Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Tonight I spent a half hour playing hide & seek with Ben. He would "count" with Nick while I hid. He actually did sort of count along, not the actual numbers but he'd make the same noise in rhythm with Nick's counting and knew when time was up.
hiding under the blanket "counting" with daddy

Then he'd come seek me out. My hiding places were easy - behind the door in his room, on the other side of his crib or dresser, behind the kitchen island, crouched behind one of the couches, etc. But he'd get a big kick out of searching for me, calling "mama" as he looked in the place where he found me last.

finding me behind his door

Then he'd find me, get way excited and immediately start "counting" again. Silly kid. Who knew hide & seek could be so much fun? :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 3.

For the final installment of my daily potty blog. :) I'm sure I'll post periodic updates of how it's all going, but I don't believe I'll continue the Potty Diaries after the 3rd day of potty boot camp.

All in all, this has been going remarkably well. A lot better than I anticipated, considering I didn't think he was even remotely ready for potty training. Today we saw only 2 pee accidents and that, again, was first thing this morning. We had HUGE success with poop today - he actually did it on the potty - HOORAY! This was thanks largely to Nick's genius idea (thank goodness he was working from home today and able to help). I could tell Ben had to go and every time I'd hear him start, I'd whisk him off to the potty and he'd stop. Nick had the great idea of going in to the bathroom and shutting the door. He brought a book and entertained Ben until Ben decided to go - and we had success!

Here comes the next problem. This is already TMI because I'm discussing my poor kid's bathroom habits on a public forum, so why hold back more? ha ha I have a very sensitive gag reflex when it comes to certain smells. Clearly I did not think ahead when I bought a training potty for him to learn on. Guess what has to happen when some one uses it? Well, it has to get cleaned out. The pee doesn't bug me. The poop.... ugh. Again, thank goodness Nick was here to help out. I think with potty training any future kids, I'll ditch the potty chair and start out with the toilet insert. As a very smart mama shared with me, no where else in the world will the kid get to use a special potty, so they might as well learn how to do their business on the regular one like every one else.

Another, smaller, problem with all of this is me. Did you know I'm a total rule follower? That I panic at most spontaneous things? I like a plan. I like rules. I like following steps 1 through 5 to achieve a known destination. My husband is not this way. My husband lah-dee-dah, fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy. Which is why we're actually doing potty training now rather than later. I was going to research, create a plan and stick to the plan. He said "huh, Ben peed once. Let's try this again" and potty training officially happened at our house. So when I'm trying to follow this plan of 1 hour out of the house... well... it doesn't work. First of all, it's hellishly hot here right now. It's hard to do much of anything outside without getting way hot. Secondly, at this stage in potty training, Ben's bladder seems to want to go about every half hour to forty minutes.

So today we were supposed to go outside for two one hour trips. We went outside for a little bit this morning and played in the backyard. I brought the potty out and he peed in it and then wanted to come in. I don't believe we went out at all this afternoon. Another tiny road block - Ben insisted on wearing pants today. He cried when I wouldn't let him, so I gave in, because really? Make my kid cry because he wants to wear pants and the plan says not to? At first, I panicked - cue frantic thought process: ohmigod! we've gone off the plan! we were supposed to go out for two trips today! what will happen? what should I do? He's supposed to go bare-bottomed for 3 months! He's wearing pants, what will happen? What should I DO?????


That's what I should do (and did). I figure for this week, we'll just hang around home. We'll go to Little Gym on Wednesday and he'll wear a diaper while we're out. I'll go to our playdate on Friday and he'll wear a diaper while we're out. The rest of the time, we'll just stick close to home. We'll venture outside when we can. After this week of working on it, we'll see about trying to go further from home. If he wants to wear pants - let him wear pants! His bottom is probably cold!

So at the end of day three, we've had more hits than misses. We've had more progress and no back tracking. Will we have some set backs in the next few weeks, months, whatever? Probably. But that's okay - we'll work through them. Maybe we'll get lucky and just have a super easy to train kid. Works for us!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 2.

Well day two went both better and worse than day one. Better because he had very few pee accidents (and one of those was first thing this morning when I think he was still sort of waking up and I'll talk about the other one later). Worse because we couldn't convince him to go poo in the potty. Instead he did it under the dining room table when Nick's back was turned. At least he did it on the linoleum instead of on the carpet...?

I was afraid we'd have problems getting him to poo on the potty. He's very odd about his poo - it's fairly obvious when he goes, and for months now I've been prompting him (attempting to get him ready for potty training) by asking "do you have to poo?" when I hear him starting and then asking if he's done when I know he is. Usually he responds by running away and lately he's been adding "no" to it as he runs away. Then he would fight me as I chased him down and got him up on the changing table to change him.

To be honest, we're not sure how to handle this part. Nothing I've read about the method we're using talks about problems with poo. All the similar situations I've read online have been from mommy's of three and four year olds (UGH). There's a book I've requested from the library (that I should hopefully have tomorrow) that I'm HOPING addresses this issue. I don't want to stress him out or make him feel bad by not going, but I need to find a way to encourage him to go on the potty. I've been considering buying a toilet seat insert dealie for the "big kid" toilet and seeing if he'd be more receptive to pooing there.

I can see why many parents delay potty training. It's a huge commitment on the parents part and you have to be just as much ready for it as your child is. Ben is extremely independent and is used to going about his own business during the day. I play with him as often as he'll let me, but for the most part he'd rather do his own thing. This has given me freedom to do my own thing as well - I can read, play on Pintrest, email Susan, work on dinner, tidy up (as long as I don't make too much of a fuss about tidying, otherwise he wants to crawl up my leg as I wipe down the counters). It's been a big commitment from me & Nick to pay attention to what he's doing, remember to prompt him to go, etc.

But anyway, back to today. According to the method we're using, today we were to go out of the house for an hour. The goal is to make it one hour without using the potty. We tried to go for a walk around our subdivision but even at 10:30 in the morning it was stinking hot. We stopped at the school by our house and let Ben play on the playground there and then came home to finish our hour in the backyard. About 45 minutes in, Ben peed his pants. Our fault for not paying more attention to what he was doing and getting him to the potty in time. Other than that accident, the one pee accident first thing this morning and the poo problem (ha ha), he's been really good at going. Most of the time when I ask him if he has to go, he'll tell me no. Within 5 or 10 minutes, he's often taken himself to the potty and gone himself.

As excited as I am to be getting him off of diapers, I have to admit I'm not really looking forward to 3 months of no pants. I'm not entirely sure we'll end up going that route. We'll see how he does over the next few weeks. If he continues to surprise me with how easily he's picking this up, I may just move him to big boy underpants rather than wait the full three months.

This has been surprisingly easy, despite the time commitment needed from me to be diligent about making sure he goes pee often. It hasn't been a battle or stressful at all. The method may sound hardcore and/or extreme, but it's really not. At least, not for us and not so far. A part of myself is ready for things to go to hell in a hand-basket at any moment.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 1.

He doesn't look excited, but I promise you he loves it :)

Unbeknownst to me (at first), today marked the first day of the Three Day Potty Training Boot Camp. It was Nick's turn to get up with Ben (ahhhh, peaceful sleeping in....) and when I got up, I found my son running around the house pants free. Apparently Nick had started pee pee training with Ben first thing, he'd used the potty a few times by the time I got up.

Then we hit a bit of a roadblock. Ben was having far more misses than hits. Nick & I got into a bit of an argument - I wanted him to read the articles I'd read so he knew all of what I knew (and not just the parts I could remember) and I wanted us to know what we were doing so that when we hit road blocks (like peeing on the floor), we knew what strategy to take. Finally we decided we'd wait and do it another weekend, after we were a little better informed.

Not long after that, a diaper clad Ben sat himself down on the potty all by himself and peed. So off came the diaper and Ben peed. And peed. And peed. And peed. Etc. All in all, I think the kid went about 15-20 times in a half hour period. He's so excited by going and the resulting cheering from mom & dad that he gets up before he's done.

After nap time, I whisked him away to the potty to go. There again, we had a tiny set back as he was disoriented and not sure what was going on (Ben needs at least 5 minutes of "wake up" time in the crib by himself - I was so eager to get him to pee on the potty instead of in his diaper, I interrupted that time. This equaled a kind of cranky kid for a little bit. Tomorrow, I'll let him have his time.). He wouldn't use the potty at first and ended up peeing on his feet as he washed his hands. Aside from that and the few messes first thing this morning, Ben seems really good at using the potty. He goes and sits down completely unprompted. He knows when he has to go, and he knows where he's supposed to do it. There were two "uh oh's" where I forgot to remind him if he had to go, and he was so busy playing that he just went where he was this evening, but for the most part he's been pretty good at using the potty. I've started setting a reminder on my phone for every 20 minutes so I don't forget to ask him if he has to go.

One of the things I'd like to work on next is how to encourage him to stay seated til he's truly done going. He's so excited for the cheering, he gets up before he's finished. This makes for at least 5 trips on the potty before he's done. It's okay now, because it's all new & exciting, but I can see this routine getting old fast.

one of our infinite hand washing trips. edited for his modesty :)

Tomorrow (according to the plan), we're to leave the house for 1 hour. I'm not sure where we'll go... maybe just take a walk around the block and then play in our yard? I'm a little torn over what to do on Little Gym days. If I follow the plan to the letter, he's to only wear a diaper for sleeping. I think if I have him go to the bathroom before we leave the house and maybe then again at LG before class starts that he'll be okay. I just really don't want him to pee all over the gym. I should call ahead and see what they recommend - since they deal with kids of all ages, surely they're used to potty training. Maybe I'll just have him wear his diaper for the first weeks of classes til he gets more reliable at holding it for any length of time... I also have a few play dates planned for next week that I'm not sure how I'll handle yet. I certainly don't want him peeing on the floor at some one else's house.

So that's day one. All in all, this went a LOT more smoothly than I thought it would. I envisioned basically an all day adventure of our uh-oh's this morning. He about shocked my socks off when he took himself to the potty that first time and continued to amaze me at how well he (mostly) went on his own. I'm hoping this is a sign of super simple potty training. I'm also prepared for this to be a fluke and tomorrow to be a complete disaster. We'll see!

Friday, July 22, 2011


Potty training has been the topic in one of my mommy groups for the past few days. It's something Nick & I have been talking about for a little bit - about how nice it would be to be done with diapers, saving money, saving space in the landfill, giving our little boy confidence.... we've also been talking about that we aren't sure he's ready. I've been reading on that the keys to deciding when to potty train are to see if your child shows interest in the bathroom (which he does) and a desire to be clean (meaning not liking to sit in his own waste). Unfortunately, Ben doesn't seem to mind to hang out in a dirty dipe. I think he'd go all day in just one if I'd let him.

That being said, I went ahead and researched good potty chairs and picked up the one I liked from Target the other day before Little Gym. I showed it to Ben in the store, had him sit on it to make sure he could sit down and stand up from it easily and that was about it. I put it in the bathroom and we didn't do anything with it. At that point, I was figuring on just having it in the house so he could get used to seeing it and could sit on it if he wanted to check it out.

Then one of the mom's in my mommy group posted a book event at Hyde Park from a Seattle area author that advocates potty trained by two. As Ben is on the fast downward slope to two, I thought I would research into her method. Boy, were my eyes opened. Apparently I'm really ignorant about potty training. I assumed the way to go was to just show him the bathroom and try to convince him to use it when I thought he might have to go (this is not the way I would have just blindly gone in to it - I would have you know, made an educated game plan first).

This woman (the author is Angela Graham and her book is literally titled Potty Trained By Two) uses an Elimination Communication approach where your child goes diaper free, all the time. Apparently this method can be used on children as little as 3 months old. This is really all on the parent to pay attention to subtle queues the child gives when they need to use the bathroom and getting them to the proper place to go on time.

Another method I've been researching is diaper training in 3 days or less, which is basically the same method, but geared towards slightly older children (under 28 months). Your kid goes pants free for three solid days (a diaper can be used for sleep) and it's an intense, immersion type situation. After those initial 3 days, your child will remain diaper free (and preferred pants-less) for the next 3 months. Even when you go out, pants are allowed but bare underneath is preferred.

I read further that the United States is the country with the oldest potty trained children. Most other countries children are potty trained by 18 months. It simply isn't practical to use diapers in some places. I read that the viewpoint came out in the 50's that we needed to allow our children dictate to use potty training readiness as it was better for them psychologically. Around this time, disposable diapers were mainstreamed and that's when the trend of potty training later started to emerge.

So this is where I'm torn. Do I wait until Ben shows signs of readiness? Will I have to wait until he's nearly 3 before he's potty trained? Should I take the more European approach and just get it done now? This is a case where I'd dearly love to pick my mother's brain, but I can't ask her. So instead, I turn to you, faithful reader. :) What sorts of potty training tricks do you have? What method did you use? What worked? What didn't?

I should add that this evening before we put Ben in his bath, I sat him on the potty and asked if he had to go. He actually did go (and then promptly stuck his hands in it to play - ewwwwww) and I'm sure it was a timing situation, rather than him being a genius and ready to pee.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Just a little update from our house, inspired by one of my favorite bloggers - Marta Writes.

recently... I've been wanting a make over, specifically new hair. any one have any favorite stylists? I want something new and fresh.
recently... I've been using the library and loving it. I used to spend oodles of money on books I read once. Now I do that for free.
recently... I haven't really been blogging, other than about Ben, because there's so much going on in my life that touches others and I don't feel right sharing all of that with the outside world. I'm afraid if I blog, I might forget and start talking about things that I shouldn't. Like now. So moving on to the next...
recently... Nick's got a great opportunity lined up for him but it means we'll have to delay our trip to Florida. I'm super bummed about this but excited for his opportunity. While our trip might be delayed by a month or so, I think this new opportunity will give us the chance to travel a bit more often.
recently... our little boy is getting tons of teeth. I think he's up to 6 in various stages of poking through and this is making him a tiny bear. a tiny bear who bites.
recently... I've been thinking about Ben's 2nd birthday. I feel kind of silly thinking about it, because it's 5 months away but it'll be here before we know it.
recently... which means I've also been thinking about Halloween. :) I think he'll go trick or treating this year - so exciting!
recently... I've been using my Cozi calendar tons but I find if i don't also put the activity on the white board calendar I have behind my computer, I forget about it. Isn't that weird?
recently... we lost Nick's car and are down to just mine for the family. His check engine light came on and he bought the parts to repair it - his repair didn't work, so he took it to the shop. The fixed one thing only to find out there's transmission problems. So we basically gave the shop $700 for a useless car (not their fault and they deserve to be paid for their work but man it sucks). We haven't decided yet if we'll replace his transmission or just wait til we're able to afford a second car payment.
recently... Ben is also a tiny dancing machine (in addition to the tiny biting bear). I adore him.

I think that's enough for now. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

19 Months.

19 months. Holy cow. I say it every time, but I really can't believe how fast it's going by. I wish I could slow down time, just a little. Of course, I'm eager for some phases to pass (like this tantrum and random hitting of people on the playground...) but he's already so big.

He got sick on Thursday, threw up about every 15 or 20 minutes from 6:00ish til almost mid night. I thought it was awful last time he had this kind of bug, but this was worse. Listening to your little boy say "no, no, no" tearfully as he's throwing up or say "all done, all done" was torture. As I was cuddling him, though, I noticed how big he's gotten. I used to be able to fit the whole of him in the crook of my arm. Now his legs spill off my lap.

How ever much he's getting to be a big boy, he's still little and I'm reminded of that every time he throws a fit because something didn't go the way he wanted it to. As much as his vocabulary has grown (and boy, has it grown), he still has a ways to go before he can communicate with us as well as we'd like him to.

Nothing too much has changed since I posted his 18 month one. He's talking more and more - he now fairly consistently says water and all done, rather than signing. He's more likely to repeat a word you've said, if you ask him to, than he was before. He says "buh-bye" in the cutest, sweetest little voice.

He's getting a little more stubborn. We try to keep him out of the laundry room, mainly because it's where the cat litter box is and also because it's the way out to the garage. You'll notice I said "try" - he had more time outs yesterday than he's had in his whole little life, from running and getting in that room. I'm not sure how else to explain to him that it's not a game.... :)

We've put away his booster seat for the table because he won't sit in it. He'll have a few bites of food and say "all done" but if we let him sit at the chair like a big boy, he'll eat almost all of his food. the next trick is convincing him to stay on his knees or bottom. He'd rather stand...

So, I think that's it for my update! It's not all that different from last month, just adding in more and more words to his vocabulary. Sleeping habits are still the same. :) I can't believe next month he'll be 4 short months away from turning 2. HOLY. CRAP.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I was told about this really great scheduling app from a gal in one of my mommy groups, Cozi. It's a free download to your Android or iPhone (you can upgrade to the pay app, but it's the same app - just run ad free. I don't give a rip about the ads, so I stuck with the free version).

I love it so much I wanted to tell every one that might read my blog about it. It's so much more than a calendar - you can organize to do lists, grocery lists, wish lists... I can add an appointment and have it text me a reminder.

One of my favorite features is the grocery list. I can copy & paste my list from Excel (where I menu plan) and easily drag and drop to rearrange my items (I like to organize my list by how I walk through the store):

Since it's both a web based app and a phone app, my calendar, grocery lists and to do lists are always with me, no matter where I go. If I get a new phone, I don't lose my information like I would now if I just used the calendar that came on my phone.

As I shop, I can just click off the item as it goes in my cart, so I don't have to deal with Ben trying to grab my list and my pen. I just have to hide my phone from him... :)

I love the to do list feature. I wrote up a list of Nick's graduation presents and had the site email it to Nick so he doesn't forget who got him what. When I have the thank you's ready, he'll have the list at his finger tips to write out the cards (ah, who am I kidding - I'll be doing the cards ha ah).

Anyway, I think this is the neatest site and I wanted to share. So there you go. Now I've shared.

Peace out, girl scouts. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Taking a moment to brag about how my kid knocks our socks off with how smart he is.

Last night (well, early this morning - around 4:00), Ben woke up and couldn't be settled back down. After the 4th or 5th trip into his room to tell him it was night-night time and to go back to sleep I finally asked him "what's wrong? is there something you need?" and he actually answered me with "cracker" - so I asked if he was thirsty (because I wasn't bringing him a cracker to his crib at 4:00 in the morning) and he signed for water. So in came the sippy (and a diaper change when I discovered he'd also poo'd - who poo's at 4:00 am??) and back to sleep he went.

Today at Little Gym, we were nearing the end of the class when another mom left the room and then came back in. Instantly, Ben wanted out that door - I assumed it was because he'd seen some one else leave so I told him no. Finally he signed for water and said "wa wa" (melted my heart, he doesn't verbalize many of the signs he knows), so out to the lobby we got to retrieve his sippy and a happy camper he was.

After nap he surprised the heck out of me by randomly singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (I guess it's not that random - I have a star lantern deal hanging over his changing table and I often point to it and then sing that song). Now, he didn't get the words correct (or even like, in English, ha ha) but he sang the tune. Later he wandered around the kitchen sort of singing along to the ABC's with Nick.

There's this great little story by Eric Carle called From Head To Toe that Ben likes to do with Nick. Just now in the living room, Nick asked Ben "what does a gorilla do? can you be a gorilla? can you thump your chest?" Ben just sort of stared at him and then raced off to his room. Next thing I know, he's got that book pulled off the shelf, the story opened to the page with the gorilla and he's standing there, thumping his chest.

I hope this doesn't feel like bragging (though I suppose it is in a way) or me posturing that my kid is soooooo smart - mostly I'm just continually surprised by how much he understands and I'm tickled pink by how much he's able to communicate back with me.