Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ain't No Party Like a Potty Party

It was time. Scarlet asked to sit on the potty at least once a day. Nothing ever came out... ever. Diapers didn't stay on for more than an hour or so before I would find her walking around bare butt for all. Which of course led to more than one mysterious wet puddle around the house and one extremely disgusting bowel movement in the middle of my bedroom. But the true reason I decided it was time to potty train Scarlet is because I had run out of my last big bag of Costco diapers. It was now or 108 diapers from now. The time had come.

After weighing my options, I settled in on the "potty train your child in one day" approach. Seriously, with a promise like that why would anyone go elsewhere? So I picked up the book. I think I was expecting a little more of a light read. Who knew it took a few hundred pages to teach you how to do something you've been doing since you were two?

To summarize, according to my new potty training guide, the trick to a successful day of potty training is to throw a potty party. You start the morning by giving your child a brand new doll. You spend the morning potty training the doll. There are stickers and treats to reward your new housebroken doll and the time in between bathroom breaks are spent watching every potty training movie and reading every potty training book you can find. Then, after nap time, the tides turn and you potty train your child.

The book is very specific. They expect you to follow their guidelines to the tee for optimal results. I am all about following directions, but I am not sure my potty party preparations were really what they had in mind.

My first task was to choose a party theme. They had everything from "super hero day" to "teddy bear picnic". Each theme had elaborate sets and props to build for the living room and bathroom. Fake trees, animals on the walls, paths leading around the house, it was pretty intense. I decided my theme would be... pink. I am kicking myself for not capturing the classiness that was my potty party decor but I will try my best to capture it in words for you. There were about four strings of crepe paper across the ceiling, five balloons bouncing around sporadically on the floor, and a big pink plastic tablecloth on the floor. Say what you will, Scarlet walked downstairs and said "mom, this is my party!" in the most excited voice. Gotta to love the easy to please.

The next project was the potty chart. The book had a pretty fancy chart with specific squares, times, etc. Mine looked like this...

If you can't read my amazing text it says, tried! pee! and poop! Yup, spent a lot of time on that.

The other area that I slacked just a little was the doll. Now little miss Dolly wears matching panties as the potty trainee. The book suggests you pull out the sewing machine and make the panties fit Dolly's bottom snugly. That is a thought, though you know what's faster? The sumo knot.

Yeah, like I was going to waste an entire set of panties on the doll. Though Scarlet did seem a little confused when her panties didn't have a big ball of knotted fabric in the back...

The morning started off well. Jon took care of Rhode so it was just Scarlet and me. We ate breakfast together then headed to the bathroom. Thanks to a medicine plunger, Dolly had her first pee in the potty. We celebrated, we cheered, Dolly got her rewards and then we settled in for one of the many potty training movies we would watch that day. And that is pretty much what we did all morning. At a few points, Dolly wet herself and even had a poo accident at one point. You would not believe how much a half chewed up tootsie roll looks like a big old lump of poo. Break a few up into small pieces and you have the perfect little terdlets to drop in the toilet behind Dolly.

One of the other goals of the morning is to get as much liquids in your child as you can. The more chances to pee, the more chances one will end up where you want it to. I had juices, sodas, flavored milks. By the end, I was having to beg Scarlet to just take one more sip of her soda (which she refers to as fuzzy, I don't really know why). After filling another glass, I walked in to find this.

"Dolly want my fuzzy, mom. She firsty."

You think you spend a lot of time with your child until you do something like this. When you spend every single second of a day with a two year old, time crawls at the most hideous of paces. I would be sure that it was at least an hour since I looked at a clock... nope 15 minutes. But we did it, we read the books several times, watched the shows, played games, did crafts and spent a whole lotta time in the bathroom.

I love it when little kids who aren't old enough to read can open a book they have read with their parents dozens of times and make their way through most of the words so it almost looks like they can read it. It is always so cute. Well, Scarlet did that for the first time! What is the first book she read aloud to her mom you ask? This one...

"El-fant has big poop, mouse small poop"

"Daddy poop, Scarlet poop, baby poop in diaper!"
"Eveyone eats... eveyone poops!"
Yes they do Scarlet. Glad that inspiring text has stuck so well in your mind.

After naps, Scarlet got to open a package of panties just for her and we tried them on. Then the morning went pretty much like the afternoon but with Scarlet's tush on the toilet instead. After guzzling our weight in liquid, Scarlet had to pee a total of 4 times. Three of them made it into the potty! It was hard to tell how much of the success was good timing but I was pretty dang proud of myself. And Scarlet, of course.

We finished our potty party day by throwing away her diapers (I had to give her some of Rhode's to throw away, she seriously was completely out) and then she got to open a big present as a reward.

I think she likes it.
The train was from Jon's mother, Grandma Charla. Scarlet and Rhode LOVE it. They watch that thing circle around the tracks over and over again.
The potty party is not meant for nighttime so she went to bed in a pull up. I really had no idea what to expect the next day. So in the morning, I tried to talk her into sitting on the potty every 20 minutes or so and she was not having it. She proceeded to pee twice on the kitchen floor in between my forced potty seatings. By that point I was cursing the potty party name and just left her alone for the rest of the day.
To my great and utter surprise a few hours later she said, "mom, need to potty." She got on the potty, peed, wiped, flushed, washed her hands, then asked for her treat. And she did that for the rest of the day... and the next. Now, five days later we are completely accident free including two trips to the store and nursery. Seriously. There are no words to describe the joy, not only of now changing half of the diapers I have been changing for the past eight months but also that I get to see these cute cheeks every day. It is the sweet life!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mr. Rhode

My baby is eight months old already! Time really flies... it is especially apparent when you find yourself scheduling your son's six month check up two months past due. But the stats are in. Rhode is 20 1/2 lbs. (the doctor added, 'wow already 20 lbs. at six months!' 'Eight months' I reminded her. She seemed less impressed.) And he is 28 inches long. Which puts him at 60th percentile for height and weight. 60th? Seriously where did this kid come from?

Oh and side note, Scarlet is down to 95th percentile at 36 1/2 inches and 37 1/2 lbs. Way to make it on the charts with the normal kids! We're very proud.

Rhode has had a pretty miserable cold for the past two weeks. Poor guy had his nose wiped so many times it started to crack and bleed. He wasn't complaining too much though and I had the same cold so I wasn't that concerned. We were going in for a well check anyway. Well, turns out he has an ear infection. Stack that up on one of my many great mom moments. But 7 days of antibiotics later, still not breathing so well through his nose. Poor kid.

He is finally rolling over regularly and is starting to think that mobility might be something he might enjoy. But a severe momma loving phase has kicked in so I get to either let him happily climb around my lap all day or set him down with a group of toys and dash out of the room. If I escape before he sees me I get a few minutes of happy play time until A - He sees me B - he realizes he is alone or, my personal favorite, C - Scarlet attacks him in one way or another. I know I really shouldn't wish for crawling but at this point I think it might buy me some freedom. So crawl child, crawl like the wind!

Still no teeth. My dental friends promise me that children are always born with teeth. We'll see about that...

My favorite thing about Rhode is how much he looks like his dad as a baby. It's crazy. I wonder sometimes if my mother in law looks at him and feels like she has her baby again.
Baby Jon -

Baby Rhode -

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We'll Call Her... Quirky

Some new things about Scarlet -

It took her a few months but Scarlet has finally discovered the joy of dressing up. My mom bought her a tinkerbell dress (or pink-o-ball according to Scarlet, she is going through a big tinkerbell loving phase) and a leotard with connecting tutu. She now asks me several times a day to help her wiggle into them.

A friend was mocking me for keeping her clothes on for dress up time, and the mocking was probably deserved. But I just keep thinking of all the years I have ahead of clothes strewn around the house when children learn to play dress up on their own and I figure the more time I can get out of this look, the better.

We were in Utah last weekend to film the Today's Generation dance competition at Lagoon. Scarlet had an absolutely wonderful time riding all the rides. The best part was she is already over 36" so there were a huge group of rides she was allowed to go on. She was the only kid still in diapers in a few of the lines. I could see a few parent's looks as she bent over to pick something up. The look that says 'you haven't potty trained your 4 year old yet?" as I retort back silently, 'she's two, and we're working on it, thank you."

While we were there we were able to meet up with Jon's parents. We haven't seen them since Thanksgiving and my mother in law has been storing up gifts for us from every holiday.
Scarlet got gifts for Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, and her birthday which included several books, tons of cute hair bows, an ice skating Minnie mouse and a fun train set.

Now our only problem is we can't seem to convince her that maybe we shouldn't wear the Santa hat outside on a 100 degree day in May.

'But mom, when my head gets too hot, I've got these handy dandy sprinklers in the backyard that cool me down nice and quick!'

Yeah, that's normal.
I got a new set of pots for my kitchen and some new cooking utencils for Christmas plus some new dish towels for my birthday. They are all MUCH needed items!
Jon got a karaoke machine for Christmas. Oh my goodness I can't get him to do anything all day long. He rushes home from work, plugs in the mic, and serenades us with the hits of the 70's and 80's all day long. Ha ha ha, I can't even keep a straight face as I write that! Ok, it hasn't made its way out of the box yet, but I know deep down inside he is waiting for some house time all to himself so he can belt a few tunes.
More on Rhode coming soon...

Monday, May 4, 2009


"Your kids look like they are all the same age!" "Wow, are you a glutton for punishment or what?" "I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at you." These were a few of the many comments I got from strangers during my week with triplets. Owen and Kate came over Wednesday night and stayed until Sunday morning while Sam and Kyle has some much deserved alone time in NYC.

I will preface my report of our week together by saying it was actually not nearly as crazy as I thought it would be. Sure, it was a LOT of diapers and a lot of hungry mouths, but when you're two years old the world is a better place when you have playmates. Most of the morning and afternoon were filled with giggling. And there was at least an hour, sometimes two every day when all children were asleep.

With that said, Thursday morning started at about 7 a.m. when I heard Kate say, "up..Up...UP!" until Owen joined her and was also ready to start the day. Scarlet soon joined them in their awakening. Even Rhode joined the party and before I knew it, the day had begun.

I knew the key to success would be a good nap so we headed out to the park to tire them out. We had a picnic lunch and they ran to their hearts content for over an hour. Sure occasionally, one child would decide it would be way more fun to just throw sand and another would claim a stranger's ball as their own. But my mission was accomplished and they all fell into bed exhausted and slept for a good three hours.

We have a Carvel ice cream across the street. I have never been there but that night they were offering free iceburgs. I had no idea was an iceburg was but hey, free frozen treat, I am in. Jon was home by then so we were feeling brave enough to make the journey on foot. That may seem crazy but have you ever tried loading four children in and out car seats? I am pretty sure we saved time. We were crossing the street when a man rolled down his car window and shouted "are you a glutton for punishment or what?" "Seriously," I responeded as Jon and I, with a child in each arm, made our way across the street.

Turns out iceburgs are like blended root beer floats that they add soft serve ice cream to. Delicious. Jon and I got the root beer and the kids got orange soda flavored. We all sat outside and enjoyed our treat. A few minutes later I got the, "I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at you" comment from the woman sitting next to us. By that point, Scarlet had tried to take a bite of the ice cream part, but the whole chunk came out with her spoon and ended up on the bench next to her. Owen was having a hard time keeping the ice cream on the spoon long enough to get it to his mouth. Consequentially, more of it was on the table than in his stomach. Jon grabbed some straws, which Owen decided would be much more fun as a spoon alternate than as something that stayed in the drink. Rhode was trying with all his little might to get some of whatever everyone was having, almost spilling the entire contents of my cup on my lap multiple times until I finally gave in and fed him some. Who could blame the woman for chuckling at the sight of us. Best part about Kate and Owen? They don't finish things. Scarlet's was licked clean but I got to finish both Kate and Owens. Totally worth it.

We spent Friday at the house with plenty of time spent outside.

Thank goodness for Jon, who after a full day of work still has the energy to come home and wear out children.

We were in need of another energy burning activity on Saturday so we headed back out to the park to feed the ducks. The minute I mentioned ducks, all three of them were dancing around my feet begging to head out the door.

They were having the best of times... until we ran out of bread. Who knew they would decide that some ducks needed a whole slice of bread to themselves?

Rhode was amused by the whole thing to say the least.

Then we enjoyed another picnic on the grass. Notice all the outdoor eating? Brilliant on my part. Spills matter so little outside.

After another good nap, Jon took them outside again (he really is the greatest) and made up a new game with them. I don't know if he gave it a title but I am going to call it, "How wet can you get without a pool?" Owen wasn't a fan...

but Kate and Scarlet caught on quickly.

Seriously Sam, this little girl of yours is so pretty!

We ate dinner soon after and halfway through our meal our neighbors decided the neighborhood had a little too much peace and quiet going on. At least it led to this footage.

Sam and Kyle were supposed to fly in late Saturday night but they were goofing around so much they didn't even bother to make their plane thus ruining our Sunday morning while we waited for them to finally get home!

Ha ha, not really. I actually think it was good for Scarlet that they stuck around so they didn't just disappear on her. She has asked me all day, "Mom, where are my friends?" "Mom, where's Owen?" "Mom, is Kate sleeping?". She is convinced I am hiding them somewhere and will pull them out to play with if she asks frequently enough.