Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bedtime with Two

Lluvia. Or if you're Little Boy: yuya. It's new; it's fascinating; it's slightly scary, but kind of fun. Until the day we heard- boom! Little Boy had barely seen rain twice in recent memory (last rainy season he wasn't even a year old) and he was already being introduced to thunder and lightning. And this, of all days, was the day that I needed to put both kids to bed on my own. Fun!

Normally, M and I do the bedtime routine together. M bathes Baby Brother while Little Boy and I clean up dinner. Then I go nurse and put Baby Brother to bed, while M bathes Little Boy. Then post pajamas and tooth-brushing I go put Little Boy to bed with a story and sometimes nursing. All this means that I could technically do it all myself except for that overlapping 45 minutes when I need to put Baby Brother to bed in a dark and quiet room.

The first time I had to do solo-bedtime I was rescued by a friend that came to play with Little Boy for a little while but this time I was not so lucky. After mulling it over- I came up with a plan: We brought the video monitor to the living room, and I would leave Little Boy on the couch watching a movie while putting Baby Brother to bed. All in all it mostly turned out as planned! Little Boy helped me to bathe Baby Brother. Then we went downstairs and TV ended up being a pretty good babysitter as Little Boy was excited for screen time for so long and so late in the day. I put it on pretty loudly to dull out the scary thunder sounds. When the video ended and I was still a few minutes shy of swaddling Baby Brother, I got on the intercom and told Little Boy to hold tight. Needless to say that was some of the fastest swaddling I have ever done (and he might have been slighly freaked out). Then I started bath time with Little Boy, teeth, nursing, stories, potty and bed. It took me about 50% longer than usual, so Little Boy went to bed a half hour late, but all things considered it wasn't too bad (on his end). I, on the other hand, was exhausted (but also feeling somewhat super-mom-ish), and the only real bummer was starting cleaning chores after 10 p.m.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Swimming Lessons!

Little Boy absolutely adores the water. During all the warm months he plays almost on a daily basis with our DIY water stand, along with a baby pool and several containers and toys. It is the one activity the keeps him occupied for an indefinite amount of time (and probably a major reason he like washing the dishes, the car and mopping the floor). Needless to say, we've been wanting to try some swimming lessons for quite a while. The popular thing around here is Mommy-Baby classes, but since I have two babies now, we were looking for private classes. After looking on and off for several months (and the birth of the little one) we finally found a place to take classes.

demonstrating what he does in class

The routine has been a bit of a shuffle, but we've learned to just get dressed at home, and quickly change afterwards with a snack in hand (and Baby Brother in the carrier). It's amazing how much the kiddo has learned after just one month! Even on difficult toddler days when we've encountered some resistance about going to class, by the time he's in the water the kiddo is enthralled, and he ends up being a joy for the rest of the day. It's been a great experience and we can't wait to continue after our little summer vacation.

Monday, June 17, 2013

From a Toddler's Point of View

Little Boy recently learned how to use the iPhone camera. One afternoon he hijacked my phone for a little photo-shoot and this is what came out*:

Warming up...

Impressive...(more info. on this one coming soon)

I heard the kid tell his brother "cheese" as he took this series...

He actually moved the photo frame to try to get a better shot, but this is the best my little shorty could get...

Toy school bus...

This really surprised me! I have no idea when he took this one but (minus the blurriness) it's not a bad shot of the play room...

And finally, a self-portrait:

*There are multiple versions of each of these...that have been deleted by yours truly. I'm posting the least blurry versions. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Early Potty Training

After the last weekend, when we had no accidents I want to declare Little Boy officially potty trained! I have to say the process was actually pretty easy and I attribute that to our early potty training method. As a matter of fact, I truly believe that if I hadn't been pregnant and would have been more on top of it, we would have been done even sooner! So in case you're interested, this is what we did (loosely based on Diaper-free before Three).

6 months- We buy a Potty
At six months, Little Boy could sit up independently, so we brought a potty into the house. Every once in a while we would put Little Boy on the potty and he did use it a couple of times, but it was really just getting used to the idea.

9 months- We start using the potty once a day
So by this time, Little Boy knew what a potty was and he was a little bigger and could sit on it more comfortably. We started sitting him on the potty once a day, just before bath time and in no-time he would go. It was a great little routine and really was no extra effort because he would sit while the bath was filling and was already undressed as it is.

1 year- Traveling= no more potty
Just before his first birthday we left for a six week trip. Despite the fact that we had a little potty in the places we visited, things were just too out of routine. Little Boy had no interest in sitting, and since this coincided with 1) learning to walk, 2) teething, 3) no schedule, and 4) over tiredness we did not push the point. When we got home our first priority was getting back on a good sleep schedule, and then we got back on the potty train right around 14 months.

An early attempt at going diaper-free

14-19 months- Signing potty and slow progress
So from this point on, we were back to using the toilet, but mostly for no. 2. When we could tell he was about to go, we would hustle him to the bathroom and it was almost always a success. Little Boy also learned the sign for potty, although he would use it mostly to confirm to us that yes, it was time to go. Little Boy preferred using a seat on the big toilet, so that's what we did. We made a couple attempts to go diaper-less during this time, but both times we called it off after two days because of extenuating circumstances. During these months Little Boy learned about flushing the toilet, and hand washing, so it was just a matter of time to put it all together. On the days when I felt well and I put him on the potty at other times during the day, usually it was a success, but like I mentioned above, my pregnancy was a major hindering factor to why we didn't stick to a schedule of sitting multiple times a day. Nevertheless, not having to deal with poop-diapers is a win in my book, so even just that was great!

19.5 months- He's Ready!
One day, he just started telling us before we would even see the tell-tale signs that he was ready to use the toilet! It was so exciting and we would have done our boot camp at this point except that I was 9 months pregnant and could not be running around.

20 months- Baby Brother born: potty regression
So within a week or two of Baby Brother's birth we had a major regression. Little Boy would ask to be diapered on the changing pad and would even go no. 2 in the diaper. It was pretty much expected and luckily didn't last long. Happily, one day when he was playing with water on the patio he just walked over to the potty and did his business. We knew then that he was really ready, and it was just up to us to kick-start the process.

22.5 months- Potty Training Kickstart
We got rid of the diapers! I have a separate post on this, but basically we started off naked, then commando, then undies. We spent a lot of time at home the first week and then slowly started going out more and more. We went back to using the little potty because that way we could take full advantage of his desire to be independent.

23 months- Potty Trained!
We are so happy to be at this point! Nowadays we just have to remind Little Boy to use the potty if we're leaving the house or if it has been a while. He's getting better and better at taking his pants off on his own so in no-time he'll be able to be completely independent.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Potty Training Diary

A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue, while playing on our patio, Little Boy left what he was doing to go use the potty. He didn't say a word. As a matter of fact I had no idea until I left the kitchen because he was being suspiciously quiet. Within a short time, I realized his regression was over and he was ready to be a big boy! Since he has finally started speaking, I decided to give this potty training thing a try. We did a hybrid of early potty training (because he already had a good base) and the more traditional three-day method. This is just about our kickstart and I'll go into more details in a follow-up.

Tuesday- I was going to start on Thursday but I'm anxious to get going so this morning when he gets up I take off his diaper and don't put another one on. After a little while he asks for a diaper and I tell him that if he needs to use the bathroom he can sit on the potty. He agrees, and it's a success. The rest of the day is somewhat exhausting as I watch him like a hawk and make sure we catch all the pees. In the afternoon he's playing with water on the patio and I'm pretty sure he peed but oh well. Day one is a big success!

Wednesday- Again he asks for a diaper, again we use the potty. It's another naked day around here. Today, however, we have gym class. Since we haven't officially started though I put a diaper on for the class. We make it back home and the diaper is still dry! The rest of the day is amazing! He's taking himself to the potty. No accidents! Is this going to be easier than I thought?

Thursday- Night diaper dry! Today is the day: when Baby Brother goes down for his first nap we go to his room and collect all the diapers in a duffel to give to another baby. Little Boy is happy to help! Since he's done so well going around naked inside the house I want to try our luck outdoors (we go commando). When we're playing outside he suddenly runs away. By the time I catch-up, I find him at our door but with an accident. He didn't tell me where he was going so I couldn't help in time. Note to self- I need to remind him to tell me when he needs to go. 

Friday- Night diaper wet- oh well, I am not worrying about this yet. All good in the morning, we go to the pool in the afternoon and he probably peed in there but there's no way to know. It seems he has it down when he's naked but having trouble advising with enough time to get pants off. My personal mission is to get him using the bathroom in public- we'll try for some outings over the weekend. I'm not sure how to go about this.

Saturday- Again all good in the morning, but we have a couple of accidents in the afternoon- he's just too busy. I'm feeling frustrated but ready to see it through. 

Sunday- We head to the mall. After lunch he has his first public pee (in the mall parking lot)! I see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Monday- Dry night diaper! It's gym class day. Before we go I have him sit on the potty, he goes and I'm calm about getting through the class. Unfortunately I can't make it back home right away because Baby Brother is demanding a meal. We have an extended stop at the park and subsequently an accident. Again accidents in the afternoon- ugh!

Tuesday- Another dry night diaper. Accident in the park while he's busy watching the sprinkler…I'm feeling discouraged. I need to remember to be encouraging- he's learning. In the afternoon he goes on his first public toilet! Yay! 

Wednesday- Diaper is wet but I'm pretty sure it's my fault since I was busy and couldn't get him right away in the morning. He didn't go before gym class and I am nervous. When we get there I show him where the bathroom is and remind him to let me know. With some prompting, post class we use the bathroom there! So happy! The rest of the day is great with just one small accident.

Thursday- He wakes up at 4:30 in the morning and asks to pee! Wow! So proud of him. We do have a small accident when we're out at a cafe, but then he redeems himself- in the middle of nap time he calls out to me: I see on the monitor he sat himself on the potty! We get cleaned up and he goes back to napping. 

It's been just over a week and I am officially calling him potty trained! I know it will probably take some more time to totally be done with accidents, but he's already proved that he can do it. Like a lot of milestones: first he does it once, then after a little while he starts doing it consistently. I need to remember that he's not even two yet! I realize potty training is as much about changing my ways as his: it is my duty to remind him to go, encourage his good habits and with time he will keep getting better. I already much prefer carrying around a change of clothes over dealing with diapers, and as Little Boy gets older and more proficient at dressing himself things will only get better and easier. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dairy-free Egg-free Blackberry Pie

I've been trying out various baking recipes that are both dairy-free for myself (i.e. for Baby Brother) and egg-free for Little Boy. This is my best one so far:

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water (add slowly and adjust accordingly)
3 cups blackberries

1- For the crust, mix ingredients in order listed. Add more or less water depending on the consistency you get. 
2- Take half of dough and mold into pie dish to make the crust.
3- Fill with blackberries, approximately 3 cups.
4- Roll out the rest of the dough and lay over the top of the pie. Cut decorative slits. Optional: glaze with a light colored jam.
5- Bake at 350 F until crust is slightly golden.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

3 Months Update!

Just in time for your three month birthday, we heard your very first giggle! It was so exciting, but shouldn't be surprising as you are a super duper smiley baby. As a matter of fact, that's the thing you like to do most when you're awake: stare up at us and smile! You wake up every morning with a smile on your face. The twinkle and innocence in your eyes just fills our hearts. In second place is probably staring up at the bug mobile; you get very excited flailing your arms and cooing.

Besides cooing, you have also discovered your hands and have started eating your fists from time to time. You still like to keep your hands in a fist a lot- especially hanging on and grabbing the surface or person you are on. You're getting better at tummy time, but still hating the car seat. You're ok with the swing, but prefer walking around with Mommy or Daddy. Most of all, you are loving looking around, facing the world and especially your older brother. You kick your legs so hard if they dare touch any surface and you can support yourself pretty well when "standing". It fascinating to see just how much you're already growing and changing. We're happy to be out of the fourth trimester, even though it really wasn't too bad, and can't wait to see you laughing and learning your way around. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Same Same but Different: Zoo with 2

Another day, another zoo visit. This time we checked out the aquarium. Little N loves fish so it was a big hit! And Baby B was quite interested as well. Our double stroller is starting to get some mileage. 

 Fountain just outside the entrance.