Wednesday, August 24

Potty Training Boot Camp: Day Five

I am still logging Potty Training days--and will continue to do so until Olivia goes at least one entire day without a  single accident.

And guess what? She had ONE accident today with the nanny. Again, I don't think the nanny is reminding/nagging Olivia enough to tell when she has to go potty. So--what do you get? A nice little puddle of piss to cleanup. Your bad.

It only took Charm City Daddy one accident clean up to catch on to the nagging method. Before you know it he was looking for all of the signs. haha.

We went on a picnic today in nearby Sherwood Gardens for dinner and then grabbed ice cream at Taharka Bros. and Olivia was perfectly fine and told us when she had to go. We had about 5 fibs (aka false alarms) but hey---that's okay.  She a little voyeur that's all. LOL. But I am happy to go through all the motions even if she can only squeeze a droplet.

On to day six!

Tuesday, August 23

Ready to Learn

It feels like Olivia and Lucas both made significant developmental strides this week.

Lucas transitioned to the bouncer and the bumbo seat this week. I've been attempting solids with him for 2 weeks, but it seems like today was the day he decided to take the reigns and embrace the concept. I was away when Charm City Daddy sent me this picture with the caption "Code Red: He just grabbed the spoon from me."


As added incentive and reward for her great strides in potty training, we gave Olivia a few items on her school supply list: her first backpack, her new rain boots, and a water bottle. SHE LOVED THEM and we were nearly brought to tears at how fast our little girl is growing up.

I am still getting used to the arrival of O's attitude. She has an opinion and preferences already?! Yesterday I sang along with her Disney Princess piano that plays various songs including "Be Our Guest" and she got really frustrated with me and ordered me (with her little finger over my mouth) "No, don't sing mommy! Don't sing!" She wanted to dance to the music without me cluttering up her experience with lyrics, I guess. Geez.

The little mama orders poor Lucas around too. Yesterday she told him she was going to "spank yah butt!" He just smiles at her and she melts into a puddle--just like us.

That little boy has this amazing power that no one can resist. It's his kind eyes.

Potty Training Boot Camp: Day Four

To sum it all up.......It hit the fan today. Ha!

First, the nanny reported that Olivia had two accidents. Olivia had self-reported and nearly made it to the potty. I suspect the nanny wasn't able to move quickly enough with her hands full of a 5 month old Lucas and another 19 month old. Tomorrow/time will tell. The power of suggestion is really the key here. Asking does not work--Olivia gets defensive.

Then, Charm City Daddy was on duty while I had to work late and really felt the brunt of it when as he was preparing dinner and feeding Lucas, Olivia had two more accidents---one of which was the dreaded appearance of #2.

Hopefully these are minor setbacks and we can celebrate a comeback tomorrow!

Monday, August 22

Potty Training Boot Camp: Day Three

Day three was a huge success! Olivia didn't have one accident AND didn't wet the bed at naptime either.

We rewarded our progress with a trip to the park after three days of potty lockdown.

We brought the small potty with us along with a change of pants, panties and a towel.

I kept a close eye on O and reminded her to tell me if she had to go potty repeatedly upon arrival to make sure she understood that the same potty rules apply---even in a different setting. It took only 5 minutes for her to tell me she had to go potty and the next thing I knew I was running her across the playground waving my arms like a crazy person and motioning for Charm City Daddy to get the potty ready.  He knew just what to do--and had been watching for the signal from me.  In hindsight we probably looked like a melodramatic parents--but we don't care because guess what---she made it! Success again! I have never thanked and praised God over bodily function so much in my left. I am SO proud of her. 

There we were off to the side of a park bench with O sitting on her little white pot and Charm City Daddy is shielding and protecting his little girl when another dad walks right up and says "Aww, congratulations!" to us. CCD rolls his eyes at the guy like move along pervert--nothing to see here.  It was so funny. Get a clue dude.

The only thing that was missing about Day 3? Poo poo opportunities. That is the last hurdle we haven't experienced with her--as so far she has done #2 just after waking up on Day 1 and during a nap on Day 2. So I technically can't claim potty training until we have conquered #2.

Tomorrow reality sets in when O returns to her usual childcare routine with less one-on-one attention in the nanny share. Here's hoping that the nanny isn't too busy and preoccupied with taking care of the whole crew (Lucas, O, and her nanny share buddy) that she neglects to remind O enough!

Sunday, August 21

Potty Training Boot Camp: Day Two

SIGNIFICANT progress to report today!

Only two accidents (wee wee in the floor--and the rest in the pot)--ALL DAY LONG.

This morning we had to watch Olivia like a hawk to catch "the look" a combination of blank stare and panic. We told her to tell us if she had to go pee over and over again (as the book says), but she just wouldn't tell us. If we, on occasion, would ask her if she had to go potty? (which the book tells you NOT to do) She would answer dramatically, "No mommy/daddy I'm not going to go potty, EVER!" I would reply "don't say that you're a big girl" and then look at Charm City Daddy as we both fought back laughs.  CCD said "maybe she means she won't potty on herself again EVER?" Nice try daddy. She is sassy and there are no excuses. She also refused to let me follow her into the bathroom a few times this morning--pushing me away b/c she wanted to do it herself.

The two times she had accidents she just gave us the look, we'd ask her as we dove to scoop and run her to the potty. But something must have clicked after her nap today. Zero accidents and she told US she had to go. I was in the middle of reading an interactive book to her on the iPad and she stopped me and said "mommy, I have to go potty." I jumped up and she made it there without a losing a drop.

I want to claim that we are done but we will go hard one more day tomorrow to seal the deal. The real test will be if Olivia adapts and reports her bodily functions to the nanny this week AND the nanny stays on top of it and doesn't take shortcuts. 

Please God let this be it. We're just three weeks away from her first day of school.

Saturday, August 20

Potty Training Boot Camp: Day One

We're in the  countdown until Olivia starts nursery school and one of the big requirements that's been hanging over our heads all summer??!!----potty training! Dun. Dun. Dun.

For some reason I feel like I'm in high school again and I waited until the last month of summer vacation to start my summer assignment for A.P. Modern European History. Why I do I torture myself like this?

It's not that we haven't been having the potty conversation for the past year. She's had a potty since before she could walk after all. She's even warned us and made poo and pee in the pot this summer, but now it's time to get serious and commit. Do or die.

School starts September 9th, but new student orientation day is August 31 and we want to make a good first impression!

So, I'm taking a three-day weekend to do a three-day potty training boot camp a friend of mine shared with me via e-book. I didn't exactly stock up on all the supplies suggested like have 30 plus pairs of undies ( I have 5 pair ---that were each washed 3 times today) and  I don't have all of the on-the-go liners, and portable pots it recommendeds once your kid is trained but we're making do with what we've got.  I've got plenty of gummy bears and fruit snacks which seems to be doing the trick just fine.

The method seems to be exuberant positive reinforcement (no scolding whatsoever), complete stalking and focus on the toddler to look for the "signs", constant, nagging reminding (not asking) to "tell mommy when you have to pee, ok?", lots of water to give her plenty of chances to do her thing, and for us, a single gummi bear for even an droplet of success.

The results after Day One?
  • No less than 15 accidents---pee puddles everywhere (even one in the grass in the backyard). I rolled up the living room rug too--SO glad I did.
  • She made it to the pot at least 5 times--one of which I had left the room (bad mommy) and she peed on the floor a little and ran and made it the pot all by herself for the rest! Another time she told me she had to go, and wanted to go by herself and pushed me away and wouldn't let me follow her to the bathroom. She made it to the pot and exclaimed, "I'm a big girl now!" It was pretty awesome. THEN she peed on the floor at least 2 more times after that. LOL
  • Naptime was successful--she stayed dry. 
  • No poop at all today--not normal for her.
  • I have cabin fever. I am on complete lockdown--can't even watch TV--must watch her at all times. But I have caught her signals, she stiffens and spreads her legs with knees locked and goes up on her toes, all with a worried/blank look on her face--usually looking me dead in the face. LOL.
I felt like giving up about 20 times today--which was everytime I had to clean up the pee and balance Lucas' needs, cries, bottle, naps, tummy time, entertainment while still keeping O from making a mess of her own--mess.  Yuck. No way Charm City Daddy could stomach this job. No way.

It will all be over soon. She looks so adorable in her Princess and the Frog undies too.

Wish us luck for Day 2!

Wednesday, August 17

Olivia's Second Birthday!

As promised here's a recap of Olivia's Second Birthday Party!

When I informed parents to bring their kids' swimsuits for a "water fun" little did I know that we would be dealing with much more water than the slip n' slide and baby pools I had in mind. The sky opened up and it rained like a monsoon but guess what--we still had a GREAT time. We have the BEST friends who still showed up for our little girl's day--with their kids in tow. Love them.

Besides rain turned out to be the small glitch--and an empty gas tank (whoopsi) for the grill left Charm City Daddy cooking up turkey burgers and hot dogs in the kitchen instead. CCD and I agreed that of all of the parties we've had in our home it probably ranked as the second most fun of all time---with our first New Year's Eve party taking top honors. Both were simple, small and unpretentious with just the right mix of people.

Olivia is such a great little hostess too. She returned the "Happy Birthday" wishes to each and everyone that wished her a happy birthday--lol--it was everyone's birthday! At one point, during the rain storm, she invited all of the children ranging in age from 8 years to 19 months up to the third floor of our house which gets awesome acoustics for a full out screaming match and game of "tagyou'reit!" I shut that down after 5 minutes. Everyone complied but the birthday girl who was removed kicking and screaming.

It is nice to have experienced parents around as well--helping me relax about the rain issue and transition the children from activity to activity. A new friend of mine brought her 4 kids (ages 2-8) and it was awesome--like a built in party. I was so thankful and happy to see all of them--and they are such great, well-behaved--adorable kids.  At one point, her two year-old son was actually talking to Olivia's cake, "Caillou, I love you! I love you Caillou!"

I could go on's the party in pictures!

Miss Personality Times TWO!

Olivia is two going on twenty-two!

Whoa-nelly! I am not ready. There are a lot of emotions being expressed at this stage with semi-grown-up vocabulary and a lot of silliness---and Charm City Daddy and I find ourselves suppressing and hiding laughter ALL the time. The girl is just full of personality.

Just this morning after Olivia burst into our room and realized that although we would let her climb between us in bed at 6:30 a.m. we weren't about to wake up and start the party with TV and teeth brushing. Nope she would have to sit there quietly or fall asleep for at least 30 minutes. After about 3 minutes of silence she started swaying back and forth between us..

"What do I do? What do I do now? What do I do? What do I do now?" she said.

After suppressing another laugh I responded, "You lay your little self down and fall asleep. That's what you do!"

This parenting thing is getting harder and harder, I tell you because at times I am thoroughly entertained and it is so hard not to show how amused, impressed, surprised, scared, proud, angry I am.

Like in Olivia's less-than-redeeming moments when her excitement gets the best of her and she kicks her little brother repeatedly in the head while they lay on the bed to get lotion applied after a bath. It takes every ounce of control in my being not to snatch her up and scream at the top of my lungs, "HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND!?" and instead sternly talk to her in a disapproving voice while quickly catching her swinging feet and slightly squeezing them while widening my eyes to let her know that I. mean. business. Oooph! Parenting is tough.

She is little carbon copy of everything we do and say right now, so Charm City Daddy and I really have to be on our best behavior, speak in code, and spell lots of w-o-r-d-s to communicate.

Some of Olivia's recent favorites:
  • "No I don't want to...!" fill-in: go inside, get my hair done, put my pajamas on, get in the high chair, drink milk.
  •  "Mommy, I love it." or "Mommy, I happy"
  •  Charm City Daddy is also known as "my daddy" as in "I love you my daddy."
  • "No, that's MY lamb and my teta (paci)!" *Holding it closer to her and farther from you while and looking at you like you're crazy*
  • "Mommy can you play 'I gotta feel it'?" *music request for Black-Eyed Peas' I Got a Feeling*
  • "Mommy Lucas is cryin'/happy/smilin'/sleepin'.
And the list goes on and on and on.

Love her so much.

Tuesday, August 2

T-minus Two Weeks Til Two

My, my, my how times have changed. My only daughter and first born is turning 2 in two weeks and you haven't heard a peep from me, nor have I planned ANYTHING!

I don't know if I'm being neglectful and procrastinating, or if I was just going overboard last year for the first birthday party--but clearly there is a center--and I'm not operating in it.

We're going low-key this year. I always say that and then my husband's crazy ideas blow the budget--let's cater in some lobster mac or get a petting zoo!!  But THIS YEAR I really mean it. We're only inviting close family and friends. No petting zoo---just the usual zoo of 2 year-olds (and over/under) will be crazy enough.

With a tighter timeline, we had no choice but do e-invitations this year. BUT being the paper lover that I am, I just couldn't bring myself to use evites and went with Paperless Post. You get the look and presentation of a paper invitation without the cost, press time, and postage. Love that. Plus you get 25 free stamps and 10 points to when you sign up--making O's birthday invitation FREE to send.

Here's the simple invite.

One thing is for sure. I am NOT making cupcakes again this year. I was up all night last year trying to perfect icing and baking them. NO thank you. The cake will be purchased and daddy says he has it all taken care of--uh oh.

Another lesson I learned is that I will create a theme around my shopping trip---at the Dollar Store. Can I get an Amen? It's SO hard to determine a theme and look for things ON SALE that fit your theme--although I was fortunate last year. I  mean let's face it I will have to buy most everything b/c I am last minute and there is zero time for crafts for a working mom of two.

With that out of the way, I can focus on something fun like a nice gift for O. What does your toddler love? Any good gift ideas for a 2-year-old?

Of course--I'll keep you posted on results.

4-month Check Up & Sleep Training

Lucas is 4-months old and what a happy baby he is. He recognizes his family members and loves to exchange funny facial expressions now. He is very ticklish on his legs so diaper changing is total belly laughing session. He's really growing up and showing all signs of being a second child--1) he's resilient to his sister's abuse (meant as affection) 2) he likes constant noise and wants to be in the mix.

At the Doc's Office
During bath time, I used to wash Lucas in the sink and supervise Olivia in the tub, but now he's big enough for the bath chair and sits right beside his sister to enjoy the show and she LOVES the company.
Last week Olivia leaned over and gave Lucas a hug in the tub and said "My best friend Lucas, best friend. Aww. God is great. God is good. Amen. Luh you much." Needless to say I got a little teary. I told Charm City Daddy about it later and his response was, "Wow, we must be doing our jobs babe." What a great feeling. I know they will bicker when they get older, so I'm really enjoying these moments where Lucas is completely entertained by his big sis and she adores him.

Here are Lucas' stats from his 4-month check-up:
Height: 26 in.  (82 percentile)
Weight: 15 lbs 6 oz. (49 percentile)
Head Circumference : 42.3 cm (72 percentile)

Now that we are concluding our last week of nursing and starting rice cereal, we are in full sleep training mode. It was a ROUGH start--like he was up 2-3 times a night---but now he is doing MUCH better. Last night he only woke up once and went right back down.

Sleep Training in Progress - screaming baby.
I try not to let him get too upset and escalate his cries so he doesn't associate his crib with solitary confinement. But he does sleep well after a good cry. :) I'm also finding that without nursing he's a much more independent and self-reliant sleeper. I stopped nursing Olivia at 10 weeks so sleep training was a cinch--particularly because she loves sleep and still tells us when she's ready for her nap. Lucas is already very different, but we will press on and make him love sleep too!

We start Stage 1 food next week! YEAH--one step closer to real food!