Potty Talk

It's the end of day two of potty training. Faith has five stickers on her success chart, Rob's been peed on twice and I need one giant glass of wine.

We started cold turkey on Saturday morning by placing Faith in her Minnie Mouse underwear, with some plastic undies over the top to minimize messes. By 7:45 a.m., we had our first accident (I say we because this is a team effort). We decided that "bum bums" aka dum dum suckers would be the reward along with a sticker chart. The pediatrician who taught the "Mastering Potty Training" class I attended recently said to shy away from food as a reward because of the obesity epidemic. If you've ever seen my daughter, I don't think she'll be adding to the obesity epidemic anytime soon, given her dad's metabolism. Regardless, rewards weren't exactly an issue because by 10 a.m. we had our second accident of the day. Thankfully she was riding her bike outside when it happened, so the cleanup was minimal.

From the potty class powerpoint, I knew that 20 minutes after eating is a good time to go. After lunch on Saturday I sat Faith on the pot and waited. I had very low expectations going into this, so I was shocked when I heard tinkling. I proceeded to sing a potty song I made up on the spot and do a dance that included jumping and - if I'm being honest - some air humping. When I asked Faith if she was all done, she said "Noooo."

A little back history here...my kid is the last one to practice using the potty at daycare because she will sit there forever. When the potty professor said that sitting on the john for one minute should be considered a success, I should have ask at what point you remove said child from the throne. Anyway, I decided to let her sit there and was glad I did. About a minute later I heard a couple plops. I yanked Faith off the pot in disbelief and stared down at the most beautiful poop I've ever seen. More air humping ensued. Faith flushed and we waved goodbye to our favorite turd of all time.

To top it off, she asked to take a nap a half hour later. Could life get any better? We put her in a pull-up for nap time, but she woke up dry. So we tried again. She was just sitting on the pot singing songs, when all of the sudden, she stopped and I heard "tinkle tinkle" little star. A round of Bum Bums on me!

We attempted a couple trips to the potty at 5:15 and 6:15. Just as I was thinking we should try again in five minutes at 6:45, Rob was spinning Faith around in the backyard when "the sprinkler" went off.

We tried one more time before bed, but nothin doin. Faith put on a pull-up and day 1 came to a close.

Not surprisingly, she woke up wet the next day. We attempted to go again at 7:15 and 7:45. I feel like these attempts deserve more than one line because they took a lot of effort by all three of us, though uneventful. I'm not sure why we waited so long to try again, but let's just say we missed the last two minutes of the 1st quarter of Team USA basketball. Accident number one at 8:37 a.m.

We were upstairs playing "where'd the monster go?" at 10 a.m. when I noticed Faith started making "the face." If she were a poker player, I'd know she had a turd ace in her hand. We raced to the bathroom, and thankfully she hadn't done the deed yet. She dropped the kids off at the pool, if ya know what I mean, and I did my most vigorous air humping to date.

There were two unsuccessful tries before nap time and then she woke up wet. Since Master Potty lady said nap time and nighttime training come later, I wasn't worried. We did do other things over the weekend, but not much that bears mentioning. Rob got peed on again sometime around 4 o'clock and then we ate dinner.

I should mention that Faith woke up with a cold on Saturday. After a week at daycare, she brought home as many germs as she could and now we both have the sniffles, watery eyes and sore throats. In other words, my daughter is a freakin' trooper to put up with her parents' demands when she wasn't feeling her best.

We attempted another trip to my loo right before dinner at 5:30 to no avail. At 6:05 p.m. it was Daddy's turn to try. He hadn't been a part of too many successes to this point, so it was nice for him hear pee hit the pot and do the air humping this time.

As much as we just wanted to slap a pull-up on and put her to bed at 7:45, we knew we needed to try one more time. Rob's tickle monster/scare-it-out-of-her combo worked. Success #5. Maybe that means five glasses of wine?

There haven't been many photo ops over the past two days, but since she's now peeing on the potty, it's time she learned to clean the toilet ;)

Two Years with One Girl

My little Faith,
As I type these words, you are upstairs sleeping soundly in your bed...or in our bed....or maybe in the hallway. It's been a month and a half since we transitioned you from the crib after the leg dangling incident of 2012. So far, not so good. In addition to getting up approximately 16.4 times per night ("one more book," "I need raffe," "biiiiinky") you recently started coming into our bedroom at exactly 6 a.m. and sticking your arms in the air to be lifted up and onto the bed. While your dad and I would love the extra hour or so of sleep, I know it won't be long before all the sudden one day, you stop coming in to snuggle every morning.

That's what brings me to this letter. You are growing up so fast, so fast my blogging can't keep up with you. I wanted to write a letter to you for a couple reasons. First and foremost, for you. Your grandma kept what can only be described as an "extensive" baby book for me and I can't tell you how many times I've referenced it in the last two years. I hope someday when you're a mom, my insight into you will bring you laughter, fond memories of childhood, and a few 'aha' moments. And secondly, I'm writing this for me...and your dad. Our memories are short and I don't want to forget that you love to say "kangarooooo" or the way you say "mac and cheese a roni" or  your genuine smile. That smile gets me every time.

So....You. You are a girly girl. I don't know how this happened as I suck at all things girly. Not you. You love wearing "purdy desses" and if it's not pink or purple, it's not worth wearing. If I try to put you in anything but a dress, you claim "it too tight." You've never been a fan of hair bows or barrettes, but the other night you let me place about 7 in your hair at once. It was cute, but I purposely avoid giant bows in pictures because I want your face, and your beautiful curly hair that you got from your dad and my mom, to be the focal point of the photo.

As your mom, I feel the need to expose you to so many new adventures - the park, the library, the pool, but find I am happiest and enjoy our time the most when it's just you and me at home playing a game you made up. Your creativity reminds me how fun it is to be a kid. The other day you found these sheets of bunny paper and decided that you were going to rip them into pieces. You repeatedly asked me if I wanted a "piece of bunny" and then would return to rip some more pages. You also like to sing karaoke with your arm around my shoulder. College is going to be fun for you!

I could listen to you talk all day. Your speech and the number of words you can say is probably the most entertaining thing for your dad and me. Today at the grocery store, dad took you down the aisle with all the salad dressings and you said, "Wow, look at all the dip dip." (Ranch dressing just might be your favorite food as we constantly have to remind you to actually dip something in it other than your fingers.) You've also been obsessed with the words "dithday party" ever since you turned two and you are constantly singing the happy birthday song and playing with your plastic cupcakes and tea set. At your actual birthday party, I was too busy running around like a crazy woman to really take in the fact that you were turning two. It didn't hit me until about 30 family members and friends sang "Happy Birthday, Dear Faithy" did I really take a minute to look at you. You just had a look of pure joy like I've never seen from you before on your face and immediately the lump rose in my throat and tears welled in my eyes. I don't ever want to forget that moment. It made every second of the party planning stress worthwhile.

Let's see here. You are always smiling, happy go lucky and quick to laugh, except when we took our family pictures. It wasn't your fault thought, we had woken you from your nap. Apparently that "never wake a sleeping baby" thing applies to 2 year olds too. We did manage to get a few good ones, but none of you and your tea set. Of course, the minute we got home, you were playing with it and looking as cute as can be...in nothing but your diaper. I guess I'll just have to try to keep a mental picture of that one.

As much as we love you, you're not perfect.You can be emotional when it comes to sharing your toys and throw a pretty impressive tantrum if we turn off Mickey Mouse or Doc Mcstuffins. Usually you're OK with transitioning to another activity, but sometimes you can be stubborn. Tonight at the park for example you were sitting on a giant ceramic squirrel when a little girl came up to you and told you that squirrel was hers. You didn't move and just smiled at her. I know you knew what she was saying, and I applaud you for holding your ground, even if it was more out of stubbornness than standing up for yourself. You're going to need to do that a lot in life and I think you're off to a good start.

We are about to embark on the wonderful joy that is potty training -- said no one ever (that's a popular phrase here in 2012 in case you're reading this is 2032). I went to a class last week and started getting teary-eyed when I realized you really are ready for it. After potty training, I feel like you'll need me less and less. I suppose I'll still need to cut up your meat and help you cross the street, but after that? Oh yeah, driving. You're going to need me a lot now that I think about it. I still call my mom once a day, so hopefully you do that too.

I have to keep reminding myself not to underestimate you. We went to a baseball game last Friday night where they have a play area for kids. I kept accompanying you up the steps to get to the slide because I thought you needed me. There were some 12 year old boys who were running around in there and I was worried you'd get your little foot and hand smashed, but thankfully that never happened. I need to practice letting you fly on your own a bit more.

I've tried not to make this like a 24 things post, but alas that's kind of what it's become. I forgot to mention what currently makes you laugh. My burps. And when I'm out of real ones, I resort to fake ones. (Ladylike, I know.) Anyway, if I want you to get the giggles, this is a surefire method. So last but not least, Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrpppppp! Hopefully that made ya smile.

Love you always and forever,

The Binky/Bedtime Chronicles Part II

Oh fine, I've put it off long enough. It's time to talk about How We Gave the Binky Back  (in italics because it's the running title of our upcoming worst-seller). Honestly, I'd be surprised if this doesn't become national news. I can just see Robin Roberts from GMA now: "Next up we'll interview some pathetic Council Bluffs parents -- stay tuned."

My first mistake was proclaiming in the comments of my Big Girl Panties post that May 24, a month prior to Faith's 2nd birthday, would be D-day. Well, Rob and I ended up with party plans that night and it hardly seemed fair to turn beloved gammy Janny into She-who-should-not-be-Named in Faith's eyes.

So the next night, May 25, as we were driving home from Missouri Valley, I was lining up excuses in my head to put off the "extraction" until her 16th birthday. The next day we'd be going on a long car trip and a nap would be essential. The following weekend she'd be staying the night with Rob's mom. Without warning, Rob told Faith she was a big girl, that she didn't need her binky and to hand it over. For no other reason than God is good, Faith placed it in his paw.

When we got home she was still wide awake. Since following through on my proclamation wasn't my idea, I told Rob bedtime duties were all him. Faith didn't disappoint. She wailed for a solid 10 minutes, holding the I in binky like it was the last note in a song. After about 3 minutes, I couldn't stand it and left the room. I started to cry, too. Hearing your kid that distressed is upsetting. Knowing you could easily fix the problem by putting in a plug makes it even more unbearable. But since Rob was born with that trait they call patience, he waited her out. She eventually calmed down and slept well that night. The next day we had the true test of a nap in the car. After putting up a 10-minute fight, she was out. This isn't so bad, I thought. The next night she went down so easily I was in disbelief. It was just like the books said, they cry one night and then they're over it.

And then Faith decided to join the circus. Or at least audition. That Monday, Rob's first official day as a stay-at-home dad for the summer, Faith tried to climb out of her crib. I wasn't there, but Rob tells me he had just made it downstairs when he heard screaming. Pained screaming. Faith got her foot stuck between the outer crib rail and the inner rail and was somewhat dangling inside the crib. She could've broken her leg, but thankfully was fine. If it scared Rob, I knew it must've been bad. He doesn't rattle easily.

That night Faith and I went to Target to pick out new bedding while Rob converted the crib to a bed. There weren't a lot of options for toddler girls, but there was the perfect option for Faith. Pink and purple cupcakes and ice cream.

We hoped she wouldn't realize she could just get out of the bed, unlike the crib. Those hopes were quickly dashed and then smashed when we realized she thought it was a train. She kept getting off and back on, saying "All Aboaaard."

Let's see here.
The first night she fell out.

And then for the next 2.5 weeks, her bedtimes (which used to be an enjoyable routine for all involved) became Cryfest, Sobstock and Wahwahpalooza all rolled into one. I must have tried to put her back in bed 10 times one night. And that was it. I calmly walked to the edge of the stairs and asked Rob if I could give her back the pacifier. (We threw all but one away.) I knew she was tired,and that she just needed her bink to get a wink of sleep. Oddly enough, Mr. Tough Guy obliged. I thought it was weird, but wasn't about to question it. I handed over "pink bink" and Faith rolled over and immediately went to sleep. I felt instant euphoria, followed by instant guilt. I hung my head and went downstairs. Rob held up his hand for a high-five and then he fessed up with little to no interrogation. Just 5 hours before that he'd cracked. After trying for more than 1.5 hours to get Faith to nap, he caved and gave her the pacifier. He claimed he was going to tell me when I came downstairs. I think he was hoping it was a one time thing. Not the case.

Since that night, bedtime (with a bink) HAS gotten easier. She still gets up a few times before she's down for the count. And sometimes she falls asleep in the hallway, behind her door, on her rug and even in our bed twice when I accidentally left the door open.

But there's no crying, whining or wailing from any of us. And I have my evenings back to blog, read and relax, though we still get up once or twice a night to tend to her.

I think her struggles of staying in bed initially had more to do with the transition from the crib than giving up her binky, but we would have never taken it away had we planned to switch to a big-girl bed just three days later. So yes, now we have to do wean all over again. But we've been very strict that it doesn't leave her bedroom from now on (unless we're driving home from somewhere at bedtime and then she gets it in the car). She can even reach the drawer it goes in and knows to put it away once she's up for the day.

Since I'm anti-cut off the tip and/or dip it in something nasty, I think we'll go the binky fairy route when she's old enough to understand it. Probably by age 10. ;)

p.s. Thanks to EVERYONE who offered their support and words of wisdom on my last post about binkies (in the comments and on Facebook). You have no idea how much it means!

Two Year Olds Say the Darndest Things

I present to you...Faithisms.

Weird sayings call for weird pictures!

(While pointing to George Washington on a $1 bill) "Dat Jesus!"

"Don't be a goat!" (We have no idea where this came from.)

Me: "Faithy, do you have any brothers or sisters?" Faith: "My Howie!"

"I have a owie on my knee." (Subject + verb + direct object followed by a prepositional phrase = one happy journalism majoring mama.)

(As I was leaving an aisle in Target that Faith didn't want to leave) "Wadeaminutewadeaminutewadeaminute."

After leaving a wedding at a church last weekend, "Bye Bye, Jesus"

Faith got a baby for her birthday. She named the baby Susie. "Where baby Susie go? Baby Susie need a nap. Baby Susie want her binky."

"I go to a dirthday pawty."

Me: "Can Mommy have a cupcake?" Faith: "No, it's too hot."

(Everytime we put Faith in the car) "We go to Papa-Gammy's house?"

After meeting her Grandma Cindy's kitty cat, "BubbaJo BubbaJo BubbaJo" every time she sees a cat. To her credit, it is pretty fun to say.

Whenever we ask her a question she says, "Ummmm" and then the answer. Pretty funny.

She also says, "Mommy, peez help. I can't." Love the asking for help part, hate the word can't.

"Bye bye, have a gud day!"