Potty Training 101 – aka: reality is crap

It’s been about 2 weeks since we entered into the serious phase of Potty Training our 2/5 yr old.  Let me just say, I taught preschool/toddlers for 5 years.  Somehow I missed out on the full-on potty training involvement though.  Just like everything else with parenthood, it’s never the same until YOU are the parent and YOUR kid is the one who’s wet undies you are obsessed over keeping dry.

We’ve known the potty training phase was on the horizon for a while.  But with the little bit of knowledge I do have on the subject, I knew we were NOT going to rush it.  Boys are notorious for being hard to train.  Like their older counter-parts, little boys seem to have some control issues with regards to the potty…if my hubby’s 20 min poop sessions are any example.

Now that J is getting closer to the big 3, school suggested that we push a little harder so that he could move into the big kid room.  (BTW – suddenly realizing your LO is getting older NEVER gets easier.  I will be crying every year or more for the next eternity).  We already had the little potty set up in the bathroom.  He’d managed to use it a few times randomly since we got it.  One time about a week after we bought the potty, J pooped in it all on his own! Hooray! Except that I was in the shower at the time.  Lovely to jump out of the shower with your hair still soapy so that you can wipe a tiny ass before poop ends up all over the bathroom.

Now that we’re a couple weeks into the “serious” training, J has pretty much got it.  And my pretty much, I mean that he gets it when he wants to.  He held it for almost 4 hours when we went to the zoo the other day (phew) but then peed 2 times in an hour this morning within 5 feet of the potty.  Yay parenthood.  Guess we aren’t done with wet pants and laundry every other day yet!  Not that I had any misgivings about potty training.  I expected there to be an ebb and flow.  But at some point I’m going to get really tired of pee on my…well everything. On another note, we totally should have gotten furniture covers when we started this journey.  Turns out J’s favorite place to pee his undies is while sitting in Daddy’s favorite chair. LOL.

Really though, he’s doing so great.  Such a smart little boy with such a strong spirit.  He’ll get it 100% soon enough.  For now, we’ll deal with the accidents and slight pee smell in our house, and love him all the same.

12 Signs you’ve reached Terrible Toddlerhood

We’ve all been warned: The Terrible Two’s! What they didn’t tell you is that the “terrible” part starts as soon as that little one learns to walk and talk, and doesn’t really end until they’re at least 4…If you ask me the worst is right when they hit about 3 years, they can run faster than you, talk in sentences and therefore tell you exactly why they aren’t going to do what you asked, and they are starting to learn they have their own say in what happens.

Here are 12 tel-tale signs you’ve entered into the Terrible stage of Toddlerhood:

1.  You argue over food. Try convincing a toddler that a graham cracker that has been broken in ½ is the same thing as one that is full-sized. I dare you. Hint: you won’t win.
2.  Everything is a playground. Nothing is off-limits anymore. Not the counter tops, and especially not all those doors you put the baby locks on.  Somehow in the last few months they’ve figured out how to master scaling every chair, how to make those baby locks obsolete, and now they can reach every door handle in the house too.  Start locking the bathroom door…
3.  Costco is your #1 shopping place. Since you are now in need of mass quantities of mac n cheese and fruit snacks.
4.  You’ve forgotten what it feels like to not have a small child attached to your limbs at all times or your toes stepped on constantly. Or hearing the words “up, up, up” on repeat 24/7.
5.  You live inside the Shadow Game. Everything you do or say is repeated over and over and over.
6.  Every time you turn around your kid will have another bruise, and most the time you have no idea where it came from. Running into the table, sure. Falling off their chair, of course!  Refer to #2…
7.  They want to help. With everything. Ev.er.y.thing. Don’t even try to feed the dog without letting them help fill up the bowl or be prepared for an instant tantrum.  Get used to everything taking twice as long…but don’t worry, all those newly learned skills will translate later in their lives, right?
8.  If you have any pens, pencils, crayons, markers in your house, lock them up or forever hold your peace. Your toddler will find anything that makes a mark and apply it to every surface of your home. Maybe just accept that you will be re-painting every wall in your house in the next few years.
9.  They never stop moving. Even in their sleep. If you have a camera monitor you’ll see them literally roll all over their bed, spinning full 360’s over and over all night long.
10.  Say goodbye to adult conversation until after bedtime. Unless you like being constantly interrupted and trying to pick up where you left off for the zillionth time.
11.  You will have to interpret every word they say. Especially in public. If you don’t then every other word out of their mouth will sound like “fuck” or “shit”. Think about it, they don’t have enough enunciation for the T in trUCK, and everything ending with –it will sound like a cuss word.
12.  Most the time you’re not sure if you want to laugh or cry.  When your little munchkin has been so oddly silent for the last 20 minutes and you discover the reason has to do with a permanent marker and, well, anything in your house, for instance.  Laugh at the rediculousness of the circumstances? Or bawl like a baby?

Kids are Dogs

We love them almost equally.  And before you had kids of your own, your dogs were like your kids. Little did you know that not much would change, and those pet-owner skills would translate seamlessly into parental skills.

23 Ways that Kids are like Dogs…

1. You have to feed them, and give them water.
2. If you don’t supervise them they will mess shit up.
3. They want attention all.the.time.
4. When other people come over, they will act as if they are seriously deprived for attention and love.
5. They chew on ev.er.y.thing.
6. They get really excited when you say “Go” “walk” or “outside”
7. They insist on following you everywhere.  Even the bathroom.  Where they will sit on your feet until you are done.
8. They make excellent leg/foot warmers.
9. You have to clean up their poop.  You and your hubby also fight over who’s turn it is to do this.
10. You’ll never get through a meal without some begging.
11. They should be on a leash in public.
12. They like to play fetch. You probably don’t call it that with your kids, but asking them to get something for you is indeed Fetching it, right?
13. You bribe them with treats.
14. You can’t leave food unattended around them.
15.  You expect them to understand and obey simple commands, like “stay” “sit” “no” “leave it” and “drop it”
16. You buy them special toys and they would still rather play with your socks, or underwear, or hair brush.
17. They make the best cuddle buddies.
18. You’ll love them unconditionally, even when they are covered in mud…or poop.
19. They consciously choose to roll in poop.
20. They wipe their wet nose on you.
21. Those sad “puppy” eyes get you every time.
22. They stick their face in your crotch.
23. Get used to being crawled on, laid on, jumped on, clawed at…

And still we love them.

Shhh! Here’s the *painful* truth about Pregnancy, Labor, Delivery & Beyond

If you have never been pregnant before, you have no idea what to expect when your journey to parenthood beings.  Even if you’ve had friends or siblings that have gone though it all, and no matter how much they share with you, you just don’t know what to expect.  No two experiences are the same, even for one woman.  And chances are that if your BFF had one experience, yours will be exactly the opposite.  These are the things I wish I’d been warned about when I got pregnant with my first…and only after my second did I really see how many things aren’t shared with mama’s-to-be…and probably for good reason…or the reasons below…

1. Pregnancy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Sorry to break it to you ladies, but pregnancy can really suck.  Yes, yes, it is a one-of-a-kind experience and there are really amazing things about growing another person.  But seriously – the morning sickness, back aches, heartburn, sciatica, struggle to find a comfortable position (ever) and loss of bladder control…if you can find the beauty in those things, I envy you.  Pregnancy lasts 9 months.  You’ll spend the first 2-3 months dealing with exhaustion and morning sickness.  If you’re lucky you’ll get 2-3 months of fewer symptoms during the second trimester. Then, just when you’re finally enjoying the beauty of feeling your little one doing gymnastics in the small space between your boobs and your nether-region, you’ll enter into your third trimester.  Commence to wanting this demon child out as soon as possible.  Oh wait, I still have 3 months of this *awesome* torture.  yay?

2. You can’t prepare yourself for labor.  I don’t care how many lamaz classes you take, or how many breathing exercises you have memorized.  If you know anyone who’s actually stuck to their Birth Plan, give them a medal of honor.  Truth is, once those contractions start it all goes out the window.  Oh, and those Pain exercises they use to help show you how long contractions last and how much they’ll hurt…HAH!  It’s gonna hurt.  Like a bitch.  No wonder so many women opt for the epidural.

3.  Oh the mess.  You’ve never seen so many different bodily fluids suddenly make an appearance all at the same time, and in such grandiose quantities.  There’s no possible way to prepare for this.  Sorry!

4.  Nothing goes as planned.  If you plan on an epidural, beware that while it will take away the pain, it generally also slows labor and can cause other issues.  If you plan on a natural birth, you’ll be wishing you’d said a big HELL YES when they offered the epidural.  Good news here though, the pain does eventually reach a level where it doesn’t get any worse.  Hard to believe when you’re in the middle of pushing a watermelon out a hole the size of a donut…

5.  C-sections happen.  Don’t beat yourself up if you weren’t able to have a vaginal birth.  Focus on the happy, healthy little one that just changed your life forever.  Plus, if you get a C-section you’ve avoided the dreaded tearing or episiotomy…

6.  Take advantage of the few days in the hospital.  Everything changes the moment you get home.  Real life starts when there are dishes in the sink and piles of laundry right in front of you.  Enjoy the doting on you’ll get in the hospital for a few days before you go back to reality.  Plus, you get a TON of free shit – diapers, wipes, pads…anything that’s not cotton (blankets, sheets etc.) are yours for the taking.

7.  Write down your birth story.  After a few weeks, you won’t remember everything that happened that magical day.

8.  Pooping for the first time is worse than giving birth.  Sorry to break it to you, but this is the worst part of the whole process.  If you’re one of the lucky ones that the stool softeners actually work for, praise God.  The rest of us aren’t so lucky.  They won’t tell you before you leave that pooping for the first time will feel like you’re giving birth again…this time without any pain meds. Also, you may need to resort to some pretty gross methods to finally get some relief…just sayin’ you’ve been warned.

9.  Breastfeeding. It’s gonna hurt.  Accept the advice of the nurses at the hospital, your midwife, or lactation specialist so that you get the right latch.  It’s still going to take practice and time before it becomes second nature.  It will stop hurting after a few weeks, if you’re doing it right, so grin and bear it and it’ll totally be worth it.

10.  Your life will never be the same.  And you’re going to love it.  As soon as that little one is placed in your arms, it will all be worth it.  You’ll forget all of the pain and discomfort in the blink of an eye.  In the end, you’d do it again and again.

I know it all seems pretty…well, negative and horrible.  Sorry, I’m not going to sugar coat it.  But these are the things that no one told me, and I would rather know what I’m in for over the course of 9+ months.  I don’t see them as negative experiences though, if anything I try find the humor in the truth!

20 Things all second time Mama’s learn the second time around

20 Things second time Mama’s learn the second time around…

1.  You will worry how you can love two kiddo’s at the same time, the same amount

2.  As soon as your second (or third, or fourth) arrives, your heart will grow big enough to have enough love for each of your children.

3.  No birth, no labor is the same.

4.  Planning only goes so far, at some point you have to just go with the flow and trust it’ll all work out

5.  Your house will become baby land, overtaken by toys, diapers, blankets, baby gear, no matter how many times you clean it.  This is especially true with another kiddo in the house…

6.  You will wonder how you will do it all…

7.  Don’t forget to make time for your hubby…even if it’s just a kiss when you come or go

8.  It’s OK if it takes you a while to feel back to “normal”

9.  Breastfeeding the second time around can still be hard, painful, take adjustment before you get it right

10.  No two kiddo’s are the same…you’ll *almost* have to start from scratch…ALMOST

11.  Take advantage of any time you can have for just yourself.  A hot, quiet shower can do wonders to rejuvenate you.

12.  It’s OK to decline visitors until you are ready.  There will be plenty of time for everyone to meet new baby.

13.  You don’t have to be Super Mom.

14.  Look to other Mama’s for advice, support, and help.  Even if it’s just for encouragement or reinforcement.

15.  If you’re worried about your hubby finding you attractive after watching another human come out of you…don’t worry, your new “milk boobs” will take care of that!

16.  That being said…both you and your hubby will have forgotten just how ginormous your boobs will get when your milk comes in.

17.  As miserable as you were during the last days of pregnancy, you’ll almost instantaneously forget what it was like to be pregnant once that baby comes.

18.  You’ll also find yourself suddenly missing being pregnant…even if it kinda sucked most of the time – heartburn, morning sickness, nerve pain, sleeplessness etc.  all seem so insignificant now.

19.  Sleep deprivation. again. enough said.

20.  Labor really is the worst pain most easily forgotten.  In the middle of labor you swear you’ll never do this again…but a few days afterwards you’ll seriously consider doing it all over again.

❤ parenting love 🙂

A different birth, a different story…

On January 27th we were blessed with our sweet baby girl “C”.  As fast as the pregnancy went, and as quickly as J has grown into his 20 month self, it still baffles me how quickly this first week has gone by.  So far we are adjusting quite nicely to being a family of 4. J is already an awesome big brother – we never doubted this though.  But now for the birth story…

Since my labor with J was pretty quick, I suspected that C would also come along quite quick.  If only I’d know just how quick!  At my 39 week appointment I was already at 5cm and 90% effaced…we all thought she’d come any day at that point.  But just like her brother, she was right on time.  Born exactly on her due date.  At 1:30 am I started feeling contractions.  Much stronger than the many many you feel the closer you get to going into labor.  3 contractions and 15 minutes later I woke up the Hubby and called my Mom to head down the hill.  I swear J had a sense something was happening cuz he woke up shortly before my contractions started and by the time we left for the hospital 45 minutes later, he was wide awake and sitting on the couch with Dada until reinforcements arrived to stay with him.  It was quite funny though as I cussed and danced my way through each contraction…my sweet 20 month old sponge started trying to repeat my cuss words…whoops!

Luckily the hospital is only 10 minutes away – especially at 2am when you run all the red lights…ahem…By the time we got into our room in labor and delivery, I was at 8 cm.  Hubby and I had talked about not going with an epidural this time around.  Getting one with J had delayed everything by 12 hours…ugh.  We were not going to do that again!  And a few weeks ago I’d had a chat with my midwife about what I planned to do – epi or not – and she’d mentioned how once you’ve been through labor up to 8 or 9 cm the pain doesn’t get much worse through the end.  If you can just stick it out for a little longer, you’ll get through it all much quicker.  Something I wish I would have known the first time around, really.  Especially since my labors go so quickly. I also planned to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with the hopes that Miss C would have a smaller head than her brother…  Anywho, we both laughed when they asked if I wanted an epi as I was nearing 9 cm.  Lo and behold, 5 minutes later I was ready to start pushing. Thankfully I flew through the pushing and only 1 1/2 hours after my contractions started I was holding my sweet girl.

She had been under stress during the quick labor and had already pooped, and we found out that the cord was tied in a knot around her ankle as well.  But here she was, healthy and perfect…and very punctual.

This labor was quite different from my first, but I wouldn’t expect them to be the same.  No two things are.  After a successful VBAC the complications set in…

They soon discovered that there was placenta left behind and although some of it was retrieved, an ultrasound later that morning showed that there was even more to go and get.  We had hoped to spend only 1 night at the hospital after a ” normal” birth, but no-can-do when you need a D&C under general anesthesia to clean out what was left behind.  Thankfully they did the ultrasound and the procedure and in the end, although I lost over a pint of blood, I finally was able to start recovering.  Still only 2 nights in the hospital compared to 3 after my C-section!

It still took a full week before I started feeling human again.  That much blood loss and I will be anemic for a while.  I get winded walking up the stairs, and the smallest chores are quite wearing. But C is nursing like a champ, J is adjusting nicely to his little sister, and Hubby has been great at keeping things in order in our new chaos.

I watched What To Expect When You’re Expecting a few days ago.  Although being a little postpartum played a part I’m sure, it was the perfect movie to watch as you come out of a pregnancy.  One of the few movies that shows the many, many different sides of birthing.  It’s never exactly as you planned or expected.  But in the end everything is just as it should be.

I am feeling very blessed to have a beautiful daughter, a sweet little boy, an amazing husband…and another birthing story to tell 🙂

Your Daddy

My dearest children,

You are very lucky.  There are many lucky kids out there, but few as lucky as you.  You have so many people who love you, but one of the most important people is your Daddy.

Your Daddy loves you in a way that only a Daddy can.  Your Daddy will be your rock, your go-to-guy, the main man in your life.  He will be your best friend, your worst enemy and everything in between.  You will have days where he’s your favorite and days where you are mad at him.  There will be times you come crying to Mama, and many where you will run to Daddy with your tears.  Daddy will be your hero, the one you compare all other men in your life to.  Your one and only Daddy.

You will call him Dada, Dad, Daddy, Pop.  You’ll share your most important memories with him.  You’ll play catch in the yard, kick a ball around, ride on his shoulders, wwrestle in the living room, share your secrets with him.  You’ll look to him for advice.  Sometimes you’ll listen, sometimes you won’t.  When you’re older you’ll ask him about when you were young.  You’ll laugh at his jokes, you’ll giggle at his stories.

Your Daddy is a patient man.  He is strong when Mama needs a break.  Daddy can wrestle and play after a full day of work.  Even when he’s sick on the couch, if you come grab his hand he follows you to play.  He snuggles with you and kisses your little head.  He rocks you to sleep.  He makes you laugh and laugh.  He is silly, and you love it.

He will give you a bath and let you splash and splash.  He will play in the mud, let you play with the power tools, take you in the garage to let you help him.  He’ll let you sit in his lap while he plumbs the sink or fixes the house.  He will let you invade his personal bubble and not blink an eye.  He will love every second of it.

Your Daddy was ment to be a Dad.  He tells you he loves you, and even better he shows you how much every day.

I hope even on the days where you aren’t your Daddy’s biggest fan, that you will know how very loved and how very, very lucky you are to have Your Daddy. ♥