Monthly Archives: March 2012

Potty Training

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There is no certain time to start potty training, every child and parent have their own moment when they think its time to get out of the diaper and into underwear.
I heard a story of a mother potty training her children when they were a few months old. Seems kinda crazy and right now an impossible scenario for me. I use to think whats so hard about it? Just sit them down every 15 minutes. Thus my story begins.

My good friend would text me asking how my potty training was going with Emery. A nightmare, for the both of us! Everytime I had to pee she would come into the bathroom with me, so that she could see that I went potty in the toilet. She was really into it, a little too into it. It became a problem everytime I used the restroom she would cry and say she had to go pee pee. I would sit her on the toilet and …. nothing. As I sat with her waiting for her to drop anything into the toilet, she would be touching everything on and around the toilet, including the plunger (disgusting). I even had to move the toilet paper off the spool because she would just spin it and want to wipe for no reason. A typical bathroom moment with us sounded a little like this, “Emery no!, Emery stop touching things, stop spinning around!, don’t get that! just behave please!”. I was starting to think maybe I should have gotten her, her own personal toilet instead of just a seat on top of the toilet. I thought that just a top cushion seat on the toilet would be a better transition for her but it became a headache. Maybe its just me losing my patience. Suddenly my idea of sitting on the toilet every 15 minutes was out the window, I didn’t want the experience to be bad and deter her from wanting to use the restroom. As I washed her hands for the 10th time that day, I wondered if this was all just a plot to wet her hands and dry them herself.

It hasn’t all been a defeat, there have been some victories, she pee pees in the toilet and once in a while if I catch her before the act she will poop in the toilet. She does tell me after she poops, that’s nice but not exactly what I want but on the bright side, she knows what it is. To make it more fun I came up with a bathroom song, “Pee pee in the toilet!” Or which ever she’s making at the moment. She knows the song but doesn’t go poop yet in the toilet by herself or tell me when she has to. She does the typical  baby thing and hides after she goes in her diaper,  things like that drive me crazy. Overall I guess I just need to sit her down every half hour or so and continue what im doing. We’re slowly making progress but at least we are moving in the right direction. With every trickle & blop is a big dance showing her she did a great job. I dance and give high fives & make phone calls to grandparents. It’s a whole production for her to feel like she’s doing an awesome job and wants to go more.

Scrapbooking

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Recently I’ve gotten back into scrapbooking. It was something I did as a child with my brother and step mother. After a certain age I just didn’t keep it up. My sister-in-law has scrapbooks for her sons and when I got pregnant with Emery I decided to start a book for her. I kept baby shower ribbons, cute little trinkets from baby bags, ribbon from my diaper cake a friend made and our bracelets from the Hospital. My husband started a pool on who could guess our daughters weight, length and birthday. It’s something cute to look back on and see who guessed correctly. The hardest part I’ve discovered is not having the room to fit everything into the book! I’ve taken and developed way too many photos. I can’t have six pages of, “Emery’s first trip to the Zoo”. Only the best of the best make it into her book and even some of those photos that I love end up in the family photo albums. I should probably re-name them, “Emery’s not so fancy photo album’s – featuring a few guest appearances from other people in the family”.

The best thing to do, if you want to start a scrapbook for your little one or just for yourself, is to stock up when Michaels has there amazing sales. You can always find a coupon in the Sunday paper for 40% off on regular priced items. My favorite tool is the paper-cutter. For the life of me I can not cut a straight line. There are kindergarteners who can cut straighter than I do. The paper-cutter gives me straight lines every time. Also gotta love my stickers! They really make the pages come to life. Theres no such thing as too many stickers (although I may have enough Halloween and Christmas to last her a few years). If there’s anything I’ve bought that’s taking up space, it’s my box of stamps. I really don’t use them at all. I have markers made for my stamps, so that you can color it as you want, and when you stamp it on the page its not just one solid color but a colorful picture. The only problem is, all my paper is colorful and decorative. Not really ideal for stamps. My stamps have become a bad purchase. You’ll find your own style and maybe able to use the stamps and embossing better than I have. When purchasing your started kit often there will be things you didn’t realize you needed or wanted until you’re sitting at the table and no way to glue your picture on the page. Making a list before heading to the store is a good idea. visualize what you may need get going, like scissors, glue or tape, paper, pens, construction paper and of course your book.

          Recently I’ve become a member of the Cricut family. It’s an amazing machine that really can do anything. I know I wont use it to its full potential, it’s just that crazy. But it’s really making my scrapbook look professional. Instead of having to hand write everything, I can just print out the letters and tape them on the page. My scrapbooks are mostly misspelled words and doodles. I can’t deny they have personality they are quiet embarrassing to look back on. Either way, the best part about it, is that there is no right or wrong way. Both my misspelled mess and Emery’s organized way have character. It’s all about the memories while you create the books and saving the treasures inside.

One day I hope to have Emery help me with her book when she’s ready to take over.  For now, I’m having fun decorating it my way with her coming by every so often to see what new pages I’ve created. When I develope her photos, I started printing out 1 or 2 pictures just for her to have and do what she wants with them. This gives me a few more minutes to work on her book while she’s playing with her photos & scrap pieces of paper I don’t need. As a mother I feel like I can never have too many things capturing her “littleness”. The things she says, her favorite shows or how much she has grown. I like to think I could never forget all these little things, but truthfully there has been a few things that have slipped my memory. If it wasnt for me capturing it on a video camera I wouldn’t remember her little quirks early on.

Dont feel overwhelmed when you get started or feel like you don’t have everything all at once. It takes time to figure out how you want your book to look and nobody buys everything all at once. It’s becoming a small tradition for me and my cousin to get together every wednesday evening and scrap. We share ideas and have two different styles. Having company makes it that much more fun and it’s nice to swap ideas. It’s important to have fun with it, save scribble drawings, cut outs of hands and anything else precious to you. They grow so fast, you don’t want to miss out on your once in a lifetime chance to get it all now.

Weening

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Some babies take the breast, while others take to the bottle or even both! Emery was a breastfed child. I wasn’t sure at first if I could do it, because it hurt so much. It took most of the 2 weeks that doctors recommend to try breastfeeding before the pain went away. It was hard to go anywhere. Every step out of the house was a very precise move, 2-3 hrs. before each feeding. There were days it felt like she never came off my chest!
I tried pumping, I hated it. For me, it took too long, I just didn’t have the time to sit there & pump. Em wasn’t taking to the bottle, not that I was forcing the issue but it would have been nice to have a back up while we were out somewhere or while on a car trip. I originally had planned to breastfeed only 6 months but I didn’t know a baby couldn’t drink cow milk until 1 yr. After my 1 yr. stretch that was it! Looking back at one year it had went by faster than expected but I was ready for both of our independence. That didn’t happen. We tried and tried breaking the bond but with no luck. There were nights of her screaming, bed time became an experiment. I hated to hear her cry out for me, as if I was abandoning her but it had to be done! I hadn’t had a full nights sleep at this point for a whole year. I started to despise the Facebook mothers & their children that could sooth themselves at 2 months and sleep through the night. Why were those children sound sleepers while I had to share a bed with my daughter while my husband slept on the floor next to us every night (by the way special shout out to my husband for doing that).
Then my husband got deployed to the U.S.S. George Bush for 7 months. This my time to get her weened! I was determined! Nothing was going to stop me! Nothing!!! except endless nights of no sleep, a child who now woke up screaming at night for her milk, which she didn’t really even need, it was just a comfort for her. Baby’s shouldn’t need milk at night after a certain point, more towards the first year night feedings should be over. Again, not in my case.
This went on until she was 17 months. Right before she turned 18 months (1 1/2 yr) I ended up getting real sick for a few weeks. I was just so sluggish, tired all the time, loosing weight for no reason &  I just wanted to sleep all day & that was impossible. Even with just one baby I had no one to watch her & I felt bad for taking a nap. I’ve never been a nap kinda person. Something was going on though. It was like depression but I had nothing to be depressed about.  The Dr. right away wrote it off as depression as well. She hadn’t asked any questions or done any exams. I knew other wise & so did my husband. Being half a world away he pin pointed the problem. He found someone online going through the same symptoms as myself. It turned out, Emery was sucking the nutrients from me. My body was done feeding her. The funny thing is my dog had a litter of puppies during this time & she was going through the same thing. Before the normal time allotment of puppies being weened the momma dog was ready for her pups to feed on food. She was all sucked up and weak too. Me and my idiot dog had the same medical condition. Our kids were killing us.
And then something happened, a sorta modern-day miracle. I offered Emery a bottle again. with milk warmed up. At first she refused it but eventually she took it! It took about 3 days of little fussing at first then she was on the bottle! I wish it was just a sippy cup or no milk at all but hey, little steps here. The next day my health  immediately returned. It was insane!
Our big hurdle now it stopping milk at night all together. She now (most nights when her teeth arent bothering her) sleeps in her crib. I’ve been watering down her milk. At night if she wants milk I give her a bottle full of warm water. I turn off the night-light so that she can’t hold the bottle to the light and see that it’s not opaque like milk. Shes a smart kid! Its been working. I noticed that she hardly drinks any of the water. Unlike a bottle of milk, she would drink the whole thing then go to bed. With the water she drinks enough until she falls back to sleep. I don’t know if she just thinks it’s not as good as the first bottle or what but its been a work in progress I’m happy to say it’s working! (knock on wood).

When sniffing leads to eating. Flower, the gateway mistake.

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Last summer I taught Emery to smell flowers. It’s been our thing when we go out to get the mail. We would stop and smell the roses along the fence and in our yard. Never once did I think my child would actually try to eat one! A few days ago it happened. While we enjoyed the unseasonably warm winter weather, I was picking weeds and she was 3 feet away from me sniffing our calla lily’s. She came over and I saw her chewing something orange. I know I hadn’t given her anything to eat, and her father was in the garage. It dawned on me to check the flower! Sure enough she for some unknown reason ate a piece of the stigma ( the orange stick of pollen on the flower ).

Apparently these flowers are poisonous. I only found out after my husband frantically scoured the web for answers while I called poison control. It seemed like my plans for the day would end up in the emergency room. The remedy was ice chips or ice cream. The calla lily contains calcium oxalate, that may burn or irritate the tongue, lips, throat or enough is eating it can give stomach pain and diarrhea. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure to wash their mouth out with cold water. Luckily Emery didn’t ingest any of the flower, I caught her in time and had her spit it out. Her tongue bothered her for a bit but not long. The Dr. said it was actually common for a child to eat a flower and that he had a child in the day before, but that case was more severe. Plant danger is something I think about during the Christmas season, when all the poinsettia are out. It’s out of my mind by spring. So now along with all the normal dangers I have to watch out for, this spring and summer I will be watching her like hawk! I don’t need her putting anything else in her mouth. And its a good reason to get rid of these flowers in the front yard, something I had been trying to do for a while.Over all it was another hard lesson learned!

The beginning

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I’m a first time mom, learning everything the hard way. I have a 1 1/2 yr. daughter (Emery), who challenges me everyday. I’ve never loved anyone or anything more than I love her. After saying that, there are times this child challenges my every nerve!

My experiences seem amusing to some of my friends. They have asked me to write about everything, in hopes to brighten their day & to help other mothers out there with their little ones. So please feel free to comment, suggest stories, ask about anything you like! Lets all help each other to get these kids through another year (and to save our sanity).
Every friday will be a new post of the weeks triumphs, struggles, laughs & how I handled it all. Through out the week I will update with little stories. These are our adventures.

Enjoy!