Thursday, January 30, 2014

Potty Training Russ

For a few months now we've been letting Russell sit on the potty when he wants.  Seeing Big Brother do it makes it exciting for him.  He has often had successes on the potty, and when he does we give him a skittle.  Well, yesterday we ran out of skittles, so the boys and I went to the store and bought some more.  As soon as we got home, Russ was so very excited to sit on the potty and earn a skittle.  He had three successful potty encounters (all three with #2, too!) between noon and nap time at 3PM, and he kept his diaper dry that whole time!  But then we didn't bother to encourage too much potty time that evening.

Today, the boys had a bath right as soon as they woke up.  I let them play in the water (they play so well together!) for a long time while I cleaned the bathroom.  They were in there for almost an hour when Russell said, "Mommy, poo-poo!" with his little legs squeezed together as tight as could be.  I couldn't get him out until I was done cleaning the toilet, so he just sat there in mild distress while he held it.  Of course, when he was able to get on the potty, he had another potty success.  So I decided that today was as good as any to put him in underwear.  I really just asked him if he needed to go potty at any of the transitional times of the day (after finishing lunch, before going outside to play, after coming back inside, and before nap time), and he didn't have a single accident!  We even played outside for about an hour and he did great!  He's napping now, and tonight we'll be out and about, so I'm not sure how the rest of the day will go, but I'm pretty excited that it was such a successful and stress-free morning and afternoon!

I know that every child is different, but I always think of age 3 as being the magical potty training age for boys.  Just before Caleb's 3rd birthday is when we realized that he could pee on command, so we started potty training at that point and man.  It was stressful.  So many accidents and such a power struggle.  I remember it being so hard because he insisted on turning the bathroom light on by himself, but he couldn't reach it, so he had to get a stool (and wouldn't accept my help in getting a stool).  Then he was adamant about taking his shoes and pants all of the way off (not just putting them down around his ankles), and of course he wasn't able to put his pants back on by himself, but he always wanted to try.  Most of the time, he had already had an accident on the bathroom floor by this point.  Once we got him on the potty (he wouldn't sit on a big potty because he has awful balance and fell in once, so from then on he was terrified of big potties...and let's not even mention the fear he had for public potties, all because of how loud they are)...so once we got him on the potty, his attention span wouldn't allow for him to stay there long enough to let his pee-pee out.  So I had to sit there and sing "The Pee-Pee Song" for him (I made up a stupid song), and he wasn't allowed to get up until the song was over.  By then he absolutely did not want to wash his hands, because the whole process of going potty was already too long and drawn-out and he was tired of it.  And let's not forget, I couldn't motivate him with treats because a) he was on a diet of about 10 foods at the time and none of them made up anything remotely candy-like, and b) even if he could have had candy, he didn't enjoy eating at all and certainly wasn't motivated by anything that he could eat.  So we used a sticker chart and got him potty trained after a few weeks.  He was potty trained for a month or more when he suddenly started regressing.  I'm pretty sure it was to gain power again.  So we gave him a few months off (during the holidays and while I had my tonsils out) before trying it again.  When we tried potty training him the second time, everything clicked.  He could do everything by himself, never needed reminders to go potty, didn't need any stickers as motivation, and it all took less than two days.  He was about 3 years and 3 months old, and I thought that was a pretty good age for being potty trained!  However, using the potty for poo-poo was a different story.  He would hold it until he was in a diaper for nap time or bed time, and then go.  He was terrified of going poo on the potty.  He wasn't poo-potty trained until he was 3 years and 8 months old and we went on vacation and we were so busy being out and about that he didn't have any naps.  Boy was I glad when that finally happened!

Russell, though, is as different as could be.  He's excited to sit on the potty, could sit there all day, and can actually balance without a little potty seat insert.  There's nothing traumatizing about using the potty for him, and no power struggles.  But I wouldn't be surprised if he hit an independence stage (he's been saying "MY JOB!" a lot lately) and it turned into a power struggle.  If that happens, we'll just give it a break and revisit it later.  The only problem that I'm seeing now is that he's too small to get onto the potty by himself (I'm trying to avoid using the baby potty).  So even if he does get potty trained before long, he'll still be "high maintenance" potty trained.  And today is just day 1, so who really knows!  But I'm feeling optimistic.  :)

Also, in case you were wondering, the smallest size that you can get underwear in is 2T/3T.  Russell is 25 months old (a whole year younger than when Caleb potty trained), weighs 21 lbs, and wears size 12 months clothes, but the 2T/3T underwear still fits him alright.  It's loose, but it's not falling off.  And it's seriously cute to see him running around in his little super hero underwear and a t-shirt.  :)

So, wish us luck!  Maybe before long I won't have any kids in diapers!!  (knock on wood...)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Vegas!

For Christmas, my handsome husband surprised me with a little trip to Vegas!  I was not expecting it!  It was the perfect idea, because it was close enough to drive (about six hours) and since we hope to move across the country in the next few months, it was sort of our last chance to visit a place that I've never been to before.  It was amazing to spend some time together without the kids (my awesome sister watched them).  We could eat whatever sounded good without having to consider allergens, we could go places without having to consider nap and feeding schedules, we could talk like adults without being interrupted...it was weird.  And awesome.  Ever since becoming parents four years ago, we have only spent one night away from our kids (not including hospital stays).  This time it was two nights!

We got to see Cirque Du Soleil, which was incredible.  My favorite part of that was probably this amazing juggler.  Seriously, she was amazing.

We got to see the water display at the Bellagio:



It was pretty cool!

We saw a Christmas display with a giant Christmas tree:

And a couple of life-sized polar bears made out of carnations:


We ate some really yummy food.  And that's about it.  Ha!  But seriously, I've always heard that there are endless cheap buffets in Vegas, but apparently they all raise their prices during the holidays, so there was nothing worth our money.  The rest of the time was just spent walking around, trying to navigate crowds and avoid people who try to hand you cards with naked "escorts" on them (they're on every corner...it's awful).  At one point Nate asked why on earth they call them "gentlemen's clubs" since the people who go there are not gentlemen.  We decided that they should be renamed "creeper clubs."  It also drove me crazy to see every restaurant advertise their food with a girl trying to seduce a guy.  Seriously?  The Strip just felt like one big place for people to get together and demean women.  Blah.  Not my favorite.

Why we thought it would be fun to go to a place that thrives on drinking and gambling when we ourselves neither drink nor gamble is beyond me.

We decided that our next getaway will be to a cabin in the woods with not another soul in sight.  That's more my cuppa tea.

But we did get to see this gem on our way outta town:

That thing is famous!


I'd say the highlight of our trip was getting to see my best friend (and roommate from my freshman year of college) and have lunch with her cute little family.  She drove many hours to see us!  I love that girl.  I miss her.

On the way out of Nevada, I snapped a picture of the scenery:
 And 20 minutes later I took another one:
 Then 20 minutes later...:
 And another 20 minutes went by...:

Let's just say, I'm not a desert person.  I need some trees and some greenery.  Although, there was a lovely canyon that I enjoyed driving through.

All in all, I'm glad we went, but I have no desire to go back.  It was just nice to spend some time with my hubby.

Christmas Morning!

 The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...and with a curtain rod and a few clamps.  A genius way to make sure your stockings aren't pulled down by small children.  Also a great excuse to buy some large clamps that will come in handy with home improvement projects.  ;)


We tried not to go overboard this year (they each got one present from Mom & Dad, one from their brother, one from Santa, and one large shared gift).  I thought it was perfect.

Can't you see the magic on their faces?  Priceless.