Saturday, July 28, 2012

This, too, Shall Pass

Time goes faster with the second one.

It seems as if the nights of not sleeping and the days of non-stop feedings, diaper changings and naps will never end. Then all of a sudden, you realize it has been almost 2 months since you stopped nursing. 5 months since she stopped waking in the night. Or, in other words, 5 months of uninterrupted sleep.

She's been walking for 2 (??) months, playing independently since she was able to hold a toy and eating food all by herself for almost 5 months.

And I think - where did the time go?

With the first baby - with Bjorn, life seemed stuck on pause. Hours took days to get through, and days, well  . . . .days took months, and sometimes years.  It was hard - so, so hard. Maybe because I was new at all this. Maybe because I didn't know any better.

Maybe just because it's hard.

But with the second one, I don't remember the hardships as much. I don't remember the nights I cried louder than she did, my tears those of desperation and exhaustion. I don't remember the frustrated days where she wouldn't nap, and wouldn't eat and would just whine and cling to me.

I don't think it consumes you as much with the second one. Because while you still have to tend to them and nurture these little babes through the difficult first year, you still have to teach and discipline and nurture and tend to that older little babe as well. Those difficult times don't seem to consume so much of you. They can't. If you were to let them overwhelm you as much as you did with the first babe, you would not survive motherhood. And right now it's all about survival.

So, it goes faster with the second babe.

I keep reminding myself of a piece of parenting advice a co-worker gave me. "The days are long, but the years are short."  It sounds very similar to a phrase that got me and a high school best friend through our long years as adolescents. "This, too, shall pass."

And it does.

Whatever the troubles are, it will pass. Whatever the joys are, these, too, will pass. We have no choice but to live in the moment, with each moment that comes, for that truly is all we have.

So I won't look back on this past year, and it's trials and tribulations, it's happiness and it's joys. I will merely look forward to all the amazing, wonderful things I have in the future. To all those fantastic things the future holds for me, the Hubs, Bjorn and Peanut.

I will just say: It's been a great ride this year, Peanut. Happy Birthday, my-make-the-days-too-long-and-the-years-too-short baby. Happy First Birthday.

Checking out her first gift - this one is from Bjorn
I think the tunnel is a hit!
Pre- Birthday Buffet Pig out!
After - Birthday Buffet Pig out!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Confessions of an IPhone Mommy. . . . .

Today I deleted my games from my IPhone.


Except for that one, because we play it together and I really think it teaches Bjorn letters. And locations. (Okay, Bjorn, put the "a" BELOW the "p".) And because I really like Words.

Before this past Christmas, I had the oldest mobile phone known to mankind. It was the size of my desk, and had a curly cord and an antenna as long as my arm.  Either that, or it was a flip phone that took horrible pictures, had no game capabilities and to text, I had to tap the number 3 button three times for I, then twice for H, etc. Remember those?!

Then, for Christmas, my wonderful husband said it was about time I traded up and I fell deep into the rabbit hole of Apple phones.

Texting! Voice texting! Facetime! Words with Friends! Facebook! Pinterest! GPS! An app that locates the nearest beer brewer! A rosary! CNN!

Hooked doesn't even begin to describe how into this phone I have been.

I'm not sure I've even been married these last 7 months. In fact, I don't even know where my husband is right now. Crying in his beer, maybe?!

The worst part, though, is that I have these games on my phone. Worthless, useless games that are fun to play against all my facebook friends. Games that I literally play all day.

While I'm playing cars with my kid. Or puzzles. Coloring. Playing pretend. I have to be honest with you - playing with little children bores me. After a few minutes of racing a car down the same stretch of road, or putting together a puzzle for 15th time that day. . . well. . I get bored. (I know, that makes me a horrible mom, but whatever, this is my mommy confessional. I might as well tell 'em all!) So when I get bored, I play a little game against my friends.

My son notices.

His shoulders droop. He throws his car across the room, hoping to get my attention, knowing that by throwing something, I will scold him. And bad attention is better than no attention at all.

Today he asked me,"Mommy. Put down your phone, please. Put it away."

And I was transported to a day 12 years from now, when Bjorn is texting (or whatever it will be then) with his friends, his neck permanently cricked down, hair falling forward, his face so close to the screen for such long periods that I have to look at a school picture to remember what he actually looks like from the front.

I see myself begging him to talk to me, tell me something about his day, tell me a joke, anything, if he would just put down the phone, please.

Wherever he may learn to be addicted to technology, that technology is more important than people, he won't learn it from me.

Delete.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lazy Moms do it slowly

"No one ever goes to college in diapers." they said.

Although I know a few guys who probably should have.

"He'll be ready when he's ready." they said. So I waited. 

And I waited.

I didn't push him. I didn't push it

But a few weeks ago it had come to the point where if he didn't learn how to (as his Prince of the Potty book says it) "make pee" and "make poop" in the potty, I was going to have to graduate up to bigger diapers. Like Depends. 

We have been gradually introducing potty training for a while now. And by a while, I mean a good year and a half. At 18 months old, he was given a potty, which he showed interest in for about two minutes every few weeks, and then promptly forgot about it. (Pretty much the same with every other toy or present he has ever received, too.)

We read potty books and talked about potty's and had a whole stash of potty candy.

At a little over 2, he learned the forgotten art of peeing outside, and, again, was very interested in that for about two minutes.

While we continuously asked if he needed to go potty, and once in a while, made him at least try to go potty, we approached potty training much the same way we approach most parenting decisions. Lazily.

So I was surprised a few weeks ago, when I ran out of diapers and pulled out of my future stockpile of Pull-Ups, that he stayed dry when wearing them. Of course, he would pee in them finally, but it would be all at once and then he would tell us.

We took Pull Ups to his daycare, and a few days later, she returned to us his leftover diapers. "He doesn't need these anymore. Just throw them all away." she said to us. Of course, my coupon and budget-loving self wouldn't allow me to throw them away, and for a few days we let Bjorn decide what he wanted to wear - pull ups or diapers.

And then we bought underwear.

He wanted nothing to do with at first, even though they were covered with Lightning McQueen and Wall-E and The Incredibles. He wanted his diaper or his pull up. And we complied. No pushing, no yelling.

Again, the lazy way to potty train.

But it works for us. I like lazy.

Apparently it works for Bjorn too. Three weeks ago, after he peed in the potty (Which he does standing up like a big boy. He has never liked sitting down.), he shook his Pull up off his foot, put it in the trash can, turned to me and said, "Mommy, I want underwear. I a big boy. I a Prince of the Potty!"

And he was. We put underwear on him and haven't looked back since. Even during naptimes and throughout the entire night, he wears underwear and - so far - absolutely no accidents while sleeping. (Which is good, because he sleeps with us most nights and I really don't want to wake up in his pee.)

I have to admit there have been some setbacks. Like that I'm a lazy parent (did I mention that already?), so when we went to the movies, against all his protestations I put him in a Pull Up so I wouldn't have to deal with a pee covered theater seat. (It turned out he stayed completely dry anyways, so I needn't even have worried.)

Or that time at the very beginning of underwear-wearing, when I hadn't realized just how often I needed to remind him to go potty, and he peed all over the store where we were getting our oil changed.

He still hasn't figured out how to tell when he has to "make poop" as opposed to pee, so we have had a few accidents in that way, but we are confident he will figure it out soon. I think after a few times pooping their pants, most kids realize it feels a whole lot better a different way.

Throughout the course of these 18 months (!!!) of lazy Mom potty training, I did pick up a few tools of the trade just by accident. What is interesting to me is none of these tricks were written about in any book, posted on any blog or talked about by any of my mom friends. Which either means that everyone already knows these very simple things, my kid is totally different than any one else's or I am now a leading expert on lazily - but eventually - potty training your kid. You decide.

Tips for Eventually Potty Training Your Boy

  • Let him decide whether to sit or stand when going potty. Although Bjorn has seen me sit on the potty, since he follows me to the bathroom, expecting me to play cars with him and sing and talk and play even while, uh, doing my bizness, he doesn't want to sit on the potty. He wants to stand. And he has remarkably good aim (even without any tools or Cheerios), so we let him. This is very, very nice when we go in public and I don't want him sitting on a somewhat-dirty toilet seat, but kinda nasty when he wraps his hands around that somewhat-dirty toilet seat to lift it out of the way. **Shudder** I guess that's why God invented soap and Purell.
  • No snaps, no buttons, no buckles on his pants for a good long while. Like years.  Bjorn gets confused with snaps and buckles on his pants still, so in order to give him confidence that he can go potty by himself, he dresses in pull on pants only. Mostly, this means basketball shorts and athletic shorts, but I was surprised at how many nice looking toddler pants are also pull ons. Khakis, jeans, etc. - they do come in pull up type only. Probably for this same reason; no snaps to fumble with when you really, really have to go.
  • If at all possible, put him in flip flops or Crocs. Because when he has an accident - which he will, it is just part of the deal - the pee will run down his legs, and if he is wearing socks and Nikes (like Bjorn was the first time this happened), it will drench his socks and pool up in his shoes. NASTY.  I know this may not be possible for potty training in Wisconsin in the middle of December, but if you live in Phoenix, you can put your kid in flip flops year round. They are easy to get off quickly and super easy to clean in any bathroom sink. 
  • Buy his big boy underwear a size too big.  We accidentally stumbled upon this one. I sent The Hubs to Costco for Bjorn's underwear, with instructions to buy size 3T because his 2T were too tight. The Hubs came back with 4T. (Was that anywhere in my instructions?!) Now, Bjorn is 3 years old, but still wears 2T and 24 month shorts, so he is small and short. There was no way 4T underwear was going to fit. Except. . . because they are a little loosey-goosey, he is able to get his little toddler thumbs underneath the elastic (which is still tight enough to keep them up but not too tight for him to pull away from his body) and pull them down with no problems. So, it's actually a win. Not to mention that underwear gets washed ALL the time in hot water, and it's 100% cotton and so it shrinks. Quickly.
  • Let him choose where he goes potty.  Although Bjorn has his own kid bathroom, with his own cute potty seat on the big potty, he thinks it is so cool to go potty in Mommy & Daddy's bathroom. Whatever. As long as he goes potty, I don't really care where he does it.
If you're potty-training your kid - good luck!! 

I'm so glad I didn't do any of the Potty Training boot camps I had heard about, and so glad I never pushed it. Mostly because I don't want to deal with all the drama and fighting and crying that comes along with having to stay at home and push potty training for three days. And that would just be from me - I don't even want to start with how Bjorn would be!! We are not stay at home people.

All in all, it has been a remarkably easy, no-fuss transition for us, and for that I am grateful. Good luck to you!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Oops, I forgot to post again!

Let's pretend that the reason I haven't updated with all our exciting, awesome news is that we have been so busy enjoying each other and the summer, that I haven't had the time to write.

Not because I'm tired and it's too hot to think and Despicable Me and Finding Nemo are on continuous loop.

Before I get to the news, I want to apologize to my Peanut. I'm sorry you are the second baby and while I documented every sneeze and poop-splosion your big brother made, your updates are few and far between. Or is this a good thing? Will you be glad I didn't commemorate the occasion of pooping through two shirts, one jacket and all the way up your back and down your neck just as we were next in line to see Santa? (What?! Did I really not blog about that?! True story.)

Peanut. . . . well, she has some big news of her own. 

She's walking!

She has been walking for like three weeks now, but I really don't know when to call her official "walking" date. When Bjorn began walking, he took 14 steps, fell down, and never crawled again. Peanut has taken three-to-four steps, fallen, and then realized she can get there a lot quicker by crawling. An hour later, she will try walking again, take three steps, fall on her tuffet and crawl. 

So does that count? Or do I count four (five? three? six?) days ago when she took 12 steps, fell, got up, and took 5 more steps? And then crawled the rest of the day? 

She will crawl after her big brother from one side of the house to the other, her little knees reddening as she bangs them on the wood floor. Her feet blacken - even with daily sweeping and mopping - as she swiffers herself across the house. I can't wait until she can walk.

Whatever the official date is, I guess doesn't matter. What matters is she is walking. 

And I finally got around to telling you.

More updates on the Bjorn man soon!