Posts Tagged ‘potty training’

Caroline: 18 Months

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

One and a half! Tomorrow she’ll be closer to 2 than to 1 which is obviously blowing my mind, just like every other monthday. But this one feels even more surprising: No matter how happy I am about her grown-up, independent spirit, I’m not ready for her to be 2.

I had planned to celebrate Caroline’s half-birthdays, since her near-Christmas birthday means she’ll never have the party turnout Evan gets but this one snuck up on me so we’re not having the adorable little strawberry-themed party I had imagined. But I’m pretty sure the freeze pop she had after nap and the homemade strawberry ice cream she had after dinner are MORE than enough celebration for one tiny child. What can I say, she’s hard to say no to. One day she’s going to ask for a car and I’m going to last barely 24 hours before I cave and get her one. Full of ice cream and cheese.

Last weekend I bought a toddler bed at a church yard sale. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have it around for when we eventually wanted to move Caroline (because, y’know, we might need the crib again for someone else)(NO THAT WASN’T A HINT HOLD YOUR HORSES)(ask me again in October). It’s just a teeny tiny thing, but that’s perfect for my teeny tiny girl. I dragged it upstairs and put a sheet on it and I figured we’d sloooowly work towards a gradual transition. Nope. That night E tucked her into the bed and left. She went to sleep. And she’s slept in it for every nap and bedtime since. It’s working out great, especially since she’s still way too short to reach the doorknob and get out of the room when she wakes up. The only terrible, horrible, no good, very bad moment so far involved walking in to find a diaperless baby…and that’s as much as I’m going to say about that.

We’ve also started potty training. It’s ridiculous. She wants to be like her brother SO MUCH she’s started peeing on the potty just so she can hang out in the bathroom when he does. I’m sort of hoping she loses interest again, since I’m tired of sitting on the bathroom floor doing the potty cheer every hour, but it’s not like I WANT to change diapers longer than I have to.

Her vocabulary is amazing and she understands pretty much every word I say, including stuff like “Go get that orange thing, the one in the other room”. She says Mommy, Daddy, dog, kitty, hi, bye, hug, cheese, downstairs, yes, Brutus, up, dolly, Bee (what she calls her blankie), swing, pool, beach, brother, snack, bed, baby, book, llama, and at least 20 other words.

Likes include cheese, eating,  ice cream, hot dogs, strawberries, hugs, books, running, the water, hockey, cuddles, drinking from a straw, dancing, sleeping, swinging, being upside down, animals, friends, climbing, somersaults, elevators, purses, necklaces, accessorizing, stairs and giving me heart attacks.

Dislikes include milk, being buckled in, not having enough cheese and strangers who get too close to her face.

Apologies in advance for the ridiculous number of photos:

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

Future fashion blogger

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

All her favorite things: blankie, dolly, purse, necklace

caroline 18 months

peek a boo!

caroline 18 months

Outfit change courtesy of Wittlebee – I’ll have a review soon but holy cow is this dress CUTE

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months


caroline 18 months

Girl knows how to relax

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

I bought her a pony. It was only a buck.

caroline 18 months

And she LOOOOVES it

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months


18 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Will “read” board books on his own – Yep! She read actual books too. Her favorites are the Llama Llama books and the How Do Dinosaurs books.
Scribbles well – Yes, although she still wants to EAT the crayons and markers more than she cares about coloring.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Strings two words together in phrases – She’s starting to. She says “Hi Daddy! Hi Mommy! Hi Dog! Hi kitty!” every day. She can add “please” to almost anything she wants because she knows I can’t resist.
Brushes teeth with help – Refuses help. Brushes own teeth.
Stacks four blocks – Next time I find some blocks, I’ll ask her.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Throws a ball overhand – She has frighteningly good aim, since most of the time she’s chucking empty yogurt containers at my head.
Takes toys apart and puts them back together – Yes. She also knows how to turn on ALL the toys that make sound.
Shows signs of toilet training readiness – Yes, as discussed previously.

33 Months

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Yesterday I found an old iPod in a drawer and gave it to the baby, hoping it would keep her from trying to snatch my iPhone out of my hand every time she saw it. Caroline wasn’t fooled in the slightest – she knows a useless lump of electronics when she seems one – but Little Evan had enough imagination to see it as his very own iPhone and spent the rest of the afternoon walking around with it pressed to his ear saying “Hello? Oh hi! Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh, oh ahh-some! Ok bye!”

He thinks tons of things are “ahh-some” (awesome) these days. Trucks. Trains. Dinosaurs. Stroller Strides. Sitting on the couch.  Apples. Bread. Blueberries. Celery. Yep, my picky little eater was actually BEGGING me for more of my celery and spinach hummus snack yesterday afternoon. I have no idea what is causing this new and improved diet but I am definitely on board.

Honestly, he’s being pretty ahh-some himself these days. When he does something wrong I can give him A Look and he apologizes without argument. He plays nicely with his sister (MOST of the time). He doesn’t run away from me in stores so he can walk if he doesn’t feel like riding in the cart. He understand how bribery works, so getting him to do stuff he doesn’t want to do is as easy as promising a lollipop. He even lets me put eye drops in his eyes and squirt saline up his nose without a fight (poor baby has been battling a cold). I have very little to complain about – besides his sudden ability to escape his room and wander around waking up the baby and smearing lipstick on his face – and I’m totally in love with 33 months.

Favorite things include Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, pirates, making forts, playgrounds, the mall, Target, animals, apples, dancing, basketball, milk, cuddling, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, play dinosaurs, DanActive yogurt shake things, his sister, Daddy, Mommy, trains, his friends, talking my ear off, and The Price is Right.

Dislikes include getting his hair cut, booboos, being told to go back to bed when he wants to wander around, being woken up when he wants to sleep, and being forced to watch mommy’s boring shows.

His ankles are always showing because all his pants are too short

He calls his headphones "mikeyphones"

Crazy new big boy haircut





Basketball scholarship?

32 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
• Names one color – He knows white and orange and purple consistently, but he has trouble with red and blue and green getting mixed up. I’m going to ask the doctor if there’s any way to test for color blindness at his 3 year check-up, but honestly I just think he forgets.
• Names one friend – Names a zillion friends…although they all seem to be girls.
• Carries on a simple conversation – Yes, punctuated by the words “Oh, ahh-some!”

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
• Alternates feet going up and down stairs – Yes, although doing it DOWN the stairs still makes me nervous
• Uses prepositions (e.g., on, in, over) – Yes, although he’s been doing that for a long time so I’m not sure I’m interpreting this correctly. He says stuff like “Baby on the chair?” or “Evan sit in stroller?”
• Speaks clearly most of the time (75 percent can be understood) – I can understand him 90% of the time. Other moms can understand him 75% of the time. Strangers can understand him about 40% of the time.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
• Is toilet trained during the day – Yes! In fact he’s been doing so well I’ve gotten lazy and he’s had a couple accidents because I didn’t respond with urgency. But those are totally MY fault, he’s really really good at holding it.
• Wiggles thumb – I…have no idea? I’ll ask him to do it later and get back to you.
• Expresses a wide range of emotions – He is a virtual glass box of emotions.
• Draws a stick figure – Whoa, really? No, we’re still on squiggles but he’s started identifying them as people or things

I Kind Of Miss Diapers

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Scene: Pouring rain. In the van on the entrance ramp to the highway. Two kids in their car seats. You’re  just barely on time for Stroller Strides because you had to pack four zillion snacks, sippy cups, toys, water bottles, crayons and blankets.

Suddenly, you hear a voice from the back seat.

“Mommy, poop potty! Big poop Mommy!”


Option A: Turn around and go home. You’ll have to drive down to the next exit, get back ON the highway, get back OFF the highway, drive back past the hospital during the busiest part of the morning, drag both kids out of the car into the house in the rain.

Cons: Getting wet, hauling kids, being late
Pros: You probably won’t have to scrape poop of the toddler

Option B: Stop at the gas station a few exits down the highway. The bathroom will be of questionable cleanliness and you’ll have to balance a baby on your hip while removing the toddlers shoes, pants and underwear because he refuses to sit on the potty unless entirely bottomless. Then you have to do it all in reverse to go back out in the rain and reload them into the car.

Cons: Getting wet, hauling kids, being late, catching horrible disease from disgusting public restroom
Pros: You probably won’t have to scrape poop off the toddler (but not guaranteed)

Option C: Ask him to hold it. Beg him to hold it. Shout “NO POOPING IN THE CAR!” Sing a made-up-song about how we only poop in the potty. Say “Did you poop? Did you poop? Did you poop?” every 12 seconds the whole way to the mall. UNFORTUNATE TWIST: You forgot to pack extra underpants (or any kind of pants).

Cons: Possible poop scraping, being so tired of the word poop your brain explodes
Pros: On time to class, no extra kid hauling, taking the risk gets your heart racing which practically counts as a bonus morning workout

So, yeah, I thought my life was supposed to get EASIER after potty training. Everyone is always complaining about diapers but let me tell you, THIS IS NOT BETTER. I spend at least two hours a day staring at my kid while he sits on the can, helping him with his pants, wiping his butt or bribing begging him to use the potty BEFORE we leave the house. My Weight Watchers activity tracker should have an option for “potty trained toddler” because if I’m going to be running back and forth to the restroom every single time we go out in public I want to be able to EAT those activity points. Or more accurately, drink those points. Mommy needs a hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps.

For the record, my choice in the earlier scenario was C because I happen to know my kid is a LYING LIARFACE and uses “Poop potty!” as an excuse to get out of the car/stroller when he’s bored. There was no poop scraping. He not only held it until we got to the mall, he told me he didn’t even have to go anymore. No accidents.

So to sum up: I am sick of the word poop and my toddler is incredibly manipulative.

32 Months

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Happy 32 Monthday Little Evan! You are only Little Evan here on the blog, and even most of our friends have stopped calling you Baby Evan. I haven’t thought of you as a baby in a long time, but the extent to which you are an actual human person astounds me on a daily basis. Because it is one thing to grow a baby – babies are tiny and helpless and they need you for everything so the fact that you made them with your body is impressive but not unbelievable. But once that baby turns into an independent being that can walk and talk and feed itself and tell jokes and recognize emotions and wear underpants it’s a totally mind-blowing experience. No one ADDED anything to that baby I grew (unless you count the truly impressive number of Goldfish he’s consumed in the past 2.5 years) but now he counts to 20 and can put on his shoes and use an iPad and help me decorate for Christmas and recognize his friends on the internet.

Of course he can also punch me in the face and scream at me in public and throw epic temper tantrums and push his sister and refuse to pick up the toys he just threw all over the floor and feed his breakfast to the dog and fall out of his stroller and drive me to the brink of insanity. He’s equally good at being both a functional human being and a sociopath. I think most toddlers are.

(Sidenote: I think at this point “toddler” is exceedingly inaccurate, but since he’s not in any kind of school “preschooler” sounds like I’m getting ahead of myself. CAROLINE is a toddler. She toddles. Evan hasn’t toddled in more than a year. Is there an in-between word?)

This week Evan ran up to me and said “Mommy, can’t locate the kitty cat!” He says stuff like that all the time now and constantly blows me away with his vocabulary. I can hardly believe I was concerned enough about his speech to have the early intervention people come out. It’s a good example of how the age range on milestones is REALLY A RANGE and just because you know a 2 year old who holds entire conversations about abstract concepts like poor choices versus wise choices doesn’t mean your kid is behind.

Potty training update: Day time training is done. Diapers at night and nap until he stops waking up SO wet, although yesterday he stayed dry during nap so we might be getting closer. He never uses the diaper on purpose – since he woke up dry I left him in it for a couple hours and he still told me when he had to potty. I think that means I can declare success.

He is at an age where he is super excited to see me, even if I only left the room for a minute. It’s good for my ego. Even my dog isn’t that happy when I walk into a room. And my dog doesn’t give such great hugs or laugh in the most infectious way ever. Almost every night before bed, Little Evan tells me “Mommy, so happy. So happy.” And I tell him “I’m so happy too, buddy.”

Favorite things include Mickey Mouse, jumping, hide and seek, boats, fire trucks, piggy back rides, sitting in a grown up chair, kitty cats, pillows, his blankie, rubbing noses, his sister, lemonade, lollipops, splashing, and hugs.

Least favorite things include holding still, being out of milk,  sharing when he doesn’t want to, mommy’s angry face, broken nails, and when the kitty cat runs away.

 32 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
• Recites own name – Yes! He uses his name most of the time instead of personal pronouns.
• Draws a circle – Yes, but he calls them other things, like kitties or dinosaurs.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
• Puts on a T-shirt – Yes but is much faster at taking OFF his clothes.
• Balances on each foot for a second – I said yes to this last month, so I made him do it to test and make sure. Yes.
• Recognizes ABCs – Some of them. Not all of them. He’s better at words than letters.
• Brushes teeth by himself – Yes, and we’re about ready to upgrade to real toothpaste because he’s figured out spitting.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
• Uses two adjectives – He knows lots of adjectives. His favorite one this week is “AWESOME!” Everything thing is AWESOME.
• Draws a cross – No.
• Points to objects described by use – Yes, and is especially good at things the baby needs. He’s an excellent big brother.

Thankful Day 15: The Dreaded Potty Training

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Every time I mention potty training, someone comments that they’d like to hear more about what we’re doing. I know bloggers say things like that all the time – “I’m writing this post about my trash cans because I got sooooooo many emails about them!” – but honestly, I never get email. Never. So the fact that even ONE person was interested in potty training advice was a surprise and also gives me a great excuse to write about the how potty training is going.

Short version: Great! Almost! I am being LAID BACK.

Long version: I do not have any idea what I am doing. Like my friend Alena keeps saying, I am not qualified for this. It is partly my fault, since besides reading the potty training blog posts as they pop up in my reader and watching Little Evan’s 2 best friends train themselves almost a full year ago (damn overachievers) I haven’t made much of an effort to learn anything about it. I was a) scared b) really scared and c) so scared I practically forgot my own potty training. If you are just starting or thinking about starting, you are probably scared too.

But I am here to tell you it might not be that bad! Really! I have had to clean up poop zero times! (E has had to clean up poop once, but we’ll get to that.) The laid-back approach means there have been zero tears or shouting over potty times. Here is the outline for my non-method method.

1. We waited until he showed interest to start training. And when I say “showed interest” I mean he was telling me before he had to use the potty, even though he was still wearing diapers.  He could already feel the need and was able to hold it. He has the vocabulary to tell me, loudly, that he needs the toilet so I never miss a sign. I like easing into things rather than all-or-nothing (because I am laid back), so starting slow worked well.

2. He watched other people using the potty. Because the two friends he sees the most ARE potty trained, he’s been going into the bathroom when they go for months. I know that sounds weird, but he was already familiar with how the potty worked before he started using it regularly because other moms let him tag along and I think it really helped.

3. One word: bribery. I have bribed him with the following things: lollipops, m&m’s, candy corn, cookies, tv, hugs, lemonade and hand washing. I don’t offer him something unless I have to or he specifically asks, so I’d say he only gets a treat one out of every three times (obviously he still gets hugs and hand washing, but if offering them as a reward works then I’ll keep doing it).

4. As long as he doesn’t go in his pants, anywhere else is OK. The training potty? Sure! The big potty! Awesome! Pee in the bushes? Fine. Standing up? Whatever. The nice part of being so laid back is he has no trouble going in public, so venturing out without diapers wasn’t too terrifying. The only down side is needing to clean my bathroom extremely thoroughly every day he decids to pee standing up. We’re still working on aim.

5. We aren’t pushing night-time training yet. He’s about 50/50 on staying dry during naps, but he is a very sound sleeper and I know I’d end up changing sheets every single morning. I have heard that boys can be potty trained for years before they are night-time trained so I’m not concerned. There’s an entire KIND of diapers meant for night-time accidents so we are obviously not the only ones.

6. Cool underwear. Diego, Yo Gabba Gabba and Thomas are all options on any given day and if he wants to change them for no reason? FINE. I bought plenty.

It’s been nine days since we first took Little Evan out of the house without a diaper and as of right now, he’s in underwear any time he’s awake. He’s had zero out-in-public accidents and zero accidents when he’s with me.

The reason I’ve expressed frustration with the process in the past is because we had several false starts – I thought we were SO CLOSE but he’d get mad and ask to go back to diapers. He was either holding it allllllll day and having an accident right before nap/bed time or refusing to go for so long it was giving him a stomach ache and then pooping in his sleep. Our other set back is with E coming and going every week Little Evan is having a hard time adjusting and it results in accidents. He isn’t comfortable telling E when he has to potty and E doesn’t remember to ask constantly (something I don’t have to do). I feel bad for both of them. But I am LAID BACK so I’m sure it will get better.

Whew. There you go. 1000 words about potty training you never wanted to read. Basically, my advice to anyone starting or thinking about starting would be to figure out what works for your kid. Don’t think you have to pick a method. Don’t convince yourself there is a “wrong” way. Some kids need structure and absolutes, some kids don’t, so don’t be afraid to try something different if what you’re doing isn’t working. Remain laid back.

Today, I am thankful I haven’t had to scrub poop out of the carpet. I am thankful for every diaper I DON’T have to change. I am thankful he won’t be going to kindergarten in training pants. I am thankful that I am no longer scared of potty training. I am thankful for wine, which helps me to be so laid back.