Monday, July 26, 2010

Potty Training Update

Potty training has been easier than I expected... I may have just jinxed myself. This is a detailed post about every thing we have experienced so far with potty training. If you don't want to read about Livi's pee and poo adventures, I suggest you stop reading.

Day 1 - Panties-4  Toilet-1
Livi went cold turkey from her diapers during awake time. She was pretty excited about her big girl panties :) She didn't make it to the toilet at all with me. I was questioning whether Livi was actually ready. But, later that evening, while I was at work, Jon called me and told me she had used the toilet! Hooray! I was so proud!

Day 2 - Toilet-4  Panties-0  Pool-1
Livi didn't want to pee in the toilet or in her panties this day. She woke up early, refused to drink hardly anything and didn't pee for 4 hours! The little clencher does come by her stubbornness honestly! When she finally did pee though she made it to the toilet!!! She got a diaper for her nap and we went in the pool in the afternoon. I never actually saw Livi pee in the pool but I think it is safe to assume she did. After the pool though, she made it to the toilet 3 more times! Basically she had a flawless day!

Day 3 - I don't know the score for day 3 but she didn't have any accidents with peeing :) She had that down pat! Her bowel movements where another story though... she hadn't pooped since potty training began. She pooped twice on day 3 though. She didn't tell us she had to go like she does for going pee. The first time we didn't even notice until after the fact and it was a really easy clean up. Not a big deal. The second one was not so easy. It was MESSY! Yuck! I'm hoping she has figured it out though and she will tell us next time :) Wishful thinking maybe?

Day 4 - Livi had her first accident since day one on this day. Only one though! She did tell us she had to go, but she was across the yard, up high in her play castle and with the time it took her to climb down and run to the toilet, she didn't make it.

Day 5 - She pooped again today but it was during her nap so it was in her diaper. I suspect she was holding it in for her nap. I'm not sure I'm ready to start nap time potty training. She is still in a crib. Otherwise, she has had no accidents again today. We even ventured out in public today. She didn't have to go while we were out though. In the next few days I think I'm going to try to wean her from her potty seat, so if we are out in public she won't be afraid of the big bum toilets :)

Like I said, this potty training has so far proven to be easier than I thought. I'm so proud of my "baby". I'm so excited she is growing up and becoming a big girl, but I'm losing my baby! She is sick of us asking her if she needs to use the toilet and basically yells NO TOILET! at us when we keep asking. She gives us a look like "Seriously Mom! I'll tell you when I need to pee! Stop asking!" Since day 1, Livi has told us that she needs to pee before she does... although sometimes there is a little drip in her panties when we get to the toilet. Those are getting less frequent though. I think she is just figuring out what all the different sensations are :)

Instead of telling us she needs to pee, use the toilet, or go to the bathroom, she just says "poo" (even though she just has to pee) and runs while clapping and saying "lets go, lets go!" It is pretty cute. She is so proud of herself and demands her chocolate chips after every accomplished pee in the toilet. She likes wiping, wants to see what is going on in the toilet while she is peeing and must flush the toilet after she is done. I have given over my personal boundaries to show Livi how to use the toilet and said things with great zeal and excitement that I never thought I'd take so much joy in saying... although the humor of the situations are not lost on me :)  The joys of potty training, right?!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

2 Years

Wednesday (July 21) marked the 2nd anniversary of when Dad died. I still miss him terribly and think how much better things would be if he were here. I know that is not the most productive way to think but it's real. If he were here, Livi would have a fabulous Grandpa to read her books and color with her. She would have really enjoyed being tickled by his bushy beard. Jon wouldn't have to feel so responsible for his family. If Dad were here leading them and supporting Mom in her parenting, I think the family would be doing a lot better too. Jon would have his Dad to go to for advice on parenting and on being a husband. He would have had the support from some one who really got "it" when he made his career change. He would have some one to debate with. Jon really misses that.

Okay, enough of the really depressing stuff. The two year mark is a very different milestone than the one year. At one year you are just beginning to come to terms with the fact that he is gone. You have past all the "firsts" without him and you survived... the one year mark is the last "first". You are still VERY much grieving the loss and wishing for what should have been. That grief and those feelings still haven't completely gone away at the two year milestone, but they are easier to deal with. The two year mark shows that life really does go on and that you can and should keep living. Two years is a long time to be without some one you love. You move on, in a way. You figure out how to live without them. Although you still hope to see them sitting on the couch reading when you go to their house or hear their voice from the kitchen, you know that is just wishful thinking. In the first year you thought it was actually a possibility and that you've just been in a bad dream for the past few months.

We went out for our annual dinner at the Keg with the family on Wednesday. The Keg was one of Dad's favorite restaurants. Things were very surface but pleasant. It wasn't a cry-fest this year. It is very evident that we all still very much miss Dad and are dealing with the effects of that loss, but with a family of mostly boys who don't communicate well, if at all, we didn't get too deep or introspective. I had good talks with my friends and Mom to process this milestone. I need to talk, openly and honestly. I'm amazed sometimes how Jon and I have such a good relationship when we are from such different back grounds and communication styles!

We made it through and despite drinking a bit more this week, I think Jon and I coped quite well :) We are still missing Dad and sad for how things should have been. My grief is mostly now surrounding the fact that he missed out on being Livi's Grandpa. Livi will never have a Grandpa. That is what makes me the most sad. I wish Dad could see what a fabulous grandbaby he has!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Potty Training

For months now I have been toying with the idea of potty training Livi. She has been showing little signs here and there but with the move coming up I didn't want her to regress. Now is the time! Thursday is the day! She is ready! She's gonna be a big girl! I'm scared...

Signs that she is ready are... While playing naked outside she stopped, said "uh oh", got in to the pool to pee, then got back out. She has asked to go on the toilet to "poo" numerous times, although she hasn't manage to do it on the toilet. She waited to do that in her diaper :) She stops and squats whenever she is peeing and pooping, while frequently telling up before or immediately right after she wets or soils herself. We are wasting diapers because she demands to be changed even when they are only a little bit wet! She also has become VERY fascinated with Mommy and Daddy using the toilet. Quite invasively fascinated actually... it's kind of creepy.

With all the tips, personal experiences, literature and gear out there I was a little overwhelmed. I think I've done enough research, without over doing it now and I have decided on my method... at least the method I'm going to start with before reality hits.

The Gear: 
1. A potty seat that fits in to a regular toilet. I didn't want to get Livi her own little potty because I've heard that there can be an issue with transitioning children from their potties to a regular toilet. I didn't want to be dependent on a potty I have to lug around with me either. That seemed a little gross to me. 
2. Big girl panties! I bought her the tiniest little panties I've ever seen! They are so cute. Curious George, Mickey and Minnie, and some princesses adorn them!

The Method: 
1. We are going cold turkey! From what I have read I figure it could get rather confusing if I use training pants that feel like diapers, so we are going to fully go to panties during the day. 
2. Rewards! Or is it called bribery? I am going to have a little bowl of chocolate chips close at give as a prize, along with tons of praise, for going pee or poo on the toilet. 
3. We are going to stay close to home and "her" toilet for the first few days at least, until she gets a better handle on it.
4. I'm going to move all the potty books and some toys in to the bathroom so we can play or read while we are waiting. 
5. I'm going to give her TONS of praise and talk for trying to be a Big Girl! She really likes it when I give her big girl tasks to do.
6. I'm going to set up some routine times she will need to try and use the toilet. Probably right when she wakes up from night and her nap, 20 or 30 minutes after meals or snacks and before bed. 

I think that's all I have. We'll see how we do. I'm a little scared but I think I'll get through it :) Wish me luck! I'd love to hear any tips or suggestions that have worked for you or your friends!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sesame Street!

 *Post about the move right under this one, so scroll down!*

In the craziness of our moving weekend my sister had given Livi a ticket to see Sesame Street in concert!
On the Sunday of moving weekend Livi, Auntie Maggy, Auntie Sessa and Marmee and I packed up and went to Livi's first concert... if Elmo is considered a concert.
Livi didn't understand when we told her that she was going to see Elmo in real life but when the lights went down and Elmo came out she didn't know what to do with herself. It was priceless. She just stood there smiling and pointing at the different characters. We were in the second row so she was right close to the action! She danced, clapped, sang, and even got to give Rosita a high-five!
The kids got to go to the front and dance at one point. Is it just me or does she look 16 years old here?
I broke down and got her a Sesame Street ball after the concert :)

I know she won't remember it but we have the pictures and it made for some pretty good memories for me!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It Is Finished

We have finished our move and are trying to settle in to our new home. The move went really well, even in the 35 degree heat! Our friends and family who helped were amazing! We were all packed up in to the truck in 2 hours and it only took half an hour to unload. They stayed and helped set up our beds, a bookshelf I had bought from Ikea and unpack most of my kitchen! Thank you so much everyone!!!

All our boxes are unpacked and I finished putting up the last of the pictures today :) The pictures have really helped me to feel more settled. I still have a bit of a unsettled feeling being here but I am pushing through it! There are so many things I love about being here. The yard is fabulous! After Livi gets her bottle in the morning, she asks to go outside :) We have eaten nearly every meal outside too :) I love the colors of the walls. (Thanks everyone who helped paint before we moved in!) I love how quiet it is! No cars and sirens to lull us to sleep. I love being able to go for a walk with Livi and not have to be constantly on guard for traffic. I love being close to my Mom and Maggy and having them so involved in Livi's life. I was able to help my Mom out yesterday by being home for her charges too when she was going to be late. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement!

I can't shake the weirdness of the situation though. I had moved out of this house at 17 and ten years later I'm back? Livi is sleeping in the same room I had as a teenager! The house has been completely renovated since I lived here last. There was never a basement suite when I was here, but it still is difficult telling people I've moved in to my Mother's basement suite. We went for a walk today and I had all these memories of the neighborhood and various houses where friends used to live. I wasn't the most well behaved teenager, so not all those memories were positive. I know that it was the right decision to move here and I even feel that it was a good decision, but I also know it is a sacrifice for Jon and I to not own our own home anymore, or to have a proper sized kitchen (there is no storage in our kitchen) and to live in such close proximity to my fabulously amazing and dysfunctional family!

Please don't think that I am ungrateful for this opportunity. We are truly blessed to be able to live so well while saving money for our adoption. We are paying some rent, just not a lot :) We also have the added blessing of my Mom's support/babysitting upstairs! This is going to be invaluable when we bring our next daughter home! I know it is a sacrifice on my Mom's part too. It is her contribution to our adoption. I'm sure many of her friends think she is crazy to have allowed such a scheme.

In major life changes I generally experience a bit of a psychological episode which I think I am mostly keeping at bay right now. In the past, I've become depressed, moody, anxious, unable to sleep and overly controlling etc... So far, I've been coping quite well... I think. I have an uneasy feeling, which I am contributing to this place not feeling like home yet. With the lack of storage in the kitchen and bathroom, I've had to "artistically" display many items I'd rather have hidden in a cupboard. It looks a little chaotic to me and will take some getting used to. I've also been having some CRAZY dreams too. I regularly have wild dream and intense nightmares but since we've moved my nights are filled with crazy, non-intelligible dreams. If this is as bad as I get, I'll be happy!

Olivia has been having a bit of a tough time with the move. For the first couple days, when she would get upset, she would ask to go home. It broke my heart. She has been very clingy for me in particular and she's had some pretty epic meltdowns. I must admit that I have allowed her to watch more cartoons this week than she has watched all year! I needed the break and she needed some quiet time :) She is loving the yard and the little pool we got her but she has also had a few very sad moments. Aside from her melt downs she took her first tumble out of her crib. I think she basically hit the ground face first too. She was bleeding from her nose and lip, has a big bruise on her forehead and rug burn under her nose. It was very sad :(

All in all, we are settling in as we expected. We are hoping it feels like home sooner than later. Our condo still hasn't sold, but I'm trying not to think about it. Nothing comparable is selling right now so we are starting to think of how much of a hit we are willing to take. There are so many unknowns with real estate! We need it to sell yesterday!