Monday, April 30, 2012

potty this and potty that

oh potty training, how I loathe thee.

Yes, this blog is about the woes of potty training.  Click 'exit' now if you are squeamish; otherwise, proceed.

Morgan turned 3 in February and we've been working on potty training for over a year.  Her speech delay has made it difficult; it's hard to potty train when you can't really communicate with your kid.  She's also very stubborn and strong willed.  Her pediatrician basically told us that the 2 things a toddler can control in life are 'what goes in and what comes out.'  So it's been a power struggle to get Morgan to eat new foods (or sometimes just to eat at all) and to want to go on the potty.

This past week all of a sudden Morgan has decided that the potty isn't all that bad!  For a solid week we've basically done no diapers or pullups during the day while at home.  She has spent half of the time running around naked or wearing 'potty pants' (underwear) and her little potty has ended up in the living room...which is where SHE wants it, so I'm not moving it.  I spend most of the day asking her if she needs to potty...and the other half of the day watching her potty.....then cleaning her potty.

And yes, I know they make inserts to fit on a regular toilet so that toddlers can go on the big potty.  We have one.  It's pink and says 'princess' on it.  She rarely uses it.  She prefers this little potty from Toys R Us that is almost too small for her.  Going in the big potty would be too easy of course; she would rather use the little potty and then watch us clean it out.

You would think that after years of changing poop diapers, poop in the potty wouldn't phase me.  I can't stand it.  I dry heave and try to hide the disgusted look on my face as I'm carrying a little plastic bowl full of a toddler poo to the bathroom; I don't want her to think she's done something bad.  As I gasp for air in between dry heaves I try to tell Morgan what a good job she did and how she can have a 'treat' of chocolate chips as soon as mommy cleans up and composes herself.  If Michael is home, I beg him to do the dirty job, but he's not home very often.  And I swear Morgan times her poops for when he's at work.

And she poops ALL THE TIME now.  It's like she feels that whenever she sits on the potty, she has to work on a poo.  So she sits and sits and sits.  So I sit and sit and sit and wait for her to be finished.  No way am I leaving a pooping toddler unsupervised on a potty on my living room carpet.  Then I have to catch her before she tries to pick up her potty to go empty it herself.  I have nightmares about the contents of the potty spilling out onto my clean floors.  Then I have to catch her and get her cleaned up with potty pants back on before she climbs onto my couch.

It's stressful I tell ya.

And she's not completely potty trained yet.  We are still working on 'out of the house training.'  Whenever we go somewhere, we put a diaper on her.  We went to dinner the other evening and every time she peed in her diaper, she loudly announced it...'Mommy, I just pee peed in my diapy again!'
...ummm okay kid, be quiet and eat your mashed potatoes.  Today I decided to try her outside with no diaper.  I took her potty out on the porch and we enjoyed the sunshine for 4 hours while she used the potty on the porch.  I'll just have to remind my neighbors that I'm from WV and don't know any better.

She still wears a diaper at night and usually wakes up with it dry (woo hoo!  she hopefully won't be a bedwetter!) but she doesn't want to take it off and use the potty when she first wakes up.  She usually pees in her diaper and then comes to tell me (or takes it off and throws it away herself...ridiculous, I know).  But we are getting there!

Do I have any advice on potty training?  Yes - wait until they are ready.  Don't force the issue.  They will eventually be ready.  I'm just thrilled that Morgan was ready before she started kindergarten. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

baby gear

I remember when Morgan was born, wondering why this little 6lb 13oz creature needed SO MUCH STUFF.  At the time we were renting a 2 bedroom townhouse and half of our place was filled with baby shower gifts.  Swing, bouncer seat, Bumbo seat, highchair, bassinet, crib, diaper changing station, pack n play, carrier, papasan chair, floor gym, bath tub, flat screen TV, Wii.  I remember asking Michael 'seriously?  why does a tiny human need so much big stuff?'

Oh I got my answer.

Because babies are not these cute little happy cuddly creatures that you snuggle with, sing to, feed, and put away.  They are hateful, demanding, greedy little dictators.  Or at least mine was.  Morgan was extremely irritated about being born.  It put her in a bad mood for about 6 months.  During the first week we learned really fast a new game called 'What Makes Morgan Happy' that we had to play for the next year.  Does Morgan want to hang out in the swing listening to classical music?  No.  Does Morgan want to roll around in the floor gym?  No.  Does Morgan want to snuggle down in the papasan seat and watch her mobile?  For about 1 minutes, yes.  Does Morgan want to be held by mommy while the Wiggles are on?  ding ding ding!  We have a winner!  ....for about 10 minutes. 

I read articles about 'container babies' - babies that are always stuck in a swing or pack n play or whatever.  I concluded that I had an 'anti-container baby' that wanted to be held all of the time.  But eventually all of the gear became a blessing.  I could put Morgan in her swing watching Nemo for a 10 minute shower before she started screaming.  We put a lot of miles on her stroller too.  She loved going for long as they were no longer than 1/2 hour.  That was her limit. 

The jumparoo was our best friend when she was old enough to use it.  Not only did it provide ridiculous entertainment for us (seriously, only a parent will understand why it's hilarious to sit and watch a baby jump up and down in a plastic saucer attached to supports) but it gave us some hands free time to do things like cook dinner, clean house, work on laundry, and play Mario Kart. 

Eventually Morgan outgrew all of her gear, and started to walk, so our days of trying to play What Makes Morgan Happy came to a close and we bagged up all of the gear for storage.

And last week we dragged it all out of our attic.

Oh my gosh.

Why does a little human need so much big gear?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bump Update

I haven't blogged in a while and I feel the need to feel the world in on my amazingly exciting life....I hate to leave people hanging...

Latest 'bump update' - Deuce is perfectly healthy, and so am I! 

I still feel horrible.  I hate every single moment of being pregnant, day and night.  And then I feel bad for hating being pregnant because so many people would love to be in my shoes and they can't....

....but seriously, I HATE this.

Thank God I don't have to work.  I don't know what I would do if I was teaching high school right now...probably sit at my desk and cry about being so sick and tired while the kids set my classroom on fire.  Kudos to all the pregnant working women. 

But after my last huge round of blood work I found out I'm perfectly healthy.  I'm not even considered borderline diabetic right now because my A1C level is so awesome (pauses to pat self on back) and my cholesterol is awesome and my thyroid is under control and my blood pressure is better than perfect.

I think I'll unwrap this Cadbury egg....

Deuce has a normal and low heart rate.  He's very laid back already.  I hope he takes after Michael and NOT after my family.  Michael is so laid back sometimes I feel like I need to check and make sure he's still breathing when he's on the couch for hours watching golf or bowling or something.  I can't sit still.  Nobody in my family can sit still.  Even when I'm pregnant and hobbling around with aching hip joints and swollen ankles, I can't sit still for too long...even when I'm sitting I'm busy, usually working on a crochet project.

Deuce is also really active, especially at night.  I swear it feels like he's playing a drum set inside me, kicking his legs and pumping his hands.  Sometimes I worry he's having a seizure. 

So maybe my dreams of a laid back baby boy are a little too hopeful....

But we are getting excited.  Me mostly because I can't wait to NOT be pregnant ever again.  Morgan can't wait for 'baby bwotha' and looks outside for him every single day to come running down the street or come in the mail or whatever is going on in that little head of hers.  I've been going through all of Morgan's baby clothes weeding out the neutral items for him to wear.  Michael climbed up in the attic to bring down all of the baby gear (holy cow I forgot how much gear this tiny little human requires...).  My mom is hosting a 'sprinkle' instead of a baby shower, because I was encouraged by so many friends to have a little celebration for baby boy so that we could get clothes and diapers and stock up on other baby items.  On Amazon I found the crib set I really want; it's called Night Owl by Jo Jo Designs.  I love owls.  Deuce will love owls too.  I am planning to get some 'woodland wall decals' to jazz up the beige walls in his room (I really don't want to paint...beige is fine for a boy) and found some with owls and squirrels and hedgehogs....


and owls!!!

that makes me happy.

I have a collection of Boyd's Bear moose that has been sitting in a storage tub since I got married that will work great with the owls and hedgehogs. 

Boys rooms are actually sort of hard.....there are so many 'themes' to pick from.  Sports, dinosaurs, cars, boats, trains, jungle, farm....  for girls there is basically...fairies and flowers.  and butterflies. 

And I think we've decided on a name:

Jack Michael McCumbers

Jack was the name of one of my grandfathers.  Michael is the name of my husband AND my dad. 

As a friend pointed kids are going to be named after liquors....Jack and Morgan.


oh well.

I thought maybe if I named him Red Bull I would get a lifetime supply for free...but no such luck.

mom guilt

I'm a stay at home mom.  Which means I am with my kid 24/7.  She's my little shadow, literally following me EVERYWHERE I go.  I love being able to spend so much time with her while she's little; but I take it granted.  And I feel so guilty about it, like every single day guilty.

But I'm pregnant and feel like a sloth with stomach flu and arthritis most days.  My hip joints hurt so bad I can barely walk by night.  I'm queasy all day and night.  I want to make a nest on the couch and watch marathons of Ancient Aliens.

I also have a crochet business, and I love it.  But each project takes AT LEAST an hour to do.  Honestly most projects take around 5 hours (people love hats with a lot of details).  So I spend several hours a day working on projects because I don't like for people to wait too long for their orders and I'm OCD and can't stand having unfinished projects in my life. 

Speaking of OCD...I like having a clean house.  So I clean.  A LOT.  Like every single day a lot. 

So I clean, then I rest, then I crochet, then I rest...repeat.

But I have a 3 year old....

She usually follows me around when I clean, trying to 'help' with her little duster (heck yes, give your kid a Swiffer duster and put him/her to work!) or I give her baby wipes to clean while I use Pledge or Lysol wipes on my furniture and in my kitchen.  When I clean the bathrooms she sits in the hall and asks "mommy what you doing?" about 1393285 times which is AWESOME when I'm up to my elbows in Scrubbing Bubbles and trying not to breathe in the fumes. 

When I crochet I turn into one of those awesome moms that expects my kid to zombie out to Nick Jr or Disney cartoons.  Hey, she's learning Chinese from Kai-lan and learning Mozart from Little Einsteins and learning shapes from Team Umizoomi!

But I feel guilty for not doing enough awesomely creative crafty projects that will allow my child to go to college by the age of 10.

I blame Facebook and Pinterest for this guilt.

Darn you people that post on Facebook all the awesome stuff you do with your kids.  Homemade play-doh?  Good for you.  I've got some a basket....up on my fridge.  We played with it this one time.  Morgan ended up making this phallic statue that made me laugh until I cry and I took a picture and texted it to all my friends of my toddler holding this big wiener shaped Play-Doh creation.

And the statuses...'taking my 6 kids to the zoo with homemade organic snacks for the afternoon!'


I take Morgan with me to Walmart....sometimes I buy her a Belly Washer.  It's 100% juice.  We people watch.  Seriously, what's the difference between Walmart and the zoo?  You have hippos fighting in the frozen food section, baby lions biting each other in the video games, and there's even an aquarium where most of the fish aren't floating at the top if you get to the fish section early enough in the day.

Darn you Pinterest for the '100 things to do with toddlers this summer' posts where I'm supposed to go to Lowe's and buy some sort of tubing to punch holes in and hook up to my water hose and create a little water park in my front yard.  I guess sitting on the front porch spraying my kid until her diaper falls off doesn't count?  What about spraying the neighbor's dog?  What?!  He shouldn't be in my yard....

And my favorite Pinterest post - the Time Out Chair.


You take a little chair, paint it all pretty, and put 'time out chair' on it.  Because a PRETTY chair will totally make your kid understand that they were BAD and that if they sit and reflect in that chair they will learn their lesson and move on to becoming president of the United States someday after learning to be honest and kind and wonderful.

Our version of time out is sending Morgan to her room....where her TV is usually on...and we cross our fingers that she gets distracted by whatever is on TV and won't come back and bother us for a while.

I'm glad that there are some awesome moms out there that put 110% into their kids and I salute you.  Seriously, you're awesome. 

You make me feel guilty though.

Stop it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the things kids say....

Morgan has been HILARIOUS lately.  Most of what comes out of her mouth makes us laugh.  And then I have to share it with friends and family via text.  Most of my friends have kids so they understand how funny it is to listen to a toddler talk; but not many people understand how much it means to Michael and me that we are able to have conversations with our kid and understand most of what she says.  Last summer when she was 2 & 1/2 she was barely talking.  We started working with Ohio's program called Help Me Grow where a few teams of specialists came to our home to evaluate Morgan.  They recommended speech therapy and occupational therapy for her texture issues.  Her fine motor skills were rating 6 months ahead, but her verbal skills were 6 months behind.

I always joked that her speech delay didn't bother me; I honestly enjoyed not having a 2 year old chirping in my ear all day long, but I knew it wasn't 'right.'

She did 'talk' ...sort of.  One of my brothers described her as sounding like Adam Sandler when he's doing one of his crazy voices...'shaba-doo?'  The speech specialists asked if her speech delay seemed to bring on tantrums out of frustration.  Nope.  Morgan threw tantrums all right; but not over the fact that she wasn't communicating with us.  She honestly didn't care. 

We decided to skip speech therapy until she turned 3.  We wanted to wait it out and see what happened if we gave her more time.  I also worried that speech therapy would do the opposite for Morgan; whenever she's pushed, you get the opposite results.  We've had major issues over food and potty.  She very stubborn, and as her pediatrician said, at her age the only thing in life that she can control is what goes in and what comes out.

Since last summer, Morgan's speech has improved so much.  Her vocabulary increases every day.  She's still hard to understand sometimes, especially to people that aren't around her very often.  And when you put her on the spot with questions, she freezes and can't answer.  It's not that she's shy (she's not at all) but she has a touch of dysnomia, which is a problem with word retrieval.  Chances are she will probably grow out of it.

Michael and I do work with her constantly.  Her speech delay has been frustrating.  It's almost impossible to potty train a toddler that can't communicate, so we're stuck with a 3 year old that's 3/4 potty trained while we're still sinking money into size 5 and 6 diapers and pullups.  And she can't express her feelings very well.  She can't tell us when she's sick or why she's sad or scared.  She just cries and we get to play the guessing game of what's wrong with our kid.  That is getting a lot she will run crying to her room, then return to tell us 'I crying.  I ran to my room.  I'm sad.'  Ummmm...okay, but WHY?!!!!!  And she loves to go to the doctor so she will lie about her ears and tummy and foot hurting, so we never know if something is actually wrong until she runs a fever.  Some of our friends little ones can not only explain 'my head hurts' but they add 'I need medicine.'


That's cool I guess, but it's not my Morgan.

She might be frustrating.  She might have a speech delay.  But she's our girl.  She's so funny and has so much personality I couldn't imagine her being any different.

On Sunday I was cooking mac n cheese for her lunch and she kept bossing me around, trying to hurry it up, so I said 'Morgan stop being so bossy!' to which she replied 'but mommy, how do I stop?' and I laughed. 

Yesterday (Monday) she was standing on a chair waiting for me to fix her peanut butter on wheat sandwich and she said 'mommy my booty is sticking out' so I said 'why is it sticking out?' to which she replied 'because it's so big!' and I laughed.

She will start preschool in the fall and hopefully being around the other kids will help her speech development (can't wait to see what new words she learns....) and will hopefully make her explore new food options (peer pressure eating....hahaha).  If by 4 she still has a delay, we'll do therapy and get this worked on before she starts Kindergarten.