Thursday, September 17, 2015

Down with Diapers! (A Potty Training Survival Story)

Ever since we got our potty chairs in DECEMBER, I have been excited at the thought of no more diapers. It seemed to be a strange and foreign land...a land with no diapers, no diaper bag, no more wipes, and no more dirty messes.

After the twins turned two, they were moved to the two year old room at daycare. They potty train and so we gave the all clear. We took copious amounts of big kid underwear and many, many changes of shirts, pants, socks and shoes.

We were ready to do this. (Or to let daycare do this.)

We loved our cushy life of having them pee and poop incessantly in their pants all while doing a load of laundry every night. So much that we used diapers at home but allowed daycare to just "try".

It was clear that if we weren't "all in", then Max and Harper weren't going to be all in either. So, we made a plan. THREE-DAY-POTTY-TRAINING.

Another twin parent at daycare passed along their copy of  Lora Jensen's 3 Day Potty Training ebook. We read the book and realized we would need 3 days of being at home constantly. So, we passed along to family and friends that we would be out of commission over Labor Day.

All of their goodies and incentives for a successful weekend!
We started the weekend by throwing away their last diaper and getting rid of all other diapers and pull ups that we had. The book said to throw away. I just put ours in the extra bedroom out of sight.
No more diapers (I might have cried a little)
The first day of the training was awful. SO AWFUL! By 9am, we wanted to quit. Max and Harper had both had 5 accidents. (On a side note, this sucked with carpet. Lots of carpet cleaner!)  We persisted and Max made great progress in the afternoon. Harper still refused to pee on the potty. However, she had great control and could hold it FOR-EV-ER! It actually had me concerned for her health a bit.

We were eager to start!

So proud of her sticker chart, albeit empty

Stressed out selfie
Girl likes to sit...just not pee there!
We had to spend every waking moment with we played lots of games.
End of a very trying day!

The second day of training was not as bad. They both woke up dry at night (yep, no diapers at night either! Crazy, right?!) Harper still refused to go in the potty but she wasn't having accidents all the time. In fact, many of her accidents were done right by the potty. Max did awesome. His sticker chart was getting full fast!
We started Day 2 with my first PSL of the season!
It made it better.

Waking up to pee was NOT his favorite thing.

Lots of brother/sister time!

Melt my heart

Sharing stickers

End of Day 2...Harper got a sticker for trying.

The third and final day of training was pretty darn good. Harper peed in the potty for the first time. We celebrated big time and had great hopes for her. Max was a rock star and using the potty by himself to pee AND poop. Harper's only successful trip to the potty was the only one. Sigh.
Same story, different day.

We overly celebrated Harper's baby steps.

More games and lots of movies

Yep, that's pee!

His BIG prize at the end of the weekend.
So Proud!

Harper's end of weekend prize sat there for a few days.
She got it eventually.

We survived!
End of weekend sticker chart. Max helped out his sister quite a bit!
We took them back to daycare and gave the explicit directions of no pull ups or diapers. They were supportive. However, Harper was really struggling and probably not ready for that directive. But we didn't give up. We did lots of laundry and were in constant transfer of  clothing to and from daycare.

We had our first outing outside of the house the next weekend. Max was doing great and letting us know. Harper...not so much. We went through lots of clothes. I decided that she wasn't ready and I was starting to feel like I might cause irreparable psychological damage. So we put her back in pull ups this week.


Now she is potty trained! She hasn't had an accident for three straight days. But she is in pull ups. I think she feels more comfortable in them. She even poops on the potty now. I am just in shock. I thought for sure we would be battling the potty for months to come.

So we celebrate the small victories often. They are both doing spectacular.

It was a hard couple of weeks though. I am going out there and saying that potty training has to be the hardest thing about parenting so far. Give me sleepless nights. Give me the helpless first few days of parenthood. I go on record of saying POTTY TRAINING SUCKS! I never want to go through this again. Ever. No more.

Our life with kids is SO different now. We have to pack backpacks of undies and clothes. We have to have the phrase "Let me know when you have to go potty" on repeat every 30 minutes. We have to navigate public restrooms with kids that want to touch everything. We have to clean up really gross accidents...ones that are better in a diaper than on my floor. (Cleaning out undies filled with poop is up there on the list of most disgusting things ever.)

So, I have big kids. Big kids that  are rocking through this whole new adventure of potties. I am so proud of them and proud of us for surviving thus far.
Sibling love! And a park date without diapers!
 The whole experience of spending 3 whole uninterrupted days with my kids was amazing. They are such neat and amazing people. Their compassion and love for each other is the sweetest thing ever. I dare you to watch this video without it melting your heart into a puddle. Seriously.


See you soon!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Maxy Doodle

Now onto my favorite little man, Max!

Weight- 26 pounds 3 ounces 34%
Height- 33.5 inches 19%
Head- 19.5 inches 74%
Sizes- 2T shirts, 18 month or 24 month pants, shoes 6, diapers (not much longer) 5
Favorite food-Pizza
Favorite color-Blue
Favorite activities- watching movies, reading, dancing, playing outside, helping Mom or Dad, cars or tractors or figurines
Favorite movie: Cars, Horton Hears a Who, Big Hero 6
Favorite book: School bus, tractors, any book really!

Max is our sensitive guy. He gets his feelings hurt easily. He has a soft heart. He has this innate ability to know when someone needs a hug or a pat. He has helped me immensely since losing my dad last month. When he sees I am sad, he will come over and rub me or grab my face and kiss me. He does this with friends at daycare too. He doesn't like seeing people upset. He is so kind. But he hurts easily too.

He also gets annoyed easily. Especially by his sister. I wrote about this in Harper's post. I think his favorite phrase is "No, thank you" or "I don't like it". We hear these phrases a lot when he is upset or annoyed by what is going on around him.

He is not a fan of the big swimming pool but loved it when my sister took him to her neighborhood pool. I don't know what's up there. He kept saying "Max go home now." Ha!

Max is very helpful. He loves to do tasks around the house. Especially clean up time. He may have a bit OCD though. If things are lined up or put away "just so" then he may have a mini meltdown. Not the greatest character trait. We have started ignoring these "OCD flare ups" as well as keep Harper away and it seems to help. 

Max is a reader. Man, this kid. We could easily read 30 books in one sitting. I love to see him enjoy books. He is often found on the couch or in his chair reading books. He will repeat phrases or words that we have read to him. Sometimes even with the funny voices or inflections that we use. 

Max is a bit aggressive. Okay, sometimes more than a bit. He is easily frustrated by others or by objects/toys not working how they should. This results in Max clearly announcing "I bite you" "I pinch you" or "I push you" and then acting on such announcement. It is tiring. We use timeouts. He will sit in timeout for 2 minutes. He has had lots of practice so usually stays until his time is up. Sometimes even places a longer time period on himself. He will say "I am not ready." He knows getting out of timeout requires an apology (usually to Harper) so he will wait until he is ready to fully commit to the "I am sorry." It is hilarious.

He keeps us laughing for sure. He really is a funny dude. The things he says or comes up with are freaking hilarious. I am amazed at his vast vocabulary. He speaks in long sentences now and the stories he tells...ha!

At the doctor's 2 year check up, Dr. C walked in and Max announced, "Hi, Dr. Cattaneo!" I think it shocked Dr. C a bit. He then went on to say "I be 2". 

He is doing a great job on potty training at home. We are holding off to commit fully until they are moved to the next room at daycare in a couple weeks. But he tells us when he needs to go potty, especially at night and is successful (most times) in making it into the potty. Upon completion, he immediately asks for his M&M reward. Big boy pants are in our near future!

Max also loves animals. He has no fear of any kind. He would tackle a goat to give it a hug. He is obsessed with the family of deer that live in the trees at the end of our street. He is always looking for them and doesn't quite understand why they take off running at his charge towards them. Bella is, of course, his number one animal in his life. 

Max is an odd eater. He is a good eater but likes odd combinations of food. He loves red onions...and dip those babies in ketchup and you have made him really happy. Actually anything dipped in ketchup or applesauce is okay by him. Ewww...

Max is struggling with separation anxiety a bit. So sleep is trying. We find ways to tiptoe out of the room without hitting those darn creaks in the floorboard. He wants to rock or "hold you" which I genuinely love. I know when school starts back up and I need to legitimately need to work the next day, it may not be so cute. But I love being loved. And he loves big. He shows how much he loves you but also says it all the time. I just could kiss him all day long. My Prince!


Princess Harpy Harps

It's been a minute since I devoted a day to blogging. Since it is raining in the city, it canceled our plans to go to the zoo. The kids are at daycare. Even a WIFI outage at my house isn't stopping me, I moved to the Panera down the street. I am determined.

This post is dedicated to my princess. At least that is how she refers to herself now.

Here are the stats:
Weight-25 pounds 3 ounces 42%
Height-33.25 inches 27%
Head-19.25 inches 85%
Sizes-2T or 24 months. Shoes-6. Diapers (hopefully not for long)-5
Favorite food: Noodles
Favorite color: Yellow
Favorite activities: painting, coloring, dancing, taking care of babies, singing
Favorite songs: ABCs, 5 Little Monkeys, Ba Ba Black Sheep, Twinkle Little Star

Harper has always been the lover of the two. She warms up to strangers quickly. She is a great sleeper. She is pretty low maintenance (most times!).

She is quite a diva. Hence, why she is nicknamed Princess. She must have her sunglasses when outside. She rocks them too! One time, I lost the glasses for a short time. She screamed. Loud. It was embarrassing. She also has a very strong opinion on what she wears. I used to be able to just throw clothes on her and go. Now, she knows what she wants to wear and voices this opinion as often as possible. She speaks in Harper's dress code. A code I don't know.
Harper: Wear the pink shirt.
I grab a pink shirt.
Harper: No I don't like it.
I grab another pink shirt.
Harper: No I don't want it. She screams. Luckily we are in our own home.
I grab another shirt with very little pink on it.
Harper: Okay.
I go to put on said shirt. But she HAS to do it. It becomes a fight to put the shirt on the correct way.

This process is then repeated for shorts, socks, shoes, and hair bow. We are always late. Thanks, Harper!

Harper is not aggressive. However, Harper is VERY passive aggressive. She will give dirty looks to anyone that she questions their directives. Or because she is cranky. But most of her passive aggressive nature is shown through her interactions with Max. Oy!

Harper loves to sing in the car. Max hates it. So when Max asks Harper "Harper, please stop singing." She continues at a louder volume. She will stop when we ask her to. Then she will repeat words that Max says. "Firetruck, firetruck, firetruck." Again this will become louder at the persistence of Max.

At daycare, she is their "favorite". Mostly because she never has to go to timeout. She works well with others. She gives hugs. She has a very quiet indoor voice. We had friends that visited recently and asked if her voice was always this small and quiet. Yep!

Harper is a caretaker. She loves to take care of her baby dolls and even real babies. We had our first close interaction with a real baby, and she loved him!

Harper is very artistic. She loves to draw or paint. She is content sitting at the table to create masterpieces for long periods of time.

Harper LOVES food. She is a slow-eater though. She takes her time. We will sit and wait for her up 20 minutes after everyone else at the table is done and then we urge her away from the food. She likes to people watch and when we are out to eat this is at her detriment.

Harper talks a lot. There isn't much that we can't understand from her (or her brother for that matter.) She can repeat anything...which is dangerous.

She knows when she needs to go potty. But she is actually struggling with the whole potty training process. Maybe she isn't ready. She loves to sit there but nearly afraid to actually go. I thought girls were easier but maybe not. Hoping in the next month, we will be in her big girl panties!

She is shy around animals. She likes them but from a distance. The only animal that she will go up to and hug right away is her doggie, Bella.

She loves the water! She cries when we leave the pool. We got them Puddle Jumpers and I think she would have lived in the pool if we had let her. Which brings me to Harper's is crazy! She will throw the WORST temper tantrums. She will squeal a high pitched squeal and kick. Oh, she can kick. I know because I have carried her away from activities literally kicking and screaming. Buckling into her car seat is becoming more and more difficult as well. She will arch her back and refuse to sit down. We are getting really good a bribery and she is getting really good at manipulating us. Win-win!

I am so glad we have this spunky princess in our lives. She is just wonderful! Her snuggles and kisses make me melt. Her sweet, non-judgmental words make my day. (I have gained weight and in my tankini bathing suit she said "Mommy is a pretty Princess".)