Thursday, April 28, 2011

He's A Big Kid Now

Um, I looked at my post counter randomly today. . . this is my 991st post. Wow. That I have had that much to say and that so many of you have been around from the beginning to read it all (and keep coming back for more) is nothing short of amazing! I think I might just have to have some sort of giveaway/contest attached to my 1000th post. Yes, actually, I definitely will. So stay tuned for that.

But you know you really came today to check in with me on Will's potty training progress.

People, I am so proud of my (no so) Little Man. Seriously, he has rocked the potty training thing. He has not had an accident since Monday when it just clicked for him that underwear aren't disposable and unlimited.

He has poo pooed several times in the potty now. One time was even at a friend's house. And today's poo poo? He was in his playroom and I was feeding Emma. He came running past me with a frantic look on his face, calling as he ran by, "I need to go poo poo!" And then he did all on his own. Several times now, he has gone potty without my prompting him to do so. He still asks me to "please leave me alone Mommy," which makes me equal parts proud of him for his independence and a little sad that my "baby" doesn't need or want me involved in everything he does anymore. This is good, I know. It's just weird.

I don't really know when a kid is considered 100% potty trained. He is still waking up with a wet diaper in the morning, so I know he is not there yet. But he is doing really well, honestly far better than I expected. He is just so proud of himself and he has every right to be.

I will tell you that Will had pretty much all of the "readiness" signals before I attempted potty training. The boy was READY. Honestly, I probably would have waited until this summer, but when he was taking his own diapers off last week (and pulling them down like underwear and chafing his poor thighs with the adhesive tape) and asking to go potty, I knew it was time to stop dragging my feet.

I have to admit, we have stuck pretty close to home this week, but we have also had two playdates and gone one a couple of walks and he has stayed dry. I do think it's been helpful to stay home where I can focus on reminding him to potty and he get the hang of things on familiar territory, but I am starting to get a bit of cabin fever. Also, I think the real test of this whole potty training success will be being able to continue on with our normal routine. I'll let you know how that goes when I am brave enough to do it!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Training Mom

Well, we are doing this. And by this, I mean potty training.

I find potty training to be one of the more stressful aspects of parenting, right up there with sleep training and discipline. Oh, and getting my toddler to eat. Oh, and figuring out whether Emma has an ear infection or is simply teething. Oh, and [insert current parenting woe here]. Okay, so maybe it's all hard in different ways, but potty training is definitely not for amateurs.

And actually, Will has been pretty easy on me thus far. But we are only on day #2 and I wouldn't call us trained. Yes, I did put us. To me, potty training is just as much about training M and me as it is about Will. We have all enjoyed the "carefree" days of diapers. I will miss the days of running out of the house without stopping to potty. The accident that Will had yesterday was more my fault than his, as I left him in his chair at breakfast too long while I put Emma down for a nap and threw a load of laundry in. This whole potty training thing is a new way of thinking that will take me some getting used to.

Today, we remained accident free. I would say the difference was more in me than in him, in that I was more diligent about making him go to the bathroom whether he wanted to or not. I have mentioned before his need for privacy when going #2. So, today, there were a couple of times when he got awfully quiet and I was able to intervene and get him on the toilet before he actually did his business. He fought me a bit both times (tears included), but I was able to calm him down and then give him his space to do what he needed to do. And he did it beautifully, I might add (I actually gave consideration to taking pictures, but ultimately decided against it, aren't you glad?).

So, here is what hasn't worked (so far) in potty training:

1) Waiting for him to tell me he has to go. It has only happened once. Usually, by the time he tells me that he has to go, his underwear are soaking wet and I need to bust out the lysol and carpet cleaner.

2) Pull-ups. Those bastards. It's like the swim diaper (I need to post about my dislike of the swim diaper and my confusion as to why they are even required in pools). Useless.

What has worked:

1) At first, Will thought underwear were like diapers: disposable and unlimited. We had two accidents before 10 AM yesterday and I was ready to throw in the towel. Sensing my frustration, he said, "Don't worry Mommy, I'll just get another underwears." Um, no. I pulled out four pairs of underwear and told him that was all the underwear we have (I lied. Sue me. I was trying for visual affect.) and if he soiled all of those, there would be none left.

2) Making him go. As in dragging him to the potty when I know he has to go and making him go. I am not sure this would work with all children, but it seems to work with him. When I know he has to go (ex: he is hiding in my closet - his favorite spot to poo - and I can smell the beginning of the end), I take him to the potty. He protests and cries, but I still make him sit on the potty. I stay with him until he calms down and then leave him to his efforts. It worked twice today.

3) Praise, praise, praise, praise. Oh, and bribery. Trust me when I tell you that no Oscar Winner has ever given a more dramatic, emotion-laden performance in their lives than the reaction Will has gotten for his efforts these past few days. I have stopped only short of cart wheels and if I wasn't afraid of injuring myself, I would have done that, too. And we have a bucket of special presents (cheap, dollar store toys, stickers, coloring books, bubbles, window clings, animal crackers, etc.) in a bucket that he gets to pick from when he goes #2. #1 earns him 4 jelly beans or 4 m&ms. His choice.


Day three tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baby, Baby

My sister and sister-in-law are both pregnant. My sister never wanted children until this year, when she got pregnant immediately, but then sadly, miscarried. My sister-in-law married her high school sweetheart, but unfortunately, they divorced in her mid-thirties after having no kids due to some fertility issues (undiagnosed, but they were together over 15 years, 10 of which they did not use birth control and she never got pregnant). She then met her current boyfriend, who already had children from his previous marriage and did not want more kids. Then, she decided that she really, really wanted children when Will was born. Her boyfriend hemmed and hawed and finally agreed, and she got pregnant and then miscarried.

They both now have the same due date, though their pregnancies are very different.

#1: My sister's pregnancy.

My sister is 20 weeks pregnant! And it's a boy! She revealed this detail to my family at my brother's 18th birthday party on Saturday night by handing my mom a basket filled with blue items and calling it her "hostess gift". It was a creative idea that fell a little flat because she hadn't told us that they'd had the anatomy scan the day before. While I got it right away, my mom isn't as attuned to pregnancy things and picked up the pack of blue Peeps and said, "Why would you give me Peeps?" (My mom is very vociferous in her Peep distaste.) My sister got offended, snatched the basket back and told my mom that she is ungrateful. My mom was still clueless as to what had happened, so I had to fill her in. The evening took on a decidedly tense atmosphere after that.

I can kind of see both sides in this one. My mom has a history of being less than supportive when it comes all things pregnancy, and she prefers grand babies to come out minus the franks and beans. However, in this case, I think she was just truly oblivious to what my sister was trying to convey. On the other hand, I can see my sister's frustrations, because I've been where she is right now, where she desperately wanted my mom to get excited, and even after (or perhaps because of) the Peep Debacle, there was just a general sense of "Meh" to the whole thing. My mom eyed her belly and said, "I still think it's a girl." What? Really? Yeah.

#2: My SIL's pregnancy.

Oh, my poor SIL. She really has been put through the ringer on this one. First was the crazy week of you're pregnant! With twins! With high risk twins! Then, the following week, they met with the highest of high risk specialists at UW who told them to terminate the pregnancy. My SIL left that appointment in tears, picturing micro-premies who would never leave the hospital.

After a second opinion and some research, as well as the amnio and all tests showing that the girls are, for the time being, 100% healthy, they have decided to proceed with the pregnancy. She and her boyfriend are getting married on Labor Day weekend and she will go in-patient shortly thereafter with the hopes of keeping the twins in until 32 weeks. Any advice for me on how to best help her with this would be appreciated. She is in relatively good spirits for the time being, but they have a long road ahead.

So, that's where the ladies in my life are with their pregnancies. I am really excited to get to be an Aunt! I love babies, but seeing that M and I are likely done with building our own family, it will be nice to snuggle and love on other peoples' babies now and not have the "BUT I WANT ONE" jealousy that used to eat at me before we had our own miracles.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Hi. Thanks for the love and support on the last post. I really don't mean to be all cloak and dagger about what has been going on. It's simply a private issue that isn't really my own to share. I might be able to talk more about it in the future here on the blog as it resolves itself. In the meantime, I am happy to share more details through e-mail if anyone is truly curious.

But. . . moving right along. . .

Can you believe that my little Emma Drace is 9 months old? If you are shaking your head saying, "No, I can't!", then we are on the same page. I packed up her six month size clothes this last weekend and really couldn't grasp the fact that my Project As If is such a big girl.

She claps her hands, she says "Ta Da!" (one of her brother's favorite expressions) and "Da Da." She is eating pretty much everything and anything. She can feed herself a lot, though I still do puree a lot of foods, I am just dumping whatever we are eating into the magic bullet and whizzing that up. She is this close to crawling, but I feel as if she has been this close to crawling for about the last month. She can scoot a lot of places and rolls even more. She is pulling up on things, though she is still unsteady when she stands. She sleeps. . . well, again, I am not going to talk about it. Because you would hate me and I would likely jinx myself. Just know, I am grateful. Oh, and that I truly feel that sleep is something that you can't train that much. Because I honestly broke a lot of rules with her and she sleeps like a champ.

And Will? Will is 2.5 years old and is in the throes of the Terrible Twos. It is seriously as if he has multiple personality disorder. At times, he is so very sweet that I am overwhelmed by it. At other times, I seriously want to tear my hear from my head. This will happen in the span of five minutes.

He talks full sentences, comes up with the most random things to say, and has the memory of an elephant. We have to be very careful what we say in front of him. For example, if I say, "We are going to go to the zoo tomorrow" and then our plans are foiled for some unforeseen reason, then he is impossible to deal with that day. So, I have learned to not share plans with him until we are en route.

But the sweetness? Oh, my goodness. He is soooooo amazing with his little sister. He hates it when she cries and the other day, she cried in the car, so he sang her the entire "Puff the Magic Dragon" song. All of it. She listened in rapt attention and at the end he said, "Did that make you feel better, Emma Drace?"

And he also calls her "Baby Gurrrl." As in, when she is crying, he will say, "Aw, it's okay, baby gurrrl. I'm here." Eagads, the cuteness.

Anyway, so no matter what else is going on in my world, I am oh-so-grateful for my miracles.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Radio Silence

Will was very sick last week. We ended up at Children's Hospital with a suspected diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease. It was the worst two days of my life. Holding him down for tests and making him suffer, even if for a good cause, was heartbreaking. The fact that some moms and dads have to do this every single day for their very sick children is unfathomable. He is fine now and was never in any true danger, but it was still a scary, awful place to be. In addition to that, my dear readers, there is more that you need to know. My blog has always been a source of solace for me, a place to turn where I can spill my thoughts, and say what I need to say. Unfortunately, there are some thoughts and feelings that I can't spill here. If you knew me in real life, you would know that I am a lot of things, but I am not fake. I do not have a poker face, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am the same way here on the blog. I can't pretend everything is okay when it isn't. This past year has had a lot of hits, some of which I have not been able to share here. I feel as if I do a fairly good job standing back up after I've been knocked down for the most part. Right now, I am having a hard time standing back up. I come here and try to write a post and the blank whiteness just stares back at me. I type a line and it mocks me because it is only part of the story. I am not trying to be cryptic here at all. There are just some things that are not blog-able and the fact that I cannot write about so much ends up being like a wine cork for me. I can't seem to unbottle the rest of it. But I just wanted you to know where I have been and where I might be if I am not here as often.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Week of Surprises

My sister-in-law had a week filled with surprises.

Surprise #1

On Tuesday, she went to the doctor because she hasn't been feeling well for a few weeks. The doctor did a physical exam and told her that she was pretty sure she was pregnant based on her findings. They did blood work to date the pregnancy and see if it would be too early for an ultrasound. My SIL has a history of miscarriage as well as difficulty conceiving. She has never carried a pregnancy to term. Since her miscarriage in June, she has had very irregular periods and lots of cramping, heavy bleeding, and just general poor reproductive health that she has battled for the past ten years (she is 40). In December, her OB-GYN told her that she would be very unlikely to get pregnant again with all of her issues and advised against even trying it. She got on the Pill to regulate her cycles and was seriously thinking about scheduling a hysterectomy. So, this whole "You're pregnant!" thing was a bit of a shocker.

Surprise #2

The HCG came back really high (somewhere in the high 100's of thousands), so she came back on Wednesday for an ultrasound which showed that she is pregnant. . . VERY pregnant. Fourteen weeks pregnant as a matter of fact!

Surprise #3

It's twins!!

Surprise #4

As she has no idea when she conceived, it's multiples, and she is an older mom, they immediately referred her to a high-risk OB who got her in today for a high-level ultrasound to date the pregnancy and do the amnios. It turns out that these are identical twin girls. Monoamniotic twins as a matter of fact, which is high, high, high risk with a 50% survival rate. Obviously, this last part is a bit of a scary surprise.

My SIL is obviously overwhelmed by all of this. It's a bit crazy to be told all of these things in one week. By strange coincidence, her due date is the same as my sister's - September 10. However, the very latest they will let her pregnancy progress is 34 weeks, so she has already been scheduled for a c-section on August 20 - Will's third birthday! She will likely be admitted to the hospital for close monitoring at 28 weeks at the very latest and her doctor told her that if she made it to 30 weeks, it would be a miracle.

Of course, we are all thrilled for my sister-in-law and also very nervous. If you know of anyone who has had or is currently pregnant with monoamniotic twins, I would appreciate it if you could leave their information in the comments or e-mail me with it so I can pass it along. And if you are of the praying type, if you could say a few words for my sister-in-law and my nieces (how fun is that to say?), I would really appreciate it!