, getting a pyogenic granuloma removed from my gums (thanks for that, Amélie, by the way…) she shared with me some of the methods that she used to try to get her boys (who, like Charles, are also allergic to penicillin) to take some Biaxin.  They included bribery with Kit Kat Bars and mixing it with a nice big squirt of pure Nestlea Quick syrup.  I love my dentist!

7.  Charles received a very cool remote-controlled car from his “third grandma” (who is actually the receptionist who works at my partner’s job) for his birthday.  (Since I often go meet my partner at the end of his work day, she has pretty much seen Charles grow up).  It was so funny to see him play with his new toy!

And there you go, that’s all I can muster for today.

Oh wait!

8.  I hate the new WP stats page!

There, I think I’m done now.

Ten Thought Tuesday: December 9th 2014

TTT

  1. Charles has finally finished taking his Biaxin.  We were finally able to give it to him by hiding it in his soy yogurt, coconut milk or applesauce.
  2. He’s been having nightmares for the past week tough, waking up screaming in the middle of the night.  I hope they end soon.
  3. My Christmas shopping is all done.  I only have a few things to finish up and I’ll be all set.
  4. I decided that during Christmas break, I’m going to do potty training with Charles.  I don’t know how ready he is but I most certainly am…especially given that his diapers have been overflowing more and more frequently despite the fact that we’ve doubled up on inserts.
  5. The little guy received a cool remote controlled car from his “third grandma” (the receptionist at the dada’s office) for his birthday.  He is absolutely in love with it.
  6. We ordered a lovey for Amélie for Christmas (don’t tell her ;) ) as I’m planning on starting to wean her off the swaddle when she hits four months.  Since she is getting more mobile (not rolling over yet, but she can turn on from back to side quickly), it seems like the logical thing to do.
  7. We’ve decided that we were going to be making our own bread.  I made two wonderful multigrain loaves last Saturday and some Montreal-style bagels (yum!).  I’ve also got a sourdough starter going and I can’t wait to make a loaf of sourdough bread!
  8. The kiddos and the dada came to the Christmas concert the band I play in gave last Saturday.  I’m told that they were absolutely adorable the whole time.
  9. Of course, since the concert, I now have, as my sister would put it, a karaoke of Christmas songs playing nonstop in my head.  Grrrrrr…
  10. That’s it for today, my brain can’t muster anymore random thoughts.

Milestones & Random Facts

2 yrs WPThis morning, when I logged on to WordPress, I was greeted with this.  Two years!  Wow!  I never thought I would keep a blog for so long, but here it still is.

Over: the past two years, a few things have changed:

  • I went from being a mom to a two week old little baby boy to being the mom of a two year old toddler and a three month old little girl
  • I officially entered my 30s
  • I made some awesome friends through blogging
  • I went from being a mom who was always consulting Dr. Google to being a mom who trusts her instincts
  • I stopped playing playing music when my son was about two months old only to start again when my daughter was about the same age
  • I went from not really enjoying all the fuss about Christmas to looking forward to it (an excited toddler seeing all the Christmas lights outside will do that to you).  And though we’re still not doing Santa, my house is decorated for the first time in years.

Here are a few fun facts about my time with WP so far:

  • Including this post, I have 298 posts on this blog
  • My highest number of views for one day is 170
  • There are 2465 comments throughout all of my posts
  • My most viewed post is “Ditching the Paci and Swaddle: Cold Turkey Style”
  • My least viewed post is “The Dreaded C Word”
  • The top four search terms that bring people to my blog are: “wonder week 26″, “wonder week 46″, “aussie swaddle” and “wonder week 19″.  I’m thinking I should write a summary post on wonder weeks.
  • The top four weirdest search terms that have brought people to my blog are: “i put my pissie sixteen yr old son in diapers”, “breastfeeding son has teeth killing ny boobs”, “wifabif” and “nalianimalorphanageqc”

A BIG thank you to all of you who follow me.  Here’s to another year of blogging!

Putting the “A” in E.A.S.Y. : Activity Ideas For Newborns (0 to 3 months)

I remember when I first read about EASY about the time when my son was 6 weeks old, I fell in love with the idea.  I am a creature of habit and do well in a routine so it just seemed natural to get my son into a routine.

I got that under the age of 4 months, we were aiming to feed about every 3 hours and that the awake time that the baby could handle (awake time = from the time they wake up to the time they are back asleep) became greater as the baby got older (for instance, a two week old baby can maybe handle 45 minutes of awake time whereas a 3 month old can stay awake for twice that amount of time).

The one thing I was rather uninspired about is what kind of activities I could do with my newborn.  I mean, they’re tiny and can’t do much.

It turns out, “A” time doesn’t have to be complicated.  (Side note: “A” time only happens during the day).

After burping and changing my baby’s diaper, here are a few of the activities that you can do with a newborn baby:

  • Get her down for some tummy time (try different techniques if your baby hates it – heck, try them even if your baby doesn’t hate it ;) )
  • Stick out your tongue and make different sounds with your mouth (a “pop” with your lips, clicking your tongue…)
  • Put baby in his gym (like this cool piano gym)
  • Let baby look at herself in the mirror
  • Give him a bath (I do this during the lase “A” time before bed)
  • Sing songs with movements like “the itsy bitsy spider” and “this little piggy”
  • Show her some simple black and white patterns like these
  • Put him under a mobile
  • Give her a massage
  • “Bicycle” his legs
  • Use sensory toys on her like this vibrating dragon, these spiky balls or this musical turtle.
  • Attach a wrist rattle to his wrist
  • Hang a toy over her within reach and encourage her to reach and grab hold of some of the dangling toys (I use this cute elephant)
  • Just talk to him
  • Let her chill out on his/her back on a blanket on the floor or in a high chair/swing… as you take care of things in the house

What are some of the things you do with your 0-3 month old?

How To Give Your Toddler Biaxin

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So after waiting 3h at the walk-in clinic yesterday, we got the confirmation that Charles has yet another ear infection.  Given the unpleasant (to say the least) reaction he had after taking Amoxcillin last time, the doctor prescribed some Biaxin.  She also mentioned, almost offhandedly, that it didn’t taste quite as good as the banana-flavoured penicillin antibiotic that kids love so much.

‘No biggie’, I thought, Charles is quite good with taking medication.

Then I went to the pharmacy where, after explaining the basics on the medication (how to measure and administer & common side-effects), the pharmacist asked if my son liked yogurt.

“He’s allergic to dairy”, I replied.

“Oh…well…you might want to have a glass of juice ready for him after giving him the Biaxin, it has a slightly metallic aftertaste”, he said.

The comment brought in mind a conversation that I’d had with my little brother a couple of months ago when a pharmacist had told him the same thing about the antibiotic he was taking – that it had a slightly metallic taste to it.  My (grown) little brother had grimaced after swallowing his pill and exclaimed that to say that the metallic taste was slight was a BIG understatement.

I hoped that Charles’ experience with the medication wouldn’t be as bad as my brother’s was as it is rather difficult to reason with a 2 year old.

That evening, after supper, he had his first dose.  He kept it in his mouth for a while, wondering whether he should spit it out or swallow it eventually settling on the latter.  I filled up his glass with juice (hey, it’s as good a reward as any!) and he downed it.

This morning, I was ready with a glass of coconut milk for him to give him his second dose.  I measured the prescribed amount and gave it to him.  He again kept it in his mouth for a while and managed to swallow a little bit before spitting the rest out on me…and I’m pretty sure I know why.

You see, though it may taste awful, it also has an equally awful texture WHICH NO ONE WARNED ME ABOUT!.  Fill a bottle with one third sand and two thirds water, give it a shake and that’s the texture of the metallic tasting medication I have to give my son for seven days.

Lovely…

So I managed to mix a little bit more in his glass of coconut milk (which he downed!) and that was the end of the second dose.

This evening was dose three.  I skipped the syringe in the mouth and just put the Biaxin in his milk without him seeing me.  Well, I’m pretty sure he noticed that something was up because it took him fooooooorever to finish his darned milk.  I had to semi-bribe him to get him to drink up (oh, look Charles, why don’t you show your little sister how to drink out of a straw?).

I’m thinking that tomorrow morning, I’m going to try to hide the stuff in his most favouritest (soy) yogurt and see how it goes.

At this pace, though, I’m thinking that he’s going to catch on quickly so I’m going to need to find new and creative ways to feed him his damned antibiotics. We’ve got 11 doses left…

*Sigh*

Does anyone have any ideas?  Do any of you have any experience with trying to give Biaxin to a toddler?  Please share your strategies!

Daddies Are The Best

When I became a new mother two years ago, I was kind of lost.  I mean, I knew some basic stuff, but there were also a lot of things I didn’t know.  Like many mothers out there, I questioned myself about many things.  I would worry that I didn’t have enough milk, or that I had too much.  I would worry that my son was sleeping too much, or not enough.  I would worry about the color of my son’s poop or the fact that he hadn’t pooped in a few days.

I’m sure you get the picture.

In this age of easily accessible information, I turned early on to the famous and infamous Dr. Google for help in this parenting gig.  One of my first searches, brought me to an online parenting community filled with forums in which parents could share their experiences/worries/solutions…with one another.

At first, it was great.  I mean, with titles such as “Green poop, help!”, “LO always nursing, low milk supply?” and “Normal or not [see pic attached]?” I felt right at home in a sea of other mothers wondering what the heck they were doing.  Even if the other mothers (because most of the members were moms) didn’t always have an answer (or one that I liked) it was nice to know that others were going through the same things as I was.

And then, things started to become less appealing for me.  There were, of course, the bottle -vs- breast battles, then more battles arose with regards to sleep training, but these didn’t bother me much.  I mean, I was content with the methods I was using and I just didn’t read the posts.

What bothered me, is when I started reading things like “SO [significant other] useless!”, “Worthless husband” and “Lazy boyfriend”.  As the months went by, more and more of these posts popped up.  And it saddened me to see that these ladies turned to the online world to fuel anger towards their partners, because I know the value of a great partner in the world of parenting.

I love my partner.  He is by no means perfect, but then again, who is?  I certainly am not.  But despite all the things that he does (or doesn’t do) that make me want to roll my eyes, he shows, day after day, his unconditional love towards our kids.  And, on numerous occasions, he has become the pillar I could lean on in my role as a parent.

This evening was one of those moments.

You see, yesterday was hard.  Neither kiddo napped for more than 45 minutes during the day and though they were in a pretty good mood, things disintegrated rapidly in the evening.  Immediately after supper, Little Dude went into full-blown meltdown mode.  My partner and I figured that it was because he was tired, so we endeavoured to get him down for the night half an hour before his usual bedtime.  After going through the bedtime routine, filled with toddler tears, he was finally down for the night.

Or so we thought…

No sooner had I gotten my daughter down, did my son wake up in tears.  His dad went in to calm him.  Then, 20 minutes later, he woke up again…and again…and again.  At first, we thought nightmares, but the fact that it kept going on stumped us.  My solution, sleep in his bed with him for the night.

Let me tell you that sleeping in a single bed with a squiggly toddler that wakes up crying every hour or so throughout the night while also getting up twice to nurse the 3 month old does not make for a good night sleep.  Needless to say that I was tired today…and less than pleased to see some liquid leaking out of his ear this morning.

Sh*t, looks like we’re dealing yet again with a damned ear infection.

Anyways, fast-forward to tonight.  I was tired AND in need of some non-mommy time.  My partner got the toddler down for bed as I nursed my daughter in hopes that she would fall asleep quickly.  But, it was not to be.  I tried twice to get her down, but to no avail.  Meanwhile, my son was kicking his wall in his room instead of falling asleep and I was out of patience.

I put her down in her bed crying to take a breath.

My breath came in the form of my partner coming up the stairs asking me if everything was ok and then proceeding to little miss I’m-not-sleepy’s room to help her fall asleep.  For 15 minutes he paced around the house with her to help her doze off before putting her in her crib.

Daddies really are the best!