My Adventures in Potty Training

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The types of messages my best friend (Punky’s godmother) gets to read from me.

Potty training has been the single WORST part of parenting I have ever experienced. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m loving the idea of my kid not having to wear pull ups anymore and the financial awesomeness that comes with that.

But.

This Kid.

She’s been sitting on the potty for over a year, she knows what it is, and she’s been familiar with the potty for a long time now. We started actively trying to potty train around July. I don’t really remember, we weren’t super consistent with it.

We had tried all sorts of rewards. Stickers, candy, dances, tattoos. Blah, Blah. Nothing worked.

This kid was stubborn or not ready. I’m not sure which. But really, she was completely aware of what we were doing. She knew what it meant to be potty trained. We got lots and lots of panties for her in all her favorite characters.

We finally got around to actually being consistent. Right after the new year and the holidays. We eliminated pull ups during the day and it was sort of working. We removed her panties all together and let her run around with a bare bottom. That worked the best.

She recently asked us for panties again.

We decided to take her lead and use the panties as an incentive.

So she was able to have one pair a day. She had to take care of those or she didn’t get anymore for the day. And this strategy worked for a minute.

Then, we noticed that she was starting to stay dry at night, so when she woke up she would have a dry pull up. So, we thought maybe we would start training even more.

Grammy came up with the strategy that has seemed to work the best. That has has the most longevity.

Money. My kid is motivated by money.

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Introducing our Potty Pig. We all put our change in the potty fund and she gets a “penny” when she pees and a “nickel” when she “number 2” and if she has no accidents all day she gets a “quarter”. I put quotes around the money value, because she has no idea what I’m handing her, but if I’m out of pennies, I may give her a nickel or if I’m out of nickels, she may get a dime. At the end of a period of time (this weekend) we will count up her potty money and she gets to go shopping with her own money and pick out her own stuff.

The pig stays up on the fire mantle, because I have noticed that the idea of having the potty pig in her hand is the incentive mostly. She loves to hold and play with delicate things. She likes to nurture them and kiss them and play with them. (We learned that with the Nativity around Christmas). So I don’t really think it’s the money, but it will be when we finally cash out the money for a special toy. I guess we will see.

So there’s a whole ritual thing we do, because we are all a bit of creatures of habit.

She then gets to dance around with the pig for a minute. Mommy dances and sings and we make a big spectacle about it. So far it’s worked out.

She’s had minimal accidents for about a week. And I have taken her to places for an hour at a time, or visit family member houses with hour potty breaks – with little to no issue. So, I thought, why not take her to the park. She’s started to recognize when she has the urge to go and she is pretty good about stopping and holding it before she has an accident.

Soooooo, I thought, let’s enjoy the nice weather we are having here in the midwest of the US. We have been having great weather. And while I am dealing with my own agoraphobia, it really stems from going anywhere without my kid, so the park was fine. I could take her to the park without an issue.

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We were there for a little over an hour. I would ask her frequently if she had to go potty. She would tell me no. We hit the hour and 15 minute mark and then … disaster struck.

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So that happened. And she had diarrhea for the rest of the day and it was what I thought would be the end of our successful streak. We waited it out a few days and then when her upset belly cleared up, I told her yesterday that if she had a day without an accidents we could go to bed without a pull up and wear panties instead.

She’s been asking for this for a few days and I had been reluctant to do it, because of her issues with diarrhea. But, yesterday, she did really well. She even took a little nap on the couch and had no accidents. I had to wake her up, sit her sleepy bottom on the potty and then she went back to sleep.

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So. we put some plastic down on her bed and bit the bullet. She ran around the house in this ridiculous outfit for quite some time when she realized that she wouldn’t have to wear a pull up to bed.

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She’d been waking up dry for about a week, so I wasn’t super worried about it, but you know – our streak was hindered for a minute, so I got concerned.

This morning, Kim posted this.

Success

I was reluctant to announce it to the world. Potty training really has been the single worst job of my parenting so far. And you know how it goes, you brag about your kid doing something awesome and then the kid proves you wrong and there’s some crazy setback. It’s like the, for real, law of toddler successes. Don’t post it or brag about it, because it is just a fleeting moment! Haha.

Anyway, I’m thrilled with our success, thus far. I am hoping this isn’t a fluke and we can soon announce that she is POTTY TRAINED. We are so close I can feel it, but then, here I am posting about it and bragging about it, so we will see what tomorrow holds in store!

In other happy news, my sister had her fourth baby this week. A beautiful baby girl named Aurora. I will be calling her “Rory”. She’s beautiful and healthy and hopefully her last one, cause my goodness she has her hands full with the four of her kids in her beautiful and very active family!

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Day 3: Dancing To The Christmas Songs With Moms

Today, I got home from work to find our darling baby girl in her coat, ready to leave. It was zipped up and hood on kind of ready. It was pretty darn adorable!

In the end, I had to tell my barefoot, PJ wearing, coat wearing kiddo that we weren’t going anywhere. She went straight to the envelopes.

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She got a little pony temporary tattoo in this envelope. No candy today. But we did have a card that said, “Dance and sing to Christmas Songs in the Living room”

We did dance and sing, she was very much interested for the first 10 minutes or so and then she just jumped and ran around the living room.

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Then she was more interested in the CD case and dancing around with her stuffed lion. It was great. I liked watching her play and interact with Kim and her little voice while she tried to dance and sing.

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Day 3 was a success. For a toddler’s attention span, 30 minutes of songs and dancing would be considered a success. I love that I found a Kid’s Party CD that had Christmas songs with no religious undertones, which was great. She’s still too young for that to really be an issue, but why not start early!

Moving From Baby to Toddler

Our little Punky is going to be 2 in four and a half months. When the hell did that happen?! I’m STILL astonished we even have a child. I’m STILL astonished when I look at her and feel like I’m in a dream. Like is this really my life?

I know that work has been a little stressful for me and frankly, I’m pretty sure I had a mild nervous breakdown a couple weeks ago when the supervisor position went haywire. But, I saw a side of me that I haven’t seen in years. I don’t want to see that side of me. I’ve worked very very hard to leave her behind, the bitter, angry, selfish, bitch me has no place in this new life we are building with our most precious baby girl turned toddler.

I’m not ashamed to say that I am going to be getting my medication readjusted and I’m relieved about it. I’m not a nutjob, seriously, but I have a lot of mood problems and my hormones are still out of whack from having Punky, and my anxiety ¬†is “through the roof” if you hear K tell it. So, I’m getting it fixed.

I also learned, while I have always known this, that my childhood was lacking in places I didn’t really notice until I had a kid. I know my parents did the best they could, I didn’t really lack for much, but my noticing it now, makes me even more determined to make sure that Punky has the childhood I didn’t have.

With that said, we do so much with her that I never got to do. Tuesday, we went to the pumpkin patch and she had fun, even though she didn’t have a nap and kind of started to melt down. In the end, I think it was a success.

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This picture warms my heart, I absolutely love seeing Punky and K together.

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Punky is checking out the chickens.

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Taking a little break and looking around the scenery.

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This last week or so we have been putting together Punky’s big girl room. We finally got the non-essential furniture out of there and now, I’m totally going nuts! We have picked the universe theme. I like the sciencey bit of it and she really enjoys the stars and the lights that go with it.

We live in an apartment, so we aren’t supposed to paint the walls, so I did have to improvise some of the wall decor!

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So, while Punky heads into being 2 years old, we are getting ready to put together her toddler bed, finish up her room and continue to make me thrilled to have the child we have, tantrums and all!!

My next post will likely not be until after Halloween or the Halloween party we are going to this weekend. More pictures of that to come, for sure!

Picture-Perfect Weekend

God, I do hate password protected posts. I will just say it. I hate the stupid spam codes and I hate passwords I have to try and remember. While I totally know they are necessary. I still hate them. I especially hate that I have now had to put one on this blog!

Ugh.

Anyway, onto more fun things. AND the reason this post is password-protected.

I got a free camera on Friday. Well, let’s back up, so my camera, that my good best friend got me for my birthday … oh … three/four years ago, it has decided it wants to die. It hasn’t quite died yet, but it makes documenting every single, solitary moment of my daughter’s life very difficult when it just doesn’t want to get the pictures right. They are sometimes blurry, sometimes dark, and sometimes the lens doesn’t come out of hiding at all and there are moments, when my poor … very ill camera doesn’t shutter at all, or shutters too much.

So, my trusted camera has been on life support for some time. Frankly, I find taking pictures with my phone just inadequate. SO, what’s a girl to do when she NEEDS to take pictures of the cutest damn kid in the universe? She searches for a camera.

Where did I get a free camera? Well, I will tell you. I am a member of Freecycle. If you aren’t a member, you really should look up the local group in your area. I’m sure they are all over, well, at least, I’m sure they are in the US. Not so sure about internationally. ¬†Basically, you sign up for the group, linked to YAHOO.com and you post for things you would like to have. All for free. You can also post things you want to get rid of. All for free.

I took a chance and asked if anyone had a digital camera that they just might be interested in giving me. For free. Now, look, I didn’t actually expect someone to give me a camera. But, I took a shot. And guess what? A very nice man contacted me about a camera. ARE YOU KIDDING? I’ve seen things like clothes or books or toys and such on the site, never something as great and wonderful as a digital camera. I mean seriously, we know how much these things cost.

So, the camera isn’t anything special. Not really, but it’s new to me. I am now in possession of a camera AND a 32 GB SD card (Which will hold … wait for it … 9,999 pictures!) for which I just had to use immediately.

I took Punky to a beautiful little place we like to take pictures from time to time and they turned out awesome. I also figured out, after editing these pictures, that my nearly 18 month old baby, just isn’t a baby anymore. She is getting too big. Getting too big, too fast!

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Punky is also in a very “Huggy” phase right now. AND I love it. She’s just too damn cute for words. Of course, I’m biased, so I will let you be the judge! Hugs and sweet baby “Aww” that comes out of her mouth, just makes me want to melt.

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After we got home, I gave her a hula hoop and we ran around the courtyard of our apartment complex. I just had to shoot her there too. By the end of the day, yesterday, she was just too sick and tired of the camera, but I did get some excellent pictures.

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This post is really just rambling and not worth much of anything – except the pictures that I took of my precious daughter with my free camera. And, as I look at the pictures and I look back at all the pictures I have of her life thus far, I am reminded – just how lucky K and I are. To have her, to even have her here. Through all the emotionally draining and physically exhausting times we have had over the last 10 years, THIS is what we have to show for it. We may not have a lot of money, but we have happiness well beyond anything we imagined we would have in that college dorm 10 years ago when we met in a little piece of internet history.

And in the end, it’s worth it. I mean really, when you think about, nothing else matters, but this moment. Oh, and this one, where you started using spoons……

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Take care everyone, there’s not much happening in our little corner of the internet. I hope things are all well with everyone who has followed. AND, I really appreciate you all, especially those of you who have followed along despite the stupid password!

Rachael