Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bit of a downer

Hmm, I just had a discussion with a college friend about possible reasons why a different college friend seems to be avoiding me... not returning phone calls or e-mails. My sister (not the Queen Manipulator), knowing that the unresponsive friend does not have children, told me that perhaps I talk about Miss Thing too much and that's why she doesn't want to talk to me anymore. I hear that, and I know that it's annoying when all people talk about is their kids, especially when you don't have any of your own. The friend I spoke (well, e-mailed) with today, who also does not have children, echoed those thoughts and feelings but in a gentler way.

I hear what they're saying - really, I do. I remember being on the other side, especially when I couldn't get pregnant for ages (which is a completely different situation than we're dealing with here as far as I know, but another reason why it can be acutely annoying/painful to hear about other peoples' kids all the time), before Miss Thing decided to come be part of our family.

But it makes me really sad. I have friends I met when I was 5 years old who I can still keep in contact with, even the ones who don't have kids. I have made lots of good friends in my lifetime. I'm not really going to lose some of them because I had children, am I?

It is entirely possible that all I talk about is Miss Thing, though I've been told that I'm not as bad as some other moms in that way. Raising her is what I do all day, every day. And I'm pregnant. It's only going to get worse when I have two kids to talk about, when raising two kids is all I do all day, every day. But it won't always be like this; when they're old enough to be more independent, I will get back into my own interests more. I will be able to go out with my girlfriends more and spend adult-only time talking about adult things. Won't I?

But I also have to ask - is it really all up to ME to make these relationships work?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Calgon, take me away!

I might let the cats out today. Just to be rid of them. Clark is belligerent again this morning. He keeps getting up on tables, etc. that he knows he shouldn't be on. He won't stay away from my water glass, even though he has fresh water in his bowl and I put a lid on mine to keep him out of it. Lois has been jumping on furniture too, out of my sight. I can tell because she's setting off the "Ssscat" things we put on some of the tables & dressers to scare them off when they jump up when we're not around. It seems that discipline does not work on these cats. We've tried the squirt bottle, the Sssscat things, yelling, throwing things, and as a last resort, grabbing them by the scruffs of their necks and putting them in their cat carrier in the garage for an hour or more at a time. Nothing works. My mother-in-law suggests kitty prozac. I think they're kittens who probably just need to be played with more than we're playing with them. If only I could train Miss Thing to swing the kitty toy (feathers on a string on a stick) around without bashing anything so they could play. But when that toy comes out, she turns into a kitty too, and hogs the toy so the cats can't get any enjoyment out of it. I thought kittens would be so much fun for her. And they are - but I don't know how much fun living with us is for the kittens.

As for life in general... I feel pretty pathetic. We are on such a late schedule, we don't have any set routines, we're not getting enough sleep, we're not eating as well as I could feed us if I were cooking fresh food more often, we don't get outside often enough for fresh air and exercise... I am so tired from not sleeping well (pain in hips due to pregnancy) that I can't see my way clear to establish and get us on a real routine. I often take naps with Miss Thing in order to get what little sleep my body seems to be capable of getting, which leaves me with no time to clean up the house or cut up veggies for a healthy dinner, etc. I feel trapped in my role as a mother 24x7x365, because my hubby works at a start-up (every company he has ever worked for has been a start-up) which means that his hours are many and late. When he *is* home, he is either taking care of non-toddler-friendly house projects (considered un-child-friendly because they involve power tools and big slabs of wood) or so spent from working his ass off all week that all he can muster the energy for is sitting on the couch watching TV, or maybe not even that - often he falls asleep in front of the TV for a large portion of a weekend day.

Oh well... This is our life right now...

****The above was written yesterday. My mood was definitely affected by the weather - hard rain all day. It rained all night too, and is raining again today, but I feel better now. I guess having a depressed day and not getting out of your jammies and just doing the very minimum and watching a Disney movie with the kid is necessary from time to time. Today, though, I have taken a shower and gotten dressed, which is a HUGE step in the right direction. I feel SO much better! Yesterday was the first time I had stayed in my jammies all day for four or five months, and wouldn't you know it, a friend who I hadn't seen in over a year dropped by without warning. Boy, did I feel yucky when I opened the door! Oh well. He lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where the women don't wear bras, so at least I wasn't disgusting him on *every* level. He's used to seeing braless women. ha ha!

Last night I barely slept because my hips hurt so badly. I got up at 2am for a trip to the bathroom and did some exercises to try and loosen up my hips before going back to bed. Half an hour later I didn't feel any better so I got up and cleaned up the kitchen a little bit in the dark (no dishes or cleaning projects, mind you - I just put away the cookies Miss Thing and I had made in the evening so she wouldn't see them first thing this morning and want those for breakfast). Then I went back to bed and tried to sleep until 8am. Had lots of weird dreams so I guess I got a little bit of sleep, but mostly I tossed and turned and complained in my head to myself about how miserably uncomfortable I was. Bleh.

However, just being in bed for as long as I was (9 hours) seems to have done me some good, because I do feel better today.

This evening we have a prenatal appointment and I'm doing the glucose test thing. But I'm doing it the gentle way, which I'm STOKED about. No sitting in a lab with a bunch of sick people for an hour - nope, this time I've been eating extra sweets for a few days ("had" to finish up that Godiva Valentine's chocolate, darn it) and today I'll carbo load an hour and a half before our appointment and then the midwife will check my blood half an hour after we get to her office. Sweet! I hope I pass. Heh. I've been eating so badly this pregnancy... we'll see.

As for potty training? I give up, man. Miss Thing seemed to be doing so well, then she dropped it completely, and then she picked it up again but only half-heartedly, and only when I suggested that she sit on her potty. Hubby thinks maybe we should try some kind of reward system. Stickers or something else she likes. I guess we could give it a go, but right now she's back in diapers and I'm tempted to just wait until she asks to start using the potty again. I want her to be ready so it will go quickly. I am the one who has to deal with all of the cleanup, because I'm the one who is here.

Two days ago I left her barebottomed for a large part of the day. She did not sit on her potty or "go" at all. Later, since she had not gone at all, we got a bit nervous and put some training pants on her. She immediately peed and pooped. I took off the training pants (poopy training pants totally suck, by the way - they're almost impossible to get off without getting poop all over the kid's legs and endangering your clothing and the floor) and thought I had put fresh ones on her, but apparently got distracted because I was on the phone with my mom. Miss Thing, who just couldn't stop playing with her toys, *pooped standing up with no training pants or diaper on!* I never thought she would do that. I know she knows when she's going to poop. I thought for sure that she would sit on the potty if there was nothing covering her butt. So - that's why she's back in diapers.

The trouble lately seems to be that while she enjoys the praise she gets for using her potty, and is proud of herself when she does, she does not seem to want to stop playing in order to use the potty. I was recently told by one of my sisters, "she is totally playing you!" which made me angry. I don't like the implications of that at all. Miss Thing is just a kid, and I do not believe she did what she did out of any desire to piss me off. The feeling I got from her was simply that she did not want to stop playing, and she is REALLY not into potty training anymore for now. Extreme disinterest. So, fine. She's back in diapers. I'll work on setting up a reward system that we can use when she's interested again.

As for what my sister said, I reminded myself that one always has to consider the source. That comment came from the Queen Manipulator of my family. Of course that would seem like the answer to her. Playing people is what she does, and she taught her kids to do that at a young age too, so it probably truly makes sense to her that a 2 1/2-year-old is capable of doing that.

Forgive me if this post sounds completely scattered - it has been written in many different chunks over two days. I need to make the time to actually sit and write a comprehensive, thoughtful post once in a while, all at once. It's a goal. I'd better go make sure the bathroom sink hasn't overflowed yet. Miss Thing is washing her squirty fishies in there by herself.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Technical difficulties

I have just spent way too much time trying to figure out how to put links to other people's blogs in my sidebar. Finally figured it out, but there's something wrong with the "Links" title. Any help would be appreciated. But the important part is that there are good links there! And now to utilize what I have left of Miss Thing's naptime... oh geez, am I really going to take her grocery shopping in the SF Bay Area on a Friday afternoon? Am I nuts? No, just hungry, I guess.

I think the cats have left us

Yesterday when Miss Thing and I arrived home from our two-day jaunt to visit her auntie and uncle, we opened the door to the house and the TV was on... strange. I called hubby to see why he had left it on when he went to work. He said, "it was on when I came home last night too! Was 'Finding Nemo' playing this time, or the TV?" I told him it was the TV. He said that when he had come home to find Nemo playing, the TV remote had been upside down on the floor. I think we need to have the cats' brains scanned to see whether or not they're really felines.

Whose idea was it to get kittens anyway? We got these two adorable kitties in September from my sister-in-law. We named them Lois and Clark (after Lewis & Clark, the explorers, not as a Superman joke) The two of them were the entire first litter of one of her cats and after weaning them the mama went nuts-o on their furry little butts and kept trying to kill them - so they had to stick the mama cat outside (where she got pregnant again and her next litter was 5 kittens! Oy! She is fixed now...). Anyway, of course Miss Thing thinks that they are the best thing ever. She hugs them, kisses them, takes their toys away from them, lays on top of them until they have to scratch her to get her to move, and frequently pronounces them to be "the best kitties in the whole wide world."

But they're belligerent. They're 9 months old now, which I believe makes them teenagers in cat years. They've finished growing, I think, but they still run around like horses when they feel frisky, and have to be disciplined about scratching the furniture, and they still get up on tabletops and countertops. Now, let me tell you, they KNOW they're not supposed to get up on high surfaces that we use for food preparation and eating. They get up there in front of us just to piss us off. It might sound funny, but it's actually very maddening and nothing we try to use as discipline seems to help.

Yesterday Clark just kept jumping up on the kitchen counters in front of me. After shooing him down and chasing him off a few times, I finally got really pissed and scruffed him and took him to the garage, where I locked him in the cat carrier for a while. When I went to get him to bring him back in, he wigged and ran back out into the garage as soon as I got inside but before I could close the door - and his sister ran out there too. AUGH! I just closed the door and unplugged the garage door opener so hubby wouldn't accidentally let them out (they are indoor only kitties) and we left them overnight. We put some water and a litter box out there, but no food, and figured that no food and way more cold than they're used to, having been indoor kitties from birth, would make them think twice about EVER wanting to go out in the garage again.

This morning, no word from the kitties. We had intended to let them back in, but they're not coming. They're not even dignifying our queries with a meow. I think they might be under the house, but they shouldn't be able to get out from there. I guess they've just decided that they hate us and they're never coming back. Don't know what they think they're going to eat.

Oh well... whattaya gonna do. It can only make my life easier to just have to deal with ONE child today.

***Minutes after I posted the above, Miss Thing and I opened the door to the garage to check for the cats again and they came right in... and after inspecting the house to make sure we hadn't moved anything, and after Clark nearly hopped in the shower with me in his fervor to get some snuggles, they resumed their usual routine of galloping around the house and trying to tear each other's heads off. And Clark started getting up on the dining room table. Back to life as usual. Damn cats. Ha ha! ***

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hoo freakin' ray

Well, it's a good morning. Despite the lack of decent sleep. Miss Thing insisted on wearing just a thin, short-sleeved shirt and diaper to bed last night (oh, and socks - at least she likes those) and then kept kicking off her covers. The result was that she pretty much tried to burrow under me all night long to keep warm, which was pretty annoying. This morning we had a talk about how she WILL wear long sleeves and long pants to bed from now on. The nights have been so cold lately that I'm even considering trying to find some fleecy "bunny suits" to keep her warm, although I imagine that by the time I found the right size, got them washed and made her wear them, the weather would be warm again. We'll see how it goes.

Anyway, we got up early and Miss Thing, who awoke with a clean, dry diaper, wanted to sit on her potty first thing. I convinced her that it was a GREAT idea for her to do that in the bathroom and read books, play with her bath toys, whatever, while I took a shower. So, while I was getting an early shower, she had a VERY successful morning on her potty. I'm no longer worried about her for the non pooping issue, hooray!

I know I talk about the potty a lot - my mother-in-law has accused me of becoming "a real potty mouth" these days. ha ha! But hey, this is what's going on around here, and it's pretty significant when you're at the stage where we are. I have to think of it more than I'd even like because I want to TRY to save the carpet when I can.

Anyway, toodleoo for a couple days; Miss Thing and I are going to visit her auntie and uncle.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Housework Happy

I can't help it. Despite the fact that I was brought up to believe that "housewife" was a bad word, I get really happy when I see the result of some housework that I've done. I'm never too thrilled to be spending time going through our crap or dusting, but when it's done, I'm totally thrilled and keep walking out of the room and back into it again so I can admire my newly-cleared space. All that college education for nothing... ha ha

But, I imagine that most people understand the good feeling you get from being organized, even just in one little area. I am going very slowly with the Flylady thing; I haven't really made myself a morning or evening routine yet. At least, not the whole thing. I do start laundry every morning, and shine my sink (and usually wash dishes beforehand) every night, as I have mentioned in a previous post. One of my "15-minute boogies" resulted in a completely cleared off dressertop, which has miraculously stayed that way since. I was amazed that I could get the whole thing cleared off so quickly. Now my desk is almost entirely clean and dusted, even on top of the hutch. Ahhh, it feels good to look around and not have CRAP everywhere anymore. There is still a ton to do, of course, but these little victories are making me happy and giving me the boost I need to keep going. Making slow and steady progress like this is SO much better than what I was doing before - looking around, feeling completely overwhelmed, throwing my hands up in the air, and doing nothing.

To completely change gears - Miss Thing hasn't pooped in two days. She's on the potty now... last night before she went to sleep she told me, "Mama, my bum is all closed up like a bucket." That doesn't sound good. But she spent all day yesterday drinking cups FULL of juice and soy milk (not mixed together, eww)! Pretty weird. I hope she goes today before we leave. We're hoping to go see the Monarchs at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz before they leave in the next couple weeks to fly back to the Rocky Mountains.

*Evening addendum:* The Monarchs are gone. I called the park to check in the morning and once again, we missed the darn butterflies. Next year we'll actually have to PLAN to go see them during the proper season (October - February). Heh. So, no outing today. And no poop from the child. I'm concerned, but she's acting just fine. I'm wondering if she's doing this on purpose, but I don't know why she would - she had such great success on the potty a couple weeks ago. We'll see what tomorrow brings... glad our road trip to my sister's house is only an hour long.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Can't... function... so... tired... someone PLEASE raise my toddler while I sleep for the rest of my pregnancy! >whimper<

Well, I did finally get a shower - at 3pm. More nap madness today - Miss Thing flapped and flopped around and licked her "kitty paws" and did other silly things that were NOT SLEEPING for an hour and a half. I told her that if she wasn't asleep by 3pm she was not allowed to take a nap today, and Daddy would put her to bed early tonight. Unfortunately anybody but me putting her to bed is the end of the world to her, so while I'm just looking for some goddam time away from her, she feels she is being punished. Which I guess isn't all bad. I've been reminding and explaining to her all day about the bedtime thing, "because you didn't take a nap," etc. She insists that I am going to put her to bed. This is going to suck. Actually, what might be worse is that her daddy might not be here in time to put her to bed. Work is yet again crazy for him today.

Uh.... um... okay, I just realized it was too quiet and looked next to the couch where Miss Thing had been sitting watching TV. Didn't see her. Got up, walked around to look next to the couch. She's asleep on the floor. Shit! 5pm nap BAD! Goddam it, today sucks.

Well, the good news is that today she yet again got a rash from not wanting a diaper change when she had a poopy diaper, and this time when we finally changed it and she complained about the rash, she HEARD me when I explained WHY she got the rash, and really thought about it when I reminded her of how clean and non-rashy her bum was when she was using the potty instead of diapers. After that she wanted to sit on her potty, eventually peed in it, and is now wearing big girl training pants again. Hooray!

Now - what do I do with her? Wake her up and make her stay awake for another hour before putting her to bed? Put her in bed? Leave her on the floor?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hubby made me do it

This morning there are dirty dishes on the kitchen counter and my sink is not shiny. Miss Thing had a late bedtime last night and then hubby made me watch "Lost" with him and eat Godiva truffles. He's so mean. hee hee. And sleep? What's that? This pregnancy I've been unable to get good sleep since the middle of it. And I'm only just past the middle. Ugh! I need a fairy godmother or something.

Miss Thing looks at the picture below, of her decorating cookies, and every time she says, "look, it's me, making a big mess on the kitchen table." ha ha! Her daddy and my sister think she has OCD. She *is* very interested in cleanliness and order. I'm convinced it's just a good personality trait, nothing more.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Artiste at work

Yesterday, at a loss for what to do for the hubby for Valentine's Day, I settled upon making and decorating heart-shaped cutout cookies. Miss Thing was a very willing helper. After I cut the cookies out she put them on the pans, and then, as you can see, after they were cooked and cooled she had a GREAT time decorating them.

Yes, some of the cookies are a little dark around the edges... gimme a break. My oven is 20 years old. At least. It gets hotter in the back.

Parenting woes & related family baggage

Had another hair-pullingly annoying naptime experience with Miss Thing today. She was playing with the toys I told her she could hold while she went to sleep, so I took them away. She got off the bed to retrieve them. I told her to get back up on the bed. She just crouched by the toys and looked at me. She often does not listen to me lately, and I don't know if it's because I've been too lax with her in the past and now that is coming back to bite me in the butt, or simply because she is 2 1/2 and is developmentally required to test my limits. (By the way, someone recently told me that the third year is worse - if that's true, I quit!)

Anyway... I know it was dumb to ever allow toys into bed in the first place, but for a very long time Miss Thing would truly just hold her favorite thing (whatever that happened to be each night at bedtime) until she fell asleep. Now, of course, she plays with said thing(s). So today I finally instituted the "no toys" rule.

Every time I come to a situation like this where I have to make a decision that I know will lead to screaming and crying, I feel as if I've done something wrong to bring this on, and I'm not sure what the next step should be. Then I think about how one of the parenting books we have says that the more time you spend with your child, the more quickly and easily you know what to do in discipline-necessary situations. You know what is right for your child better than anyone because you are the one who is there all the time. Well, let me tell you, I am with my child almost literally 24x7x365, and I have some pretty big struggles sometimes trying to figure out what is the right thing to do.

Then that gets me to thinking, "why is this so hard for me?" The reason is that I don't want to raise her exactly how I was raised. Yes, my parents did the best they could, and yes, we all turned out pretty well, and although we do have problems I'm certainly not going to blame those on Mom and Dad and what they did or didn't do. My siblings and I are grown now and it is our responsibility to take what we've been given and do what we can with it to create our own ways of being. That said, of course I also know that no matter what I do, no matter how mindful I am of how I raise my children, I am fully aware that at some point they will blame their problems on me and their Dad and what we did or didn't do while raising them.

Anyway - so I don't feel like I have a good example to follow, especially in regards to discipline, and therefore I have to make these decisions on the fly and just hope that they're not going to ruin my daughter somewhere down the line. I am constantly wondering if something I just did or said in anger is going to make her into a bitchy, door-slamming teenager (although I'm fairly certain that raging teenage hormones alone may be more responsible for that behavior when it does happen).

Meanwhile, although we did have a good visit with Grandma over the weekend, I was also treated to pretty much a running commentary of things I'm doing wrong, or things that I should be doing as a mother.

"She doesn't eat much; she is drawn to sweets."
Okay, what should I do, put a feeding tube down her throat to make her eat more? Yes, she is drawn to sweet things, but we're talking about fresh fruit and stuff I bake myself with unrefined sugar. She cannot/will not eat a whole cookie made with refined sugar. She will not eat more than a few bites of ice cream at once. We are not talking about a junkfood junkie here. And as for how much she eats, she seems to be getting what she needs. At her two-year appointment she still came out in the 75th percentile for height and weight. All of her blood work showed that she was very healthy. Despite being a vegetarian. Hah.

"You need to be firmer with her about potty training."
Shall I tie the potty to her butt? Everything I'm reading says that forcing your child to potty train makes it into a negative thing (DUH) which is miserable for everyone involved, and that forcing adds time to the learning process.

"You should get her outside more."
Well, okay, that one is definitely true.

Anyway, you get the idea... and while my siblings and I were purportedly all potty trained by the age of 1 1/2, I guarantee you that we only went along with it out of fear. We were raised on fear. I am not going to do that to my child. I would rather explain things to her in detail so she actually knows what I'm talking about and why I want her to do things. I would rather listen to her so I know what her reasons are for not wanting to comply. Then we can actually talk about these things and she can have an actual reasoning knowledge of why we do things the way we do, rather than live by, "because I said so."

And I have been rewarded in my efforts; after one of these conversations, maybe hours, maybe days, even weeks or months - she will explain to me (or her daddy, or whoever she happens to be talking to) what the proper course of action is and why. One of the more amusing admonishments to have been repeated: "I shouldn't lie on my kitties and squish them because I am heavier than they are and it can hurt them," etc.

Maybe every parent has these worries, that what they do or say to their child may be the wrong thing. And it probably takes pretty consistent wrong-thing doing to actually make a dent in the child's personality. But that doesn't quiet the questioning voices; doesn't quell the concerns.

Lest I be misunderstood - which I'm sure I will be anyway, but for clarification I'd just like to say - I am not having angst over instituting the "no toys in the bedroom" rule. That should have been the rule from the start. The angst is over having let her have toys in there for a long time in the first place, since to begin with I knew that wasn't a good idea, and also me getting angry when she won't nap and getting snippy, sometimes storming out of the room, that kind of thing.

Spoke too soon

Did I say that Miss Thing was potty training with great results? Well, it *was* true for about a week. However, last Thursday or so she decided that she wanted nothing at all to do with the potty and whenever we asked her about sitting on it she would say, "no." Now she is back in diapers and is happy to be there. Even laying still for the most part, on her changing table, for diaper changes. This is not how the reverse psychology of putting her back in diapers was supposed to work. Hrmf. Oh well... I am often reminded that they do all learn... eventually. She will come back to it some day, hopefully soon.

FLYing continues with good results. The kitchen is clean pretty much all the time now and I even dry the sink between daytime uses so it stays shiny - love it! I've done such a faboo job of catching up with the laundry that today there is nary a dirty load to be found. Wahoo!

Dishes wouldn't have been so easy over the weekend if Mom hadn't been here. Since she was here I cooked a lot more than usual, thereby dirtying more dishes than usual. But she washed a lot of them for me and by Sunday I had the kitchen under MY control again (meaning, she didn't have to wash any even though she was still here until halfway through Monday).

Now, if we could just get a freakin' routine going that would get me a shower much earlier in the day, without struggle from the little one...

Friday, February 10, 2006


If naps don't get easier again, I'm going to SCREAM! Lately they're a big huge power struggle between me and Miss Thing, and I'm hating it. Though I do feel partially responsible because we do not have a real set routine. I know from experience that having that for her will make for easier and quicker naptime and bedtime falling asleep. Somehow I've got to get *myself* to stop struggling against routines.

I am actually working toward that, though, by becoming a "flybaby." It's helping; I am making some progress. Got a long way to go, though, before I find that peace Flylady talks about. Our house has so much clutter, it's going to take a zillion "15-minute boogies" to get it all back in order. However, I now rule my kitchen most days (meaning that I shine my sink every night before I go to bed and keep up with the dishes - I am the only dishwasher we have, so that means that I have to wash them all day long, preferably after each meal). The daily reminders from the Flylady website http://www.flylady.com help a lot, especially the one about the laundry. I was pretty good about laundry before, but now since I get a reminder every day asking, "where is your laundry?" I am less likely to start a load and then forget about it until the next day. Eww... ha ha!

Now, that crock pot recipe I made today - holy cripes, I cannot believe how much work that recipe called for before I could just throw the ingredients into the pot and turn it on! I'm (it's) making Barbecued Seitan and Layered Vegetables for dinner tonight, but besides having to chop up all the veggies (a given, but usually the bulk of the work in a crock pot recipe), I also had to sautee the onions, the potatoes and the seitan - each separately! Might not sound that hard, but when you accidentally use olive oil instead of an oil that's actually meant for higher temperature cooking, your whole house fills with smoke and adds to the lovely smell in the curtains and the towels. They already smelled like onions, fer cryin' out loud, now they smell like smoke too.

Oh well. The good thing is that dinner has been cooking for three hours now, AND it's warm enough outside today that I'll be able to open the windows and air out the onion and smoke smells - as well as the Vick's vapor smell from the bedroom where Miss Thing and her booger factory are finally taking a nap.

Here is where things stand now, aside from nappage and crock pottage: It's 2pm and I am *finally* about to get my shower for the day, and my mom is due to arrive any minute. Good thing she has a house key, 'cause dammit, I'm getting my shower NOW. And despite all the good I've been accomplishing through trying to set routines with the help of the Flylady crew, my kitchen is full of dirty dishes from the pre-crock cooking this morning. Sheez! Oh well, at least those are the only dirty dishes there. That's better than having those AND the dishes from dinner last night.

Again, oh well... someday, with a lot of work, I will be a domestic goddess - or get over the idea altogether.

And the learning continues...

What, you want to know how the potty training is going? Really? Well, let me update you. Miss Thing pooped only in her potty for three days before going in her training pants again. It was really nice! Since then she has had on-again, off-again days with the potty. We've also been doing a lot of errand-running so I've been putting her in diapers, and she's just been - using them. Today, though, we're not going anywhere, so it's back to training pants and frequent reminders from me to her; "do you need to sit on your potty? Do you feel like you have to go pee-pee or poo-poo on your potty?" Though honestly most of her successes have happened when she realized she needed to go and sat on the potty all of her own accord, not in reaction to my prompting. A couple days ago, she even kept her nighttime training pants clean until about 3pm the next day, because she was so on top of things! YAY!

I'll try to find something else to talk about later today. Probably cooking. Ha ha - we've got Miss Thing's grandparents - one Grandma, at least - coming over today and staying through breakfast on Monday, so I've got lots of work to do! Thank goodness for my crock pot.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

And her name shall (not) be...

Miss Thing has decided what her little sister should be named: Giraffe. I asked for her opinion and that's what she said. I ran a couple names by her that we're considering and she said, "no, 'Giraffe!' Her name should be 'Giraffe!'" ha ha! But since I don't want Thing Two to disown us as soon as she starts school, I think we'll go with something more conventional. Not traditional, mind you, but more... well, namelike.

Friday, February 03, 2006

And there was much rejoicing

We had a jolly day celebrating Miss Thing's potty accomplishments. I blew up a bunch of balloons for her and she sat among them in a sunbeam on the floor for a "picnic" in the early evening.

Daddy was so proud of Miss Thing that he had a similar inspiration and brought home a dozen big helium balloons for her! When I commented that balloons were the perfect thing for today he said, "it's almost like I have a spycam mounted in the living room and know exactly what's going on at home every day!" Weirdo.

Dig the hot pink training pants cover. And the sock that's missing, well, that had to come off earlier in the day because it had poop all over it. Hee.

Tonight I practically had to use a crowbar to pry Miss Thing off the potty. She had been playing all day with nothing coming out of her, which started to worry me around dinnertime. I started plying her with juice every ten minutes or so and asking often whether or not she needed to sit on her potty and go pee-pee. She would drink, but did not feel the need to go on the potty. Well, a while later, I was in the bathroom and heard her whine in the living room. I thought she was just upset that I was gone for a little while, but when she came in, her training pants were leaking. A lot. Pee-pee everywhere on the bathroom floor, and who knows how much on the hallway carpet. Oh well.

As soon as she peeled off her training pants she ran to sit on her potty again. We drew pictures for a long time but I didn't think she would be going again anytime soon, since she had just leaked what appeared to be a complete bladder-full. However, not too long later, she peed again in her potty, and was very excited to hear it happening. She said, "do you feel it?" which I have asked her before when she's going, and I said, "no, *I* don't feel it, because it's coming out of you. Do *you* feel it?" She said, "yes, I do," with a smile of wonder on her face. As soon as she was finished, she stood up to survey the contents of her potty and I took the opportunity to wipe her bum. I asked if she was ready for her bath and she said, "no, I want to go pee-pee on my potty again!" Ha ha! Oh boy. It took a while to get her to get up and take a bath and get to bed. But hey, the potty's her friend now. I'm not going to complain about that!

Potty Training for real!

Omigod, I am so excited. After about six months of on-again, off-again interest in her potty chair, Miss Thing has really started to get the idea, and today she's gone for the gusto! WAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!

She's been showing so many signs of readiness for potty training, yet often I feel as if my encouragement might be being viewed as pushing, which would be a bad thing... I've heard that pushing a child to potty train can add 6 months to the learning process.

Anyway -

A week and a half or so ago I ordered cotton training pants (and waterproof nylon pull-up covers, very important) rather than cotton diapers from our diaper service, simply so that we could have standing-up diaper changes, thereby eliminating most of the screaming, crying, and kicking that had started going on during forced lying-down diaper changes. Spare the Mama, spare the toddler, spare the in utero baby sister.

Of course I was hoping that training pants, which fit much more loosely than diapers and can be pulled up and down by the wearer, would help Miss Thing become more independent with her potty usage. What happened, though, starting her very first day in said pants, was that she started to really feel the effects of peeing in her pants. And she didn't like it. During her third training pants change that day she said, "I hope I don't go pee pee in these twaining pants."

Some days we run out of clean waterproof covers and have to go back to diapers until the laundry is done. I was initially a little concerned that this back-and-forth would confuse her or make her complacent with the diapers, but no - she now stops walking, puts her legs apart and makes a whining noise when she's peeing even if she's wearing diapers!

Well, today, let me tell you, all of this new realization came together for her. this morning when her favorite kitty cat sauntered into her bedroom, Miss Thing got up and ran into her room to slam the door. This is a normal morning routine, and almost without fail, this is the time of day when Miss Thing poops in her diaper. As it happened, this morning she had been sitting on her potty in the living room when she got up and ran, so she was bare-bottomed. I took her potty into her bedroom and made sure she knew it was there, then left, content in the knowledge that we have a carpet shampooer.

A little later I went to her door and said, "will you be okay in there with the cat while I take a shower?" There was no answer. That has never happened before. Usually she yells, "NO! Don't open the door! Don't let the kitty out!" So I opened the door and she was playing as usual... but the room smelled. I said, "did you go poopie in your potty?" She said, "I did," and went over to look at her creation. I praised her to the skies - what with the way she's been fighting poopy diaper changes, I wasn't sure we'd get to this point for another year or two. I cleaned her up (SO much less mess than cleaning her after she's been sitting in it!), cleaned up her potty, and then we started making the requisite phone calls to Daddy, Grandma, Auntie... After that I left the room again and got ready for my shower. Came back to make sure she had everything she needed, and again, no answer. I entered the room and she looked up and said, "I did it again!" Sure enough, the potty was full of pee pee as well as poopie this time. There was also a bit of poop on the floor... it looked as if she had started to go in her training pants and then thought better of it. Another huge success.

Apparently being barebottomed and left alone are key for this particular child. And Miss thing is extremely pleased with herself. I feel like she's suddenly grown a whole foot taller in one day or something. What a big girl!

To top off all of this wonderfulness, she is now taking a nap, after two days of no naps. AND she slept 11 1/2 hours last night, so I wasn't sure she was going to nap today. This is just a day of all good things! Wahoo!