Weaned but not yet potty trained

August 11, 2017 at 9:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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We arrived in Kansas City in late June with much less drama than last year (stuck in New York for a night, delays both coming and going), but the travel still upset Violet so we nursed when we arrived. One last time, and she was done. She didn’t say a word about it the entire trip. I went on my girls vacation to Grand Cayman, and she did great with grandma and grandpa.

Potty training, on the other hand, took a back seat. I was reluctant to leave her naked at my mom’s, so she wore a pull up. We tried putting her on the potty a handful of times, but without the consistency we had at home, she quickly reverted back to diapers. Honestly, I don’t mind. She was pretty young when we started, and I have a feeling she’ll train faster on our next go around. We’ve got one more summer vacation coming up before school starts, and then I plan to give it another go. She’s growing up so fast!

FullSizeRenderWish us luck!


Potty training in one month

June 6, 2017 at 10:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We’re about one month in to potty training Violet, and it’s going pretty well, all things considered. We had a rocky start — within the first week, I wondered if I’d underestimated her readiness. But after a couple of weeks, she seemed to get the gist. Timing is still an issue — she’ll sit and sit and I’ll read and read, and nothing will happen. Then five minutes later we’ll have a puddle on the floor. But last week, as I was holding her, she yelled, “I have to potty! Run, run!” Sure enough, we got to the potty chair just in time. But sometimes we run to the potty at her insistence and…nothing. In the mornings I’ll put her in the bathroom with me while I shower, and she’ll sit on her potty chair and play cars. This little routine seems to work well, since it’s about an hour after breakfast. She still wears a diaper to nap, and I’ve been putting her in a pull up when we leave the house. I try to put her on public toilets, but she only sits for a minute before she wants off. I’m sure we’ll master that one later.

Today, after Liam got home from school, I put her in the play room with the potty chair, pointed it out to her, and left her with just a shirt on. Fifteen minutes in, Liam hollers to me, “Mom! Violet peed!” I was sure I’d have to clean up a puddle, but my girl went right over to the potty and sat down when she needed to! Way to go, Violet!

I have found that she tends to forget when I put her in clothes. We have these special pairs of thicker underwear, and she almost always pees in them when she’s wearing them. So it’s best she go commando for the time being. That may not play to well at my mother’s house with her wall-to-wall carpeting…so we may be back in pull ups for awhile this summer. But I think we’ve really made some progress.

Potty training in three days

May 14, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Unlike my first born, Violet has been incredibly receptive at an early age to using the potty. She dutifully sits every night before her bath. She loves reading books about toilet training, and she asks to watch her favorite video, Potty Power, at least once a day. “I have Potty Power!” she proudly exclaims. So when I read about this supposed three-day potty training, I thought who better to try this out on?

Coincidentally, the best three days I could cobble together were right after Violet’s 2nd birthday…and over Mother’s Day. A fully (or relatively) potty trained child would be the best mother’s day gift ever!

Everyone tells me girls are easier to potty train than boys, and judging from the past three days, I have to agree. Half the battle for Liam was getting him to stay on the potty more than 30 seconds at a time. Violet, on the other hand, is happy to sit for 10-15 minutes as long as I’m reading her book after book. In fact, it’s hard to get her to come off the potty unless she happens to go in it. This girl wants results!

Having been through this whole potty training thing with Liam, I laid out essential supplies. Cleaning implements within easy reach…


Baby gates to keep her confined to the first floor…


A potty on one side of the room…


And on the other…


and a toddler-friendly set up in the downstairs bathroom…


I laid out salty snacks and two water bottles to encourage her to drink more…


and I covered the couches and dining room chairs with bathroom towels to help lessen the mess. We are on the hook for the wear and tear on this furniture we’re borrowing, after all. This WHITE furniture…


I also rolled up all of the rugs. The weather was perfect — very warm, almost like summer. Perfect for potty training!

On Day 1, after Liam left for school, I stripped her down naked and told her we were having special naked day! Yeah! She was thrilled. I let her choose which potty to sit on, and she happily obliged as I read her book after book. After a dozen books and no results, I had to coax her back to playing, setting a timer for 30 minutes to try again later. We did that several times until naptime, with only a puddle on the floor to show for it. But she never complained when our timer went off, and she loved getting all of this extra reading time. It is seriously her very favorite thing to do.

I put her back in a diaper for nap, and she peed in that. Then, in the afternoon, after she sat and sat and sat and sat and sat like Prudence in Once Upon a Potty, she finally did it! Her expression was priceless — like, “Whoa, look what I did!” We made a big production of emptying it into the big potty, flushing, wiping, and washing our hands.

As most families can attest, Real Life has a way of ruining best laid plans, and though I wanted to stick closely to the regimen, Liam had an unavoidable doctor’s appointment that afternoon. I put Violet in underwear, then thought better of it and went with a Pull-Up because I also wanted to take the kids out to dinner afterward. At the end of the appointment, Violet told me she had peed in her diaper, but we sat on the potty at the doctor’s office anyway, just to give it a try. She had no qualms about it, even without a baby seat. Such an agreeable little thing!

Day 2 was a bit messier than Day 1. I put her on the potty every 30 minutes all morning long with no results. I had to drive Liam over to a play date at 10:30, so I put her in underwear, laid a towel in the car seat, and drove them both over there. Like a ticking time bomb! On the way home she complained about being wet and started tugging on the towel. Oh boy, our first public accident. But when we got home, her clothes and the towel were bone dry.

More naked time and potty sitting for the next couple of hours, still nothing. I started looking around the floor for puddles and asking if she’d peed anywhere. She insisted she hadn’t. I checked the chairs and cushions she’d been sitting on. Everything was dry. And then, like a torrent, literally as she stood right next to the potty, here it all came. Good thing I kept those cleaning supplies handy! I sat her down as quick as I could, and she managed to get a little in the potty. She considered that a win, exclaiming, “I did it!”

Desperate for bread and yogurt, and knowing the stores are closed Sundays, I thought this would be the best time to risk a trip to the store. She was very pleased to finally get to wear her underwear out of the house. I loaded her into the stroller and we walked to the corner store. We made it there and back with no accidents. Yay! Time for a nap!

Or so I thought. I put her back in a diaper just in case, but after lounging in her crib for an hour reading books to herself, singing songs, and kicking the slats, I finally gave up on that. Back to naked time and potty sitting! We listened to music. We watched Potty Power. We read book after book after book. And then, as she stood nowhere near a potty but very near to my feet, the flood gates opened. She was so surprised, she started to cry a little. Thankfully I was also standing right by the cleaning supplies, so I was able to mop her up, pick her up, and clean everything up lickity split. Poor thing was so disappointed, she insisted on sitting on all the potties in the house just to see if she could go again.

Day 3, Mother’s Day, started out with success. She actually would say she needed to poopy, then run to a potty. Eventually she peed in the potty, and we did a little happy dance. We were finally starting to get somewhere. But, again, life got in the way. I had to drive Liam to a birthday party at 4. She sat and sat and sat with nothing to show, so I finally decided to risk it. Resolved to fully commit to this potty training thing, I put her in her favorite Peppa Pig undies and a pair of jeggings. I figured I’d dash in, get Liam all settled, then dash back home. When we arrived, Violet sat down in the middle of the floor to remove her shoes, then made a beeline for the play room. I figured 10 minutes couldn’t hurt. I kept a watchful eye from the balcony as I visited with other parents I knew. After awhile, I decided I’d pressed my luck long enough, said my goodbyes, and walked over to get her. Amid the unmistakable smell, she looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I pooped!” Great.

Faced with the prospect of cleaning up a huge poopy mess in the bathroom of a family I had just met, I decided the disaster was contained enough to survive a trip back home. Violet didn’t seem to mind.

I texted a friend who had gone through potty training her girl months earlier — she said the first few days are full of accidents, and not to get discouraged. I have this vivid memory of Liam whizzing all over our recliner in the first few days we got serious about potty training him, so I was expecting things to get pretty messy at first. But she’s a smart girl, and even though she’s only just turned two, she seems to understand the concept and want to do it. I’m sure she’ll get the hang of it soon, if not in three days, then maybe a week. Not perfectly, mind you, but we’ll get there.


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

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

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

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

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…

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