Picky eating progress

May 7, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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About a month ago I laid down the law. I’m making one meal for dinner, and that is that. We got a lot of push back the first couple of weeks. He went to bed without any dinner quite a few times. One thing I didn’t anticipate: one ravenous morning he asked for bacon and eggs with his waffle. I was happy to oblige. Now he eats that every morning. He doesn’t eat all of his eggs, but he usually finishes off the bacon, and he always scarfs down the waffle. We’ve been experimenting with food coloring and pancake batter on some mornings, too.

Three or so weeks in we started to make some headway with dinners. It started with buttered green beans. Then peas. He’s still scoffing at pork chops for some reason, but he’s relatively ok with chicken. And I started a new rule: if he refuses to eat any dinner, he won’t be getting pancakes or waffles in the morning. Just cereal, eggs and bacon. That seems to have motivated him to at least TRY each food on his plate. He tried mashed potatoes (yuk!) and spaghetti with olive oil and garlic powder (yum!). For some reason bowtie pasta and tortellini is inedible, even though it’s all pasta. But I’ll take my victories where I can get them.

I also decided to give the Heartspring food method another go, the one where he tries one food for several days, working up to chewing and swallowing it. And we finally had success with peaches! Granted they’re the fruit cup variety with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on them. But, again, I’ll take my victories where I can get them. Now we’ve moved on to kiwis and bologna, with limited success. I stepped it up a bit, trying one new food at breakfast and another at lunch. I eat kiwis every morning, so it’s no bother for me to cut off a slice for him to smell/lick/bite, etc. And I can’t believe a kid who loves hotdogs as much as Liam does could balk too long at bologna. It’s basically a flat hotdog! Or so I keep telling him. 

We’re also making some real progress in the potty training department. We switched from Miralax to Phillips, and I make sure he drinks a whole glass of water in the morning after having his medicine. I’ve been really pushing the water lately, even buying him a bunch of juice options and a watermelon/kiwi water flavor thing. His favorites are still plain water and milk. James polished off all the juice pouches he didn’t care for. And today marks 14 accident-free days! Finally! He gets to collect his Lego prize tomorrow. And if he can make it just another couple of weeks, he’ll finally get to collect his Jake and the Neverland Pirates Skull Rock toy that has been sitting in its package taunting him from the top shelf for months. Progress! Huzzah!

They’re back!

December 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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And by that, I mean Pull-ups at night. Sometimes the sign of wise parenting is when to admit defeat. And while we started out strong in the beginning with five mornings in a row of dry beds, several weeks later we’re averaging one dry bed a week, if that. I’m doing everything the books say: no liquids after 6:30, using the bathroom right before bed, getting him up at 10:30 to go again. And I’ve been trying my best to get up as early as possible to head things off in the morning, but 9 times out of 10 I’m still too late. We’ve got one of those HE washers, and I’ve already blown through an entire bottle of the stupidly expensive detergent in less than a month. Plus, I’m sick and tired of doing laundry every morning. Rewards don’t seem to make a difference. He’s happy to receive them, but powerless to earn them. Sometimes he gets up in the morning bouncing off the walls that he has a dry bed. Sometimes I wake him up really early in the morning and catch him before he wets. But there seems to be no rhyme or reason. Unfortunately, I believe Liam falls under a common category of kids who truly can’t control their bladder while they sleep. He’s turning five next week, so I’m not too concerned about it yet.

So, going forward, we’re going to continue our current regime, but without the hassle of laundry every morning. We’ve been diligent about marking his calendar for all his potty training accomplishments, so it’ll be easy to track how many dry beds he has per week. Once he’s up to two or three, we can switch back to underwear. Here’s hoping this is temporary!

December happenings

December 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Sorry, no pictures! My phone has been hijacked by a four-year-old I’m STILL desperately trying to potty train. Angry Birds on the pot after dinner is enough incentive. And we’re making strides…this time going two steps forward and only one step back. He went 16 days without accident! Then seven days. And now four. It seems switching to underwear at night doesn’t make a difference anymore. I’m very much tempted to go back to pull-ups at night, but James talked me out of it. Course, he’s not the one taking Liam to the potty at 11, then getting up at 6 or 7 AM and hoping (praying) for a dry bed, only to be met with wet pad, wet blanket, wet stuffed dog, and wet pillow 9 mornings out of 10. Bath, laundry, remake the bed, breakfast. This is my life now. Until it’s not. This will pass, I’m sure, but for now. Urg.

One good thing about staying up so late and waking up so early, I’m feeling incredibly accomplished. Christmas décor, done. Christmas cards, mailed. Christmas shopping, check. Cookies, baked. Packages, mailed. (Hello, postage expensive enough this year?! Sheesh.) Presents, almost all wrapped. James is picking up one of Liam’s birthday presents tomorrow, and he’s agreed to take Liam out to Bed Bath & Beyond to get me a couple of Christmas presents. I want at least one surprise under the tree. Not that much to ask, right?

Another reason I’m feeling so organized, I broke down and bought one of those mommy planners. Not the cutesy Sandra Boynton one with all the stupid stickers, but something more my style. Practical. And I’m dutifully noting all of my to-do’s on each day of the week. So much better than my loose leaf notes stacked on the end table.

Speaking of loose leaf…my parents-in-law bought me an awesome birthday gift – a teapot for steeping loose leaf tea. One of those gifts I didn’t know I wanted and now I’m glad I have. And it seems there’s a great tea shop right on the way to the gym. I know what I’m doing on Saaaturday!

LosPollosWith some birthday money I bought a new pilates mat, a super cushy one from Pro Source, and it’s like laying on a raft in the middle of a lagoon. When I unrolled it in the living room, Liam immediately squealed, “A summersault pad! For me, mom? Thanks!” and then proceeded to do 15 summersaults on it. I told him it was actually a pilates mat for me, but we could share it. I’d only need it on Saturday mornings for my class, heh. I also splurged on the deluxe Blu-ray edition of Breaking Bad, complete with Los Pollos Hermanos apron. Now that my shows are taking their holiday hiatus, I plan on binge-watching all of the special features. Happy birthday and merry Christmas to me!

Despite my potty training woes, Liam has been really fun to do holiday things with this year. Right after everyone left our house at Thanksgiving, he begged me to put up the tree. He helped me hang ornaments (or, rather, tried putting them on, got pissed that they kept falling down, and just started handing them to me.) We talked about where each ornament came from – a lot were gifts from my mom when I was a kid, and some of them I’d made in school. And he had three ornaments of his own, a family tradition I’ve carried on with him.

Every week in December he has brought home a wonderful little craft from school. He made an adorable little advent candle made of toilet paper rolls and tissue paper, and we’ve been “lighting” it every Sunday. And this week he brought home a little tree made of a pine cone and real pine needles, with a little star on top and a cork for a trunk. So cute. Tuesday night I made an ornament for my sister-in-law out of popsicle sticks, and he loved helping me glue and paint. He wanted to make his own ornament, so I helped him assemble a little wreath, then showed him how to mix his paint to get green and put little red berries on it. I’m not usually one of those “crafty” moms, like my own mom, so we rarely do this kind of stuff. It was fun…but messy. (Read: not doing this again until next Christmas, lol). 

Today I took him over to Walmart to buy a gift for the Derby Toy Drive. I explained to him what charity was, that we were going to buy some presents for a little boy whose family couldn’t afford any, and he seemed to really understand the concept. He helped me pick out slippers and a couple of small toys, and then we put them in the bin together. At dinner I asked him to tell James what we did at Walmart, and he explained it quite well, in that cute little articulate way he has.

So now we’re just counting the days until Christmas. So many! Perhaps I shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get things done.

Bye Bye Diapers!

November 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Potty training has been no picnic. I heard on one of Liam’s potty training videos that the average amount of time it takes to fully potty train a child is 3 months. Ha! We’ve been at this for more than a year and a half! I will say he got peeing in the potty down in about 3 months. It helped that we went cold turkey – took all the diapers away and switched to pull ups only at night. We had one brief interlude where he was dry overnight and using his little potty in the morning. That lasted about two weeks.

For the last six months we’ve made tremendous strides on the BMs. And I can safely say now that we’re much less accident prone. But those night time pull ups were becoming a problem. Liam’s old enough to realize he’s in a diaper…and he treats it that way. So a week or two ago after discovering that he peed in his pull up WHILE I was reading him his bedtime story, I decided that was it. No more pull ups at night. No more pull ups at all.

I’m not gonna lie. Changing wet sheets every morning was getting old. My resolve waivered. But then I bought a pad that lays over the sheet and tucks into the mattress, so all I have to wash in the morning is the pad. I’ve been getting him up at 11 PM every night to use the bathroom. And I’ve recently discovered that if I get him up before James leaves at 7 AM, I can usually catch him before he wets the bed. So we’re slowly but surely making progress. We have a diaper-free house! I can hardly believe the day has finally come!

Happy July 4

July 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Liam and I are sporting our red, white and blue today, and all he can talk about are the fireworks we’re going to see tonight. A couple of days ago we saw our neighbors shooting little rockets and smoke bombs in front of their house, so I carried Liam over there to introduce ourselves. Apparently three doors down is kid-central on our block – there were three sets of kids there along with their parents. It was hard for me to keep them straight, but I did ascertain that two of the boys will be in Liam’s grade. Liam didn’t interact with the kids much, preferring for me to hold him, and then when he finally decided he wanted down, he stayed close to me. The older kids dug out little spinners, parachutes, and a couple of cardboard trains to set off. Liam really dug the train, though he didn’t want to get too close. One of the moms offered him a sparkler, but he politely refused, “That’s too hot.” Just as well…I’m not a fan of them, either.

Our front stoop is also sporting an American flag, an impulse buy from Target last week. I noticed we had a flag holder, and I had originally intended to buy something more decorative. But everyone on the block is waving their stars and stripes, so when in Rome.

I’ve been keeping busy this week hanging photos and decorating the house. Yesterday we went to Ashley Furniture and picked out a loveseat that matches our old Ashley recliner, so now the upstairs living room will have proper furniture. It arrives tomorrow. Our new bookshelves arrive July 18, so with any luck, by the time I’m back from DC, the last of the book boxes will be unpacked and all the books will have a home.Today I’m going to tackle hanging up my sand collection in our guest bathroom to go with the whole beach motif in there. And once all these annoying book boxes are out of my way, I’ll be able to reach the mantle in the basement, and I can set up some knick knacks and photos. Man, alive, this is the most decorating I’ve ever done in a house! Let’s hope we never move again! (Riiggght.)

And I’m not through yet. The owners have some beautiful landscaping around the house, but it’s all dying. It took me a while to locate the hose spigot in the front (behind a bush!), so I think I’m going to invest in one of those hose winder-upper things to encourage me to water regularly. Some of the plants look completely dead (not merely mostly dead), so I’m going to rip those out and replant something. I have no idea what…landscaping is new to me. But this house is so pretty, and our next door neighbors are landscaping buffs, so I want it to at least look presentable. So that’s next on my list.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, Liam started swim lessons this week! He predictably whined and cried all the way there, but our new swim instructor, Clarence, greeted us with a smile. There were no chairs inside the pool complex, so I decided to wait in the lobby where I could sit and look at him through a window. Then Clarence got out some floating toys and kick boards and set to work with Liam. I couldn’t hear them, but I could see them talking, and Liam became visibly more and more comfortable. By the end they were laughing and swimming, though Liam didn’t go under once. But that’s ok…I really just want him to feel more confident in the water. When Liam got out, he announced, “I like Clarence. I don’t like Miss Yessi. She makes me go under.” I warned him that he’ll likely have to go under eventually…we’ve got seven more private lessons before the end of July. But we’ve gotten to a wonderful start, and I’m hoping I don’t get as much push back about going the next time.

As far as night time potty training goes, I’ve given up. We kept it up for two weeks, and he only had a dry bed once. I’m sick of washing his sheets every morning. So we’re back to pull ups. I ordered some overnight ones today from Amazon, so I’m hoping those will help stop his frequent leaks. And maybe in a few months we’ll try this little experiment again. At least he seems to have progressed immensely on the number twos. He hasn’t soiled his pants in two weeks! Knock on wood he’ll keep this up.

BM obsessed

December 14, 2012 at 9:31 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Liam and I are at an impasse. After months of struggling with pooping in the potty, it seemed we were finally making headway. If you can call 50% success rate headway. It was better than nothing. But then he started to revert back. So I decided to play mean mommy: first I took away pancakes for poopy pants. Then waffles. Then Curious George. His three favorite morning activities/menu items. And every morning he’s pooped in his pull up in the night and I’ve got to change his smelly sheets, air out his room, and remind him of all the things I’m denying him. No TV was nice the first few days. But now its feeling like more of a punishment for me than him. He doesn’t even cry about it anymore. We listen to books, put together puzzles, play games. Which is great, except I don’t get that brief, quiet moment to read the news, check my email, and just prepare for my day. And he’s still not going in the potty.

So today I relented. After another “present” in his pants this morning, I decided waffles and George were back on the approved list. But I draw the line at pancakes! He keeps telling me he’ll master this when he’s four. Which is in just a few weeks. I know that he’ll probably just have to figure this out on his own, in his own time. But its hard not to force the issue, especially given my unpleasant morning routine. But just like using a spoon by himself, it’ll drive me to the point of madness, he’ll master it, and then it’ll all feel like a distant memory.

A visit from the poop fairy

August 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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My kid is somethin’ else. For the past couple of nights I’ve been leaving Liam’s potty chair in his room, reminding him at bed time that it’s there if he needs to go. Typically in the morning he lays in his bed or plays with his books until I get him around eight. He never, ever leaves his room, even if the door is cracked. (Believe me, I’ve tested it. I left him in there until almost nine once, and I could hear him hollering “Mommy, come and get me!!” He knows I can hear him through the video monitor.) His pull-up is usually quite full, leading me to believe that he’s just going in his diaper when he wakes up.

The first morning we tried the potty chair in his room, he sprang from his bed and announced he had to pee. But he whined that he couldn’t pull down his pull-up, so I helped him with that part. It was still a bit damp, but not nearly as soggy as most mornings. Progress!

Last night I put him to bed well past his usual bed time, but because he’d had a long, late nap, he was completely wired. But he stayed in his room and played, then tucked himself into bed when he got sleepy. The next morning, imagine my surprise when I found a lone turd in his potty! I asked him when he’d pooped, and he said he’d done it the night before. Which explained the smell. Yuck. But it appeared that he not only pulled down his own pull-up, but pulled it back on, and his pajama shorts, too! That little bugger is totally playing me! Here I am constantly asking him if he needs to poop, getting exasperated when he goes in his pants, and all I had to do was shut him in a room with a potty chair for eight straight hours. Something tells me I can’t get away with doing that during the day…

Not QUITE what I was looking for

June 26, 2012 at 11:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Oh, Liam. You’re never going to live this down. You know how moms of teenage sons always have an embarrassing story to tell in front of their new girlfriends? Well, this will be it.

Remember in my last post how I mentioned Liam cleaning up his own poopy pants? I thought it was a fluke. But it’s apparently becoming a regular thing. He did it three times last week.  This morning was the funniest yet.

To his credit, he did his best to go when I put the little potty seat on the big potty seat. He even managed to earn himself a prize. Feeling accomplished (we both did), I dressed him, then went downstairs to dry my hair while he played with his train table. Just as I was finishing up, I heard a tell-tale flush upstairs. I went upstairs to investigate. Just like previous times, I saw a dirty pair of undies unceremoniously flung on the carpet in front of the bathroom. But as I poked my head in the bathroom door, imagine my surprise as I see Liam picking up the hugest turd I’ve ever seen off the bathroom floor and gingerly delivering it to the toilet bowl. Gross, right? But here’s the funniest part: he was holding said turd with a copious amount of toilet paper. Because god forbid my son actually get his hands dirty! Needless to say, he washed his hands. Now I’m wondering how many times he dropped it before he made it to the toilet. And where.

Busy Busy Bee

June 21, 2012 at 11:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Wow. I haven’t sat at my computer for almost a week! And I barely noticed until I got a comment asking about Liam’s swim lessons. So here’s the skinny on my very busy, productive week:

Friday, Liam had his last swim lesson. I was hoping he’d jump into the water all on his own by now, but of course, no. But he has improved. Really! So we’ll be at this again in July and once more in August. In the meantime, I’ve decided to use this as my “before” video.

I’m sure in August he’ll be diving in headfirst and swimming a lap. Riiight.

For Father’s Day I begged James to go to Ikea so we could pick up some new DVD shelves and new bookshelves for our bedroom. We officially signed our 6-month lease extension, and since we’ve decided to put the house hunt on hold indefinitely while James looks for overseas employment, I thought it high time I spruce up this place. I dug out all our photos from a box in the garage and spent an entire afternoon arranging and hanging them. I had a batch of new photos from our photo session at Target with Evie and Milo, and now they’re proudly hanging along our stairway. Amazing what a difference a few well-placed photos can make.

So anyway, Ikea. It was a disaster. We thought stuffing him with meatballs at lunch would appease him, but for some reason he decided to throw a massive fit in the show room. We hurriedly picked up our furniture, miraculously stuffed it into our car, and drove home fuming. And I felt terrible James had to spend his father’s day monkeying with all this. I let him retreat to his bedroom for the rest of the day.

Monday we needed a break, so I asked Liam what he wanted to do. I let him set the agenda. And I was pleased with what he chose: a long bike ride to the park. We started off at “yellow park” (he’s named all the parks by the color of the equipment, lol). But just as we arrived, another group of small kids came, and Liam didn’t want to stay. Instead of heading home, he pointed in the other direction, saying, “Mommy, I want to explore.” So be it, son! So we blazed a trail through Eastwood golf community. I felt like a discoverer of the Northwest Passage as we made our way through new territory, and I delightfully discovered a bike-friendly way back to Avalon Park I hadn’t seen before. Now we can make a full circuit, about 90 minutes, and hit some of Liam’s favorite parks along the way. Yay! After a long morning ride (and sore butt!), we headed to the pool after lunch. Liam played teacher while I demonstrated floating on my back, going under water and blowing my bubbles, and swimming to the edge. He’d exclaim, “Mommy, I’m so proud of you!” He wouldn’t come out and swim with me, but he did gradually get his face in the water. I’ve decided not to push the issue. Leave the trauma for our next swim session at the Y.

Tuesday and Wednesday I rolled up my sleeves and tackled assembling all that Ikea furniture. And to break up the monotony, I suppose, I also picked up some mulch and flowers to pretty up the outside of our house. Liam enjoyed helping me garden (mostly by stealing my rake and running through the mulch). I picked up a sandbox for the back porch, as well, and Liam loved it! Then, as the afternoon storms rolled through, we got out his toy hammer so he could help me assembly shelves. I wish I could have gotten some photos, but the minute I pick up my phone anymore, he wants to stop and watch videos. Sigh.

I stayed up late last night getting the last of the shelves done. Liam would praise me every time I finished one, “Nice shelves, mommy! Good job.” He cracks me up. With some help from James, we rearranged some things in the bedroom to fit our taller, wider bookshelf bedside tables. And I think he was pleased to fit even more books on his shelf. And now with five spanking new DVD shelves in the living room, we can finally put away all the new blu-ray’s we’ve accumulated, with room to spare. And I freed up some space on our old shelves for the boxes and boxes of audio books that have been sitting in an unsightly pile behind the couch. With any luck I’ll have relegated the last of the boxes to the garage and closets. Huzzah!

And now it’s Thursday, cleaning day. And I’m so dog tired! I haven’t even started. I felt bad wasting our sunny morning cleaning, so instead I took Liam to the park. Within 10 minutes he’d pooped his pants and wanted to go home. Fine. So now it’s movie day. He’s downstairs watching The Sword in the Stone, and I’m upstairs procrastinating. Summer storms should roll in around 2, so with any luck the rain and dark will inspire a nap for Mr. Cranky (Poopy) Pants.

Speaking of which, one amusing thing did happen in this whirlwind week. While James and I were getting ready for our Ikea outing on Sunday, Liam was upstairs playing by himself. I heard the upstairs toilet flush, and I ran up there to see if Liam had actually taken the initiative to use the bathroom on his own. And he had! Sort of. I was greeted at the top of the stairs with a bottomless boy and some dirty underwear. Grinning from ear to ear, he explained that he’d pooped his pants, taken them off, and flushed the poop all by himself. I suppose that’s progress? At any rate, he was quite proud of his accomplishment, and while it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, I did shower him with some praise. Oh three and a half. How I love thee!

The Elusive BM

April 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Lest I look back and think potty training Liam at age three was a cinch, I feel I must mention one hitch we’ve encountered. I hear it’s common, especially with little boys. With the exception of a couple of accidents, this kid has mastered peeing. He’s even gone outside standing up a couple of times. We’re all set there. It’s #2 that’s giving us some problems. He just goes in his pants and then calls to me to clean it up.

Now that we’re on week two of potty training, I’ve decided to step up my game. It’d been a couple days since his last BM, so with much anticipation I’ve been watching his every move. With a bellyful of bowel-inducing peaches, he retreated to his favorite pooping place: the playroom. With eagle eyes I watched, waiting for the moment. At quiet intervals I’d ask if he needed to go. He’d cry,”Noooo!” I offered him treats for sitting and trying. I told him he’d get a special present if he went in the potty. Then things got really quiet. He made the poop face. I quickly scooped him up and ran him down the short hallway to the bathroom. But, alas, I was too late. This was the closest we’ve come, though!

Advised by another mom, I made him dump it in the potty himself and flush it away. Sigh. I’m sure he’ll get it someday. Someday soon, I hope.

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