Potty Training Time 

I had bought a small potty chair and Elmo seat that sits on the toilet a few months ago.   For a few weeks it was novel and Abby wanted to sit on the potty all the time, but now it has been around long enough that the newness and curiosity bout them has worn off.  She has still sat on the potty chair when I am using the restroom, but has never really used it for anything other than a chair.  Once at my Mom’s house over Easter she peed on the toilet but hasn’t done anything since.

For the last week or so Abby has been starting to tell me when she has pooped or is in the process of pooping.  Last night she let me know when she was pooping, so we rushed to the bathroom and she finished pooping and also peed on the toilet.  She was very proud.

We started sitting on the toilet every half hour and she will continue the same routine at the babysitter’s house.  I try to read a couple of books or sing some songs to keep her attention and get her to sit longer.

As an incentive for her to want to use the toilet rather than her diaper, last night we put together a plastic container with M&Ms in it and small items (A couple bracelets from my jewelry box, a balloon, an old Happy Meal toy I found in my closet, some small Finding Dory puzzles from the dollar store, etc.) and decorated the outside with colored letter stickers spelling her name and other stickers.  If she pees in the toilet she gets a couple M&Ms, if she poops she gets to pick a toy.

This morning she peed one of the three times she sat on the toilet and was delighted with her two M&M’s.

How did you potty train your daughter? What worked and what didn’t work?  Do you have any helpful hints to share? 

Transitioning to a Big Kid Bed

Saturday we took the step to transition Abby from her crib to a twin bed.  It was necessary to change because while she still fit in the crib and never (to my knowledge) tried to climb out, she was getting big enough to be too heavy for me to lift over the crib rail and my belly is now too big to comfortably and easily lift her over the crib rail.  

Abby was so incredibly excited when she saw her new bed.  Immediately she wanted to jump on the bed, play with her toys in bed, read books in bed, and pretend that she was sleeping in bed.  The one thing she hasn’t wanted to do is actually sleep in bed.  At least, not alone.

Therein lies the problem.  Each night I have put her to bed she has refused to sleep alone.  If I put her to bed already asleep, she often wakes as I am leaving the room or shutting the door.  If I lay with her until she falls asleep, most of the time she will wake as I get out of bed.  Sometimes it takes two or three attempts to get her to fall asleep and stay asleep.  If I try to put her in bed awake she will get right up and try to follow me out of the room or bang on the door and throw a fit.  She refuses to let Dad lay with her, so each time it is me.

None of the conditions of her room have changed, other than the bed.  I still have her nightlights positioned in the same spots.  I still play white noise to help her sleep.  I still close the door so the noise from the TV or me doing chores does not wake her.  

When she still slept in the crib I could put her in bed wide awake or drowsy and she would lay right down and go to sleep without any problem.

I know that Abby is adjusting to something new and will take time for her to become comfortable with sleeping in her new bed, but it is currently a frustrating situation. 

I spoke with my coworker Sammy about it yesterday.  She said her son had done the exact same thing when he was transitioned from a crib to a bed.  Each time she would put him to bed she would set an alarm and go in two minutes later to put him back in bed.  Gradually she would increase the number of minutes waiting to go back into his room until he learned to stay in bed.  This is basically the same approach I took when I began to place Abby in her crib awake at night.  It sucked for a few nights but eventually got better.  I think I may suck it up and try it again.

Have you ever been in this situation before?  What helped?  What advice would you give?  

Jealous of Dad

Photo: Louis Blythe/Unsplash

When I became pregnant I began to prepare for the possibility that my firstborn would become jealous of the new baby.  It’s only natural, it happens.
I remember being jealous of my little sister when she came home from the hospital.  I was so excited to have a sister to play with, but I soon realized that she was too small to play, she cried a lot, and everyone paid a lot of attention to her and I felt left out.  I cut all the hair off of my Fraggle doll, Wembley.

I have had conversations with her about how when Mommy and Daddy bring the baby home the baby will require lots of our attention, but we will still love Abby just the same, always have time for her, and will still give her all the attention she needs.  I don’t think she really understands yet, but that’s OK.  

What I didn’t prepare for was the possibility that Abby would become jealous of my husband.  

In the past couple weeks she has gotten upset when Mommy and Daddy hug or kiss.  If we hold hands in front of her she will try to pull them apart.  When we sit next to each other or try to snuggle together on the couch she will act angry and try to hit my husband or push him away.

We have both tried to explain to Abby that hugging, kissing, and holding hands is how Mommy and Daddy show our love and affection for each other, just as we hug, kiss, and hold her.  I’m not sure how to get through to her that Mommy isn’t just hers.  Nothing we say seems to make a difference. 

I know and try to reassure my husband that this is just a phase she is going through and that will not last too long, but it is frustrating, especially for my husband. 

Has this ever happened to you?  How did you handle the situation?

A Page Out of the Toddler Rule Book

Photo: Samantha Sophia/Unsplash

The older my daughter gets, the more obvious it seems that toddlers operate by a different set of rules. 

I happened to find a page from the secret Toddler Rule Book and decided to share it with you.  Enjoy!

  1. No matter what delicious food you are given, always insist on eating what Mom and Dad are eating.
  2. Wherever Mom goes for alone time, find her and bug her until you have her full attention.
  3. Be incredibly quiet when being mischievous.
  4. Anytime adults are in a hurry or have a deadline, use this opportunity to move as slowly as possible and not acknowledge any instructions you are given.
  5. Even though you might be turning purple and shivering while sitting in cold bathwater, this is no excuse to get out of the bathtub.  Keep playing as long as possible!
  6. Even if every episode of Curious George has been watched 70 times, ask to watch it again.
  7. Even if you acted like a food was delicious yesterday, it is perfectly fair to act like it is the grossest thing on Earth today.
  8. Fake ouchies and boo-boos deserve as much sympathy and attention as real ones.  Band-aids are always necessary.
  9. Stickers must be placed on every available surface, from the kitchen table legs, to walls, or Mom’s butt when she isn’t looking.
  10. Stuff anything of an accommodating size into the toilet, clothes hamper, trash can, potato bin, and air vents.
  11. Shoes and socks must be removed during each car ride, no matter how short, especially when full of sand.
  12. Being naked at all times is better than wearing clothes. Always.
  13. It is lots of fun to walk around the house with Dad’s underwear around your neck on laundry day. No matter how many times Mom tries to take them off, find a way to put them back on.
  14. Cookies and marshmallows are acceptable for breakfast.
  15. Push any button that you see.  Remote controls, keyboards, and phones are particularly fun.
  16. Anytime Mom and dad are trying to have a conversation, immediately interrupt with, “Mom! Mom!” or “Dad! Dad!” and don’t stop until you have their full attention, even if you have nothing to say.

Fun in the Sand

The weather has been warm lately and the kids have been able to play outside at daycare.  Can you tell Abby had a fun time in the sandbox yesterday?  When I picked her up she looked like Pigpen from Peanuts.  She was covered in sand from head to toe.  There was even sand in her diaper.  I couldn’t believe how much sand was left in the bathtub after I gave her a bath last night.

Leave Your Diaper On!

Photo: gryerbaby/Morguefile

Abby loves to run around without clothes.  She would go all day wearing only a diaper if I would let her.  While it is adorable to see my half naked little munchkin, it is also exasperating because she has a new-found obsession with trying to pull off her diaper.

A couple times she has gotten her diaper off before I noticed or before I could reach her.  She is pretty ornery in her attempts, most of the time she will turn around and smile at me and then push the diaper down to her ankles, like I dare you to stop me, Mom!  Other times she will be standing up watching TV and start tugging it down or sneakily run to the corner of the room or beside the sofa to do it.  

There have been a few close calls where I have seen her start to remove her diaper and noticed that she has poop on her butt.  I am so glad that I caught those messes before they happened!

I am not sure how to keep her from doing this.  When she is wearing pants she just pulls her pants down too.  The only type of outfit that stops her is her footy pajamas because she can’t get the zipper down.  

Have your children done this?  I would appreciate any suggestions or advice you may have.

Painting Time!

Abby has been very interested in coloring lately and we have spent a lot of time with her colorbooks and loose paper.  After several coloring sessions this weekend I was a little bored and wanted to do something different, so I looked through my craft supplies for something we could make together.  

I found a small canvas and decided to let her finger paint.  Not wanting to clean up a paint mess all over the house (and all over the kid) I placed blobs of different paint colors on the canvas and then enclosed it in a gallon-sized Zip lock bag.

I set her loose to play and have fun squishing the paint around with her fingers.   

She had lots of fun and the project occupied her for quite a long time.  She is quite proud of the end result, seen here drying:

As Time Goes By

Photo: Marjorie Bertrand/Unsplash

Yesterday my mom asked me to look to see if I had a group photograph of my grandmother and her seven daughters taken at my grandmother’s seventy-ninth birthday party several years ago.  My grandmother needed a photo for a craft project they would soon be doing in the nursing home and when my mother took the photo she had out of her picture frame the photo tore.  So after Abby went to bed I turned on my laptop to see if I could the photograph she requested.  I looked through several years of photos but was unable to find any from the party.  

I spent about an hour looking at numerous other photographs on my computer: pictures of my neices and nephews throughout the years, weddings, parties, road trips, concerts, holidays, and vacations gone by.  I spent the most time looking at photos and videos from Abby’s birth through when bought my new cell phone about four months ago.  

Where does the time go?  How do we not notice it passing until it is gone?  How does it seem to pass so quickly?

I can’t believe how little Abby used to be.  She has changed so much; gotten so big so quickly.  When she was born she was just a teeny-tiny adorable little thing with big black tufts of hair.  Now she is a wild, silly, funny little nymph who dances around the house and points out letters she knows on signs or on TV.  She amazes me each day with something new that she can do or say.

That video of her rocking back and forth on her hands and knees, that couldn’t have been that long ago.  Oh, look, her first steps!  Geez, was that really in June of last year.  Awww, her crazy dance to Katy Perry music- was that really over six months ago?  What?  

I can’t believe that my little girl won’t be a little girl for too much longer.   I realized that I need to take more videos and more photos, but I also need to take more time to get down and play, snuggle, and just be present with her.  Soon it won’t be just her anymore, there will be another little one in our family.  I want to enjoy every moment because in the blink of an eye she will be big.

Why Do Mealtimes Have to be so Difficult?

Photo by Providence Doucet. From: http://www.unsplash.com

Lately mealtimes have become a struggle at our house.  Abby used to be a fantastic eater but now I don’t know what happened.  She seems determined to see how much food she can get away with not eating.  Unless the meal is scrambled eggs and sausage or pancakes with syrup she is not guaranteed to eat a thing.  Now I love pancakes, eggs, and sausage,  but I can’t eat it every day to make sure that my kid eats as much as she should.

At breakfast she will willingly eat one or two bites of yogurt or Honey Nut Cheerios (thanks, Grandma, for getting her hooked on Honey Nut Cheerios instead of regular) and then not have any interest in finishing her meal.  

Abby will take a bite of a food that she previously loved and then promptly spit them out.  Foods get pushed around her high chair tray or thrown on the floor.  No matter what she is given to eat she will repeat, “Cheesth!  Need cheesth!” asking for cheese. Last night I gave her some ketchup thinking that if she were to dip her meat in the ketchup she would eat more.  Wrong. She just wanted to eat ketchup using her fingers after that.

All hours of the day and night she will ask for a banana, “Nana!”  This happens she sees a banana on the kitchen counter or sees a banana in a book or on TV.  I usually give her one, figuring that since she barely ate anything else at least she’s eating a banana.  At first she would eat almost the whole banana but now she will just take a couple bites and be done, which is frustrating.  I end up finishing a bunch of bananas these days.

At first she would eat more if I allowed her to use the spoon or fork to feed herself.  I think it worked mainly because she was the one controlling the silverware, I wasn’t the one spooning it to her.  Now that it is no longer a challenge and she has figured out how to use the silverware skillfully, this is no longer anything she cares about.  

I’ve tried to expose her to all kinds of foods.  I don’t expect her to like or want to eat everything, but the list of foods she will willingly eat seems to be dwindling.  

Have your kids gone through a picky phase?  Was it just a phase?  How did you get through it?  I would love to hear from you!