Thursday, June 30, 2011


Donovan seems to have forgotten all about how to use the potty as of this whole week.

Quinn's still confused about how to crawl/scoot, and it's still pissing him off.

Zach worked 12+hr days at work this week (thankfully over now, back to normal).

My patience and energy seem to have run away together, leaving me with none.

The good news: our nanny, who was gone for about 2 weeks, is back this week.  She was here on Monday, and I managed to escape out for lunch. By myself.  I got to sit, eat my meal in peace, and even read a book for a bit.  Heaven.  And today, she's hanging out with D so I can sit here and write while Q takes one of his micro-naps.

The past few weeks have felt really hard.  I can't decide if they really have, for whatever reason, felt as bad as some of the early months right after Q was born, or if I'm already forgetting just how bad that time was.  I know it's temporary, a phase that has come on suddenly and will pass again soon (right?).  But it's still felt pretty damn crummy.

In about 2 weeks we leave to stay with family for a month.  Then a few weeks after that, D starts preschool.  It's a full-time program (M-F, from 9am to 3pm, I think).  I'll miss him, I know, but it will also be really nice to be down to one child most of the time.  I don't know if other parents are a lot better at this than I am, or just better at hiding it, but dealing with two at once has been so very hard.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

six word sunday: beautiful baby on a lambskin rug

The other day I remembered this rug from Ikea, that usually spends its days in D's cabinet under the stairs.  I have a ton of pictures of Quinn sitting up or on his tummy gnawing on various toys, so I was feeling like it was time to try something new just for fun... so we spent 20 minutes trying this out the other morning.  Quinn was fairly accommodating, and other than getting in half the shots D was, too.  I wasn't sure they'd turned out all that great when looking at them in the camera, but I'm now loving how they turned out (thanks to Zach for taking the kids out for a long walk while I worked on these).  I have more of these, and other photos, freshly uploaded on flickr.

BTW yes Quinn peed on the rug...

Friday, June 24, 2011

By golly, I think he's got it!

Ok, you guys. It's now been a week and a half since we started the hard-core potty training, and.... dare I say it?  Dare I declare success?  I keep waiting for D to suddenly decide that this potty stuff is so last week and totally regressing.

But, so far, so good.  He'll maybe have one accident during the day, but otherwise every so often he'll just shout "I need to use the potty!" and then we run over to the closest potty (we're still using the small potties bc of portability, our bathrooms in this house are not the most easy-access for a kid who gives you a 10 second warning), he'll sit, and then smile real big and declare, "I'm peeing!"  And he's done just as well with poop.  I tried reminding him throughout the day at first, but he'd either brush me off, or say he needed to go but only so that he could watch a video. So I've stopped, and he just tells me when he needs to go.

The next step will be to transition to using a real toilet, which I think I'll start pushing in another few days here (I think he's getting better control, so able to hold it the extra seconds to get to/on a big toilet, can also see about peeing standing vs sitting).  And, we haven't gone out of the house very much.  I'm a bit nervous about how that will go, but already have the car stocked with 2 extra changes of clothes.  May try a few park outings this weekend to test things out...

We are still using a diaper for naps and overnight, which I figure will be the case for a while still.  But, he's in underwear the rest of the day, and excited to use the potty, and just doing awesomely with the whole thing.  So, YAAAAYYY!!!!!!  =)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Potty-Training Donovan- results so far (1 week)

We have now been potty training for a full week.  The results are... encouraging, though we still have a ways to go before I consider him fully potty trained.  Here's what I did, in case it's helpful for anyone else (and so I can remember for when it's Quinn's turn, as by now I know I tend to forget these sorts of details otherwise).

Days 1 & 2: I let him run around the house with just a shirt on, nothing on the bottom (we used a diaper for naps and overnight).  We have wood floors, so I took the few rugs we have downstairs and put them in the garage, also picked up any other textiles that are not very easily washable.  The first day D threw two MASSIVE tantrums wanting his diapers back-- first in the morning when we first started, then after his nap.  These were epic, and were exactly what I had been expecting (and the reason why every other time that we've tried the no-diapers route, I've given up when he asked for diapers back bc I knew this would follow).  On day 2 I think he asked for a diaper once or twice, but nothing close to the epic, massive meltdowns for the first day.  Seriously, they felt traumatizing, and I think the only reason I stood firm on them was because I knew it was time and we needed to give this a fair shot.

I wanted him to go naked bc he hasn't shown any aversion to being wet before, and I wanted him to SEE and really notice when he peed. He did-- he'd see himself pee each time, and say, "I'm peeing!" and then go right back to playing.  I tried putting him on the potty frequently, but most of the pee ended up on the floor.

Days 3 & 4: He was noticing himself pee, but nothing else was really happening so this time I figured I'd put him in cloth training pants (like underwear but with extra padding to absorb some pee-- I have 3 kids, the inexpensive Gerber ones, and also a couple each of Otter Puddles and Little Beetles which are nice bc they snap up the sides so if you end up with a mess you can still take them off more like a diaper).  This time I made sure to put him on the potty every half hour, and to get him there we'd watch YouTube clips of Top Gear (most are between 5-10 minutes).  We ended up catching most pees this day, although mostly bc he spent about half his waking hours sitting on the potty.  Still no awareness of when he was gonna pee until the moment he was actually peeing.

Thankfully, each poop happened to occur while he was still in his diaper either right after nap or first thing in the morning after waking up.

Day 5: This was on Sunday.  By this day we were all feeling a bit worn out. We hadn't left the house in 4 days.  D had spent some time playing in our patio, but it's small so doesn't lend itself to too much physical exertion, and he'd also spent much of the past 4 days watching tv (even if in short snippets) and so was becoming demanding and kinda whiny, not to mention bouncing-off-the-walls energy.  So we decided to take a break, slap a diaper on him, and all head out to the farmers market and park for a couple hours.

Interestingly, it was this afternoon that we hit our first break.  All afternoon, D would actually tell me "I need to use the potty" after which we'd have between 10 and 30 seconds to get him on the potty... and then he would PEE!  It happened consistently 4 times that afternoon.

Day 6: Still fairly successful!  Had a few accidents, but more so due to not getting to the potty in time after he'd told me he needed to go.  And, we had a few successes as well.  I start to wonder if we might actually be getting this.

Day 7: (today) Took steps forward and also back.  He had 2 poops today, both in the potty, both completely of his own will.  The first time he was just playing with his trucks and stood up, said, "I need to sit on the potty."  He sat down, and sure enough he pooped.  He was pretty impressed with his poop, too, lol.  The second time he was playing on his own downstairs while I tried to get Q down for a nap. D called up to me saying, "Mommy, I pooped!" I asked if he'd done it in the potty and he said yes.  I went down and found a puddle of pee on the floor, but also a poop in the potty.

He didn't take a nap today, and then a friend came over, and I don't know if it was that, or just random, or maybe also something related to his insistence on not wearing underwear today ( was naked all day long) but the afternoon was not so good.  He peed on the floor like 3 or 4 times, no warning, just in the middle of playing suddenly started peeing.  By 4pm I was worn out, and Q's been more demanding lately, too, so I put him in a disposable pull-up and put on a movie.  I figured he could still try the potty if he wanted, but would be ok if he didn't.

Well, he went and sat on the potty to pee in the middle of the movie, and again at bedtime with Zach, and when the pull-up came off at bedtime it was still dry.  So, I guess today still counts as progress, overall?

Tomorrow we have a playdate to go to, that I think will actually serve as a great first "test-run" outside the house.  It's a backyard playdate, and pretty low-key.  Hopefully I can get him to pee at home before we go, have a potty ready for when he might need it, and bring a few changes of clothes/underwear.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

big undertakings

So. Big stuff happening here in our household.

For one thing, I'm in the midst of trying to potty train Donovan. Again.  Well, for serious this time.  As in, he's been naked from the waist down for the past 2 days (expect for naps/bedtime).  He had major screaming meltdowns yesterday about wanting a diaper on, which thankfully didn't recur today (that's the part that we always stopped at before, not wanting to "push it," this time I'm standing firm).  That's about the only progress we've made, though.  So far he'll just pee and notice it, saying "Hey, I'm peeing!" like it's this way-cool thing, then go on with his playing.  We've had 3 "catches" but they're pure coincidences.  I'm thinking tomorrow we'll go for cotton training pants, and maybe feeling wet and having to change out of them after peeing will help out (I'm also putting him on the potty often, every 10-30 minutes).  He talks about using the potty, I think the will is there, but I don't think he has much of a clue yet of when he's about to pee.

I go back and forth between thinking this just might work, and feeling totally and utterly discouraged and calling his preschool to say, "Nevermind on that September start date, this kid's never gonna be out of diapers."  BTW, why did I start in the middle of the week? We'd actually planned to start this weekend, but then yesterday morning when D had a massive poo in his diaper and I had to hold him down kicking and screaming because he didn't want it changed (a problem we have way too frequently), I just lost it and declared The End of Diapers.  And then I couldn't go back on my word, so we just went with it.  I figure we'll give it through the weekend and then... I don't know what we'll do if there's still no progress.  I'm not thrilled about going back to diapers and the struggle of yes-you-need-your-nasty-diaper-changed-dammit but I'm also not keen on having the house get peed on all day for weeks on end (thank god for wood floors, most of our rugs are in the garage currently).  I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

The second Major Thing that's happening here, is that Quinn has undergone yet another shift and is now allowing me to transfer him down onto his bed for naps again.  Writing about it probably means it'll stop tomorrow, but the past few days I've gotten him to take at least one nap on his bed-- yesterday's was a whopping hour and 40 minutes which totally blew me away (today's were a more normal 30-40min).  It is incredible how different the day feels when I get that break from him, that time to focus on other things (like my firstborn).  This new development has also, needless to say, been a very nice one to coincide with our potty training venture.

So, yeah, that's what we're up to.  What I would like to know from you, if you have kids who are past the diaper stage, is this: what approach did you take for potty training, at what age, and how long did it take before your child knew when s/he had to go and could use the toilet mostly independently, most of the time.  I don't need potty training advice as I'm pretty sure I've heard every bit there is under the sun.  But, I am really curious to hear of other people's actual experiences and timetables.

Thanks! =)

Monday, June 13, 2011

One day I'll have a life again...

Quinn has gotten to that point where he can be so damn delightful that it almost kills you.  He'll be so smiley and cute, so adorable as he waggles his chubby arms and legs all around with excitement, as he rolls around on the ground chasing this toy or that, looking so sweet as he falls asleep nuzzled up to my chest.  I'll look at him and just explode with LOVE for him.  It melts my heart, and I often swoop down and gobble him up in kisses (which is made even more awesome by the belly laughs that erupt when I kiss his neck-- or the spot where his neck would be if he had one).
Morning kisses #love
Almost every time someone new approaches them, he'll give them this big grin.  It's adorable.  I constantly hear comments about what a cute baby he is, what a happy little boy he is.  Which makes me feel both incredibly proud, and some days makes me wanna punch the person in the face because, um, sure he's happy... when I'm holding him.  Try to set him down or hand him to someone else, and more often than not those cute smiles morph into tortured tears within a matter of minutes.

Yesterday was Zach's birthday.  I'm kinda proud of myself for pulling off as much as I did to celebrate-- I managed to get him a real present, on time no less, and while I didn't bake the cake this year I did the next best thing-- got him an ice-cream cake, which turns out is one of his favorites.  So in some ways the day was a success, and Zach made a point of telling me how much he enjoyed everything and what a great day he had.

And yet, as the day wore on and Quinn got all fussy and Donovan was in one of his foul three-year-old moods that have been a common occurrence lately, and Zach, on his birthday, was washing dishes and cooking dinner, I couldn't help but feel disappointed for not being able to make it a better day for him (more relaxing, better present, actual birthday party, etc).  That's been a recurring theme for this year-- every holiday or special date since Quinn's birth has gone by almost unnoticed, neither one of us very able to put much effort into celebrating.  Christmas was incredibly low-key, our anniversary came and went with us hardly even acknowledging it, etc (which is why I'm proud of myself for just getting a gift and a cake for this birthday).  I've given myself permission to expect very little of this first year with Quinn, knowing that taking care of a moody 3 year old and a demanding infant leaves me with very little energy or time to do anything else at all.  I keep reminding myself that by next year it will be better, that over time things will get better-- the boys will require less intense attention, giving us more time to, for example, plan a proper birthday party. Life won't always be like this, feel this chaotic and frazzled. I won't always have no time for anything other than my children.  I think a lot of the time I do ok with all this.  But sometimes, it still just feels sucky.

Happy (slightly belated) Birthday, babe.  You mean the world to me and I can't imagine going through all this (the good and the bad) without you.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Welcome to the world of food, little man

Quinn has started eating solids, baby-led weaning style.  We started about a week ago, which is technically a bit early age-wise.  But seeing as the whole concept of "baby-led weaning" means following baby's lead, I figured that the fact that he was sitting up (with some assistance at the time, now he's fully sitting on his own), able to grab objects and bring them to his mouth easily, and lunging for our food every chance he got, were signs that he's ready.  So one evening when he nearly knocked my plate to the floor trying to grab from it while sitting on my lap, I put a piece of broccoli on a plate for him and he spent the next 20-30 minutes gnawing at it happily.

We've gone kinda slowly so far... after the broccoli I waited several days to try him on a couple slices of bosc pear (which he loved, see pics below), and then another day I let him try some cooked carrots (not quite as into them, though partially bc they were harder to handle, I think).  

Then tonight I sat him at the table with us, as I've been doing lately since otherwise he gets pissed off hanging out all by himself.  I gave him a few toys to play with, but he was having NONE OF THAT.  No toy made him happy, not even the chilled teether I gave him thinking he was having teething pain.  So then I looked at my plate (rice and salmon) and gave him the most easily-grabable food I had-- a large piece of grilled onion.  

And he. Went. To. Town. 

The onion piece made him very happy-- as long as he had it to gnaw on,. he was totally content.  At one point he lost it and grabbed the teether instead, which totally pissed him off.  Once he had the onion back, he was happy again.  His preference was very clear-- he wanted the food.  Zach was as amazed as I was. 

Here's Quinn nomming on his pear

And tonight, with his onion chunk (and some rice, though that didn't work out as well... not sticky enough)


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