Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life's a beach

Last week, Kate, Ben and I joined his family and my parents for a week at Navarre Beach, Florida. What a wonderful week! Kate and her cousins were so joyful to be together and at the ocean, I had plenty of time to relax and let my poor tired body rest, and we all enjoyed each other so much.

I have a million photographs of the vacation, but the ones I want to share were taken by my brother-in-law, Chris Strange. We spent one evening down at the beach with the kiddos, trying to get some cute shots but instead it became an evening of tag, splash in the ocean and hide-and-go-seek. 

I will always remember that evening; their laughs and giggles as they ran from each other, fell face first in the sand and made mud pies. We are blessed with such an amazing family and I will always be thankful for the moments we have together, hopefully moments that Kate will remember as she grows into an adult.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Potty training is for the dogs

In my adult life, I've potty trained two dogs. And, yeah, I know parenting a human isn't quite the same thing as dogs but I have seen some VERY similar parallels (SPIT THAT OUT. DON'T LICK THAT. GET DOWN.) so I had hoped my successful canine track record might translate to a toddler.

It didn't.

I know, shocking, right?

Kate has had a potty in her bathroom for the last six months or so. She goes on it every night before bed, and sometimes during the day if she thinks of it, or if mommy is trying to go to the bathroom (HELLO CHILD, GOODBYE PRIVACY). So I'm all, "Kate is TOTALLY ready for potty training" and the universe is all, "HAHAHAHA, LAUGHING MY ASS OFF!"

We decided to get started on this little project yesterday. In preparation, we purchased some pull-ups, some big-girl panties and I made... wait for it... this little jewel of craftiness (don't be jealous, I'll TOTALLY make you one of these for your birthday, what color glitter do you like?):
If you can't read it, it says "Kate's Potty" which was supposed to be "Kate's Potty Chart" but I ran out of room and didn't have the time, patience or give-a-damn to create a second sticker/glitter chart. Especially because Kate CAN'T READ.
The whole idea was that every time Kate went on the potty, she would get stickers for everything she did right (i.e. wiping, flushing, washing hands). I read this strategy online, and even got the template for the chart, so NO, I didn't make this shit up. Which means, it should totally work, right?


It started out fine. She went potty first thing in the morning and we put on a "big girl diaper" (pull-up). But a toddler in training is like a ticking time bomb, so I found myself asking her every ten minutes if she had to go potty, and I swear, at some point she started rolling her eyes. After her first little accident where she TOLD me she didn't have to go, but went in her pull-up anyways, I decided to up the ante... I offered her CANDY if she would go on the potty. So about every five minutes she was running to the potty seat and STRAINING to get a little water to come out, followed by sticking her adorable (but greedy) little hand into my face for her promised candy. Like, NOW. Okaaaay, so that backfired a little, but at least she didn't pee on my sofa again.

Today I woke up refreshed and ready to tackle the potty again. But, VERY quickly I realized another full day at home chained to a potty was not going to go well. For me. Because I was tired of playing pretend with Kate's dolls, especially since they had such a limited vocabulary (we covered breakfast, lunch, dinner, clothes, hair, favorite playgrounds, the Easter Bunny and bubbles. And that is where Kate and her doll ran out of topics so we would start all over. About 500 times. And frankly, I can only talk about eggs, slides and hot dogs so many times in one hour).

I decided to take Kate out to the playground to burn some energy and get away from those devil dolls. Once there, she immediately pooped and then peed in two different "big girl diapers" while never giving any indication that she needed to go to the potty. Back at the house she has been good again, going on the potty when asked to, but since I filched on the whole candy promise (due to her overzealous candy-related urination), she STILL isn't indicating when her bladder might be full.

So tell me, oh wise women (and men) how does this all work? Do I need to become a mind (er, bladder) reader? Keep on beating my head against the wall for a few more days to see if she comes around? Or take my favorite action, pretend this all never happened, call this a failed experiment and chalk it up to... MAYBE she LIKES going in her diaper and I should just leave her the hell alone? You know, at least until high school?
I can't help but feel she is mocking me and my "potty chart" in this picture. But then again, she is all hopped up on candy so she could just be a little over-excited.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just snip the tip

I really thought that having already had a baby, there wasn't a lot that could surprise me this go around. Except the whole "He is a boy and has boy parts" thing, which I mentioned scares me just a little. Because I am a girl. With girl parts. So, you know, the penis is a slightly foreign thing to me (Yes you jokers, I HAVE seen one thank you very much. But I haven't spent too much time pondering exactly what its like to have one ATTACHED TO MY BODY. Well, not really, although I have really questioned the whole "where does it go when you run" thing. I mean, isn't that uncomfortable? Doesn't it slow you down, kind of get in the way? Aaaaaaand, moving on).

Anyways, what I'm learning is that there is OH SO MUCH to be considered when it comes to little boy penis' (Penises? Peni?) In fact, the infant penis is a hot bed of debate these days. I'm talking about the dreaded C (that is circumcision for you lay people out there). I mean, go to any parenting forum or web site and search for a discussion about circumcision and you will find an eye-full of extremely passionate and angry citizens sticking up for their viewpoint.
  • IF YOU DO IT YOUR BABY BOY WILL HATE YOU LATER (he will likely hate us when he is a teenager anyway). 
  • IF YOU DON'T DO IT YOUR BABY BOY WILL CONTRACT AN STD OR PENILE CANCER WHEN HE IS OLDER (if he gets penile cancer, that would suck. If he gets an STD, I will kill him). 
You get the idea. Like any good debate, there are people on both sides of the fence, trying to scream the loudest. And I, in all my sensitivity, am like, "Dude. They aren't attractive no matter how you dress 'em up, just matters if they work, right? So what is all the fuss??" To which my husband sputtered a little, then muttered something under his breath and finally chose not to engage me in a discussion that would surely just annoy him and amuse me.

I'm not going to get into what side of the fence I'm on here. I could tell you what we've decided, but poor little baby E2 doesn't need a classmate to find post this some day and share with the WHOLE WORLD whether his parents decided to snip the tip or not. Besides, since according to Ben our son will be a world class athlete, his many teammates will already know whats going on down there (don't lie guys, I truly don't believe you change and shower in a locker room and NEVER check what the other guy is packing, if for no other reason but simply for comparison's sake).

So why did I even bring this up? Well, I guess what I'm sharing with you all is that I am realizing how much even a second-time parent has to learn. I'm sure this isn't going to be the last surprise after all. I'm sure babies are supposed to sleep differently, eat differently and poop differently (no? oh, good, pooping is the same these days? WHEW!) than when Kate was an infant. Which is kind of exciting and scary all at the same time. "Cause we all know how poised, elegant and classy I can be when faced with a parenting challenge. So baby E2, I'm ready for you. Penis and all.