Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Monday, January 31, 2011

MacKay POOPED in the toilet ! ! !

As a my old boss, and good friend of mine, Julie used to say.... "Here's the poop!" And I mean it like she does too... as in here's the 4-1-1! We have some big news here.... MacKay has now pooped in the toilet, a few times actually. I was hoping he would do it before we left for Gma and Gpa Hoglund's (Bonnie and Dean) on Thursday after preschool .... so he could get his helicopter to bring with, but it didn't happen. Instead, he did it AT Gma and Gpa's house. He was SO proud of himself... running around the place saying "I got a big POOP.... I got a BIG POOP!" He proceeded to poop in his pants a couple more times while we were there, which I blame myself for as I think I missed the cues he was trying to give me ... but as soon as he got back home he was right on track again, and again.... quite proud of himself. Now both of the boys have their prized garbage truck and helicopter.
They both LOVE peeing standing up. They will walk into the bathroom and immediately tell me they want to pee standing up .... and sometimes will opt to use one of the TP tiles I've drawn on for aim... but mostly they are fine just doing it without any "game" to it. They know to "shake it" when they are done (Daddy must have taught them this - or they just observed it on their own), and I made sure to teach them some additional manners by having them wipe off the edge of the toilet (dribbles). I hope someday their wives appreciate me for that. MacKay has become quite independent about it all too ... wanting to do it all himself. There were SEVERAL times MacKay would sneak away and we would find him in the bathroom going all by himself. He also tells us to leave him alone quite often if we do accompany him into the bathroom. And I should note, that since Oscar's first poop in the toilet, Oscar has continued to keep doing so in the toilet with no poop accidents whatsoever so far. Inf act, Oscar has been accident free (except for one accident which I will mention in a second) .... INCLUDING waking up dry each morning for over a week now. The only hiccup we had was at Gma and Gpa's this past Saturday. He told me he had to go (which is great) and we went into the bathroom where he proceeded to boast, like he always does ... "I stayed dry, Mommy." And right after he said that and I praised him he said "I wet!" He had gotten his pants down (not undies yet) and accidentally released a bit. I told him to try stop and gave him an understanding look .... and I don't know if it was the combo of those two things (telling him to try stop and my look) or just his own disappointment but he stuck out his bottom lip and started crying REAL tears. He was so mortified and upset about the situation... I felt so bad for him. I just kept trying to tell him that everyone has accidents like this and that I was proud of him for recognizing he needed to go and getting to the bathroom.... that we just didn't hurry enough to get him ready to go. He seemed fine with that excuse and was right back to being proud for putting the rest in the potty.
I am so proud of these two little boys ... they are doing SO well at this now. I am almost embarrassed to look back at my previous statements about how they were trying me so much and how I thought I would need to send along extra diapers/wipes/diaper bag along with their prom dates ..... and the day where I had completely run out of patience and energy about it all (and recharged by going out with my friend Christy for dinner and a drink) was the big turning point to it all. It was like they saw how disappointed I was about the whole ordeal... how spent I was ... I mean I actual cried a couple times - tried to hide it but they knew. And they totally turned the whole thing around in those next coming couple of days. I will never be one of those people who said it was a breeze .... but I can say that my pride has totally wiped out most of those disappointing details I was focusing on for so long. I would venture to say THEY are about 95% trained. Oscar is definitely borderline 100% trained, especially with his staying dry overnight .... but MacKay isn't far behind. And I stress that THEY are trained.... not me. I always hear these stories about how kids potty trained so well and quickly... but honestly, I think the parents are trained. They are asking every 15 minutes if they need to go, watching the clock etc. I, too, did that at the beginning... you have to. But I can say with pride and confidence that THEY are the ones in control now and are telling ME when they have to go. Sure.... if I know they have drank a lot of juice and might need to go soon I might put the idea out there "Does anyone have to use the potty?"... but the answer almost always is "No, not yet Mommy.... Later." And that is exactly the case because on their own time, much later they will say they need to go. And I'm sure we'll have accidents here and there ... I'm not expecting perfection here. But I do think that all the hard work is behind us .... they have really grasped this and are doing SO SO SO SO well. Way to go boys..... Mommy and Daddy are SO proud of you!
Well, as I said.... we went to Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean's for a few days late last week. Chris had a surveying conference in St. Cloud Wed - Fri, so Thursday morning I packed up the kids stuff, brought them to preschool, ran some errands.... then Evie and I went to Caribou to relax and play for a bit. Picked the boys up from preschool and we all headed down to Annandale for a few days. The kids had a BLAST down there. Gpa Dean brought out a new game ... Wild West Gun Slinger. The boys LOVED this game. It is a little log platform with 4 spots to put items (broken bottles and cans - all plastic and safe). There are sensors that work with the toy gun to know when it is on target, and when it goes off this little trigger shoots up something to knock the items off of the log platform. It's sheer genius and the kids played this off and on for hours and hours during their visit. They all loved playing hair dresser with Gma Bonnie too. We got them outside to do a little sledding down the hill to the lake, and sledding behind Gpa's tractor, turned snow plow/blower .... They even got to see their cousins, Sophia and Stella, who came to visit while their brother, Jack, was at Boy Scouts (pinewood derby) and celebrating his birthday with some friends out ice-fishing. We had a very nice visit as always and I'm sure we tuckered out Gma and Gpa.
Some news on Evie ..... she's running around saying "Dad" all the time. Proud to learn another word and even knows who it is and points him out all the time. She loves to TRY to get into the fridge when she's begging for more "Joooz" .... and if it is open tries to climb up to the shelves where her sippy and the juice is like she could take care of it all herself. She still runs for her high chair (and climbs in) at first notice of us preparing food.... poor thing is always disappointed when we take her down as the food isn't nearly ready when she wants it. But I am happy to report that I think ALL of her cuspids/canines are popped now. Not fully out, but the last one finally popped out recently and they are all coming in. She was really struggling for some time teething with those ..... off and on for weeks at a time she was just unruly and in so much pain. I am SO glad they have finally popped. Other than that.... she's the same little attitude ridden little diva running around the house full throttle most of the time. Still in her cuddly phase - which we LOVE ..... and wanting to please all of the time. She seems to be going through a growth spurt right now too ..... I'm quickly tossing articles of clothing that no longer fit her into bins to sell (hopefully to my friend Shawna who is expecting in April..... I think it's a girl). Mostly it is her pants....It's like her little legs stretched over night. But even the 24 month shirts she had that were so long and roomy on her are now very fitted. So I've started digging into the 2T stuff that I have and she's fitting into a lot of tops and outfits ... but still seems more geared to 18 month bottoms for now. So I'm betting she's going to be straddling the 2T/3T size come summer..... at least I hope so, cuz next week I am hosting a Matilda Jane Trunk Show at my friend Heidi Nygren's house. The new line (House of Clouds) comes out tomorrow (Tuesday 2/1/11) and from what I have seen on the website and blog, this line is going to be super cute. I already know someone who has seen a preview and they said the girls stuff is adorable.... and the women's stuff is okay, but that phase 2 of the new line (due out in March) will introduce 15 more adult pieces. So I'm hoping we can sell enough at the trunk show for me to get a few items for both Evie, and myself, at reduced cost. So here's my plug... for any of you reading this that might be interested in purchasing any Matilda Jane items (whether from the new line or older ones), let me know and I can put in an order for you at my show. And definitely check out the new line online tomorrow
Well.....onto the MANY pictures we snapped at Gpa Dean's and Gma Bonnie's.... and a few other extras.
Wild West Gun Slingers in action. They liked standing right up next to it to do it themselves... but also liked sitting WAY back with Gpa Dean to help them with their aim.

MacKay with Gma Bonnie and Oscar getting comfy with Gpa Dean while watching Happy Feet. They were learning about penguins in school last week and talking non stop about them... so Gma found an appropriate movie for their interest that day.

Evie enjoying "Wok .. Wok... Wok"ing (rocking) on their rocking chair.... and having a little fun boogying down to some music too.

MacKay doing tons of somersaults for Gma and Gpa's entertainment .... I can't believe he wasn't dizzy after doing about 15 in a row, back and forth across the living room.

More Wild West Gun Slinging... this time with Daddy. Some pictures to note .... MacKay blowing on the gun (like Gma had taught him), but learning yet another lesson from Gma (hand coming from side of picture) in that you never point a gun (real or toy) at a person. Love the picture of Oscar laughing as he got down from Daddy's lap - he was shocked as he hit one all by himself with no help (aiming) from Daddy. I don't know who was more shocked... Oscar or Daddy. And I also love the picture of MacKay sitting between his two proudest admirers.... Daddy and Gpa. The whole gang had fun with this game... while Gma Bonnie kept Evie busy looking through an LLBean catalog. Oh.... and eventually "Mr. Bill"(s) got set up on the log for target practice.

Oscar (curlers) and MacKay (curling iron) playing hair dresser with Gma Bonnie - what a good sport she was.

Sledding fun ... and fun outside. Thankfully the weather cooperated for a few days and got up above (or even AT) freezing, so we ventured out. It was impossible to get MacKay back inside... he even told off Gpa Dean when he told him to come inside "NO... I want to stay outside and have fun in the SNOW!"

Back at home, HAD to take these pictures of the kiddos sleeping. Mainly... of MacKay. I went in to check on them and tuck them back in and found MacKay on top of his bed, upside down..... with his shirt rolled up, exposing the satin tag that he must have been rubbing on his lip when he fell asleep ..... CLASSIC. And just to keep it equal... HAD to capture Oscar and Evie.

MacKay got the Alphabet Bucket again at preschool ..... the letter "M." Fitting. He wrote the letter M quite well several times - which he knows is the first letter of his name "M for MacKay.... M for Me!" and we found quite a few items to shove in the bucket that started with M: a mitten, money, an "M" bath toy, Mavis (Thomas train), an M&M, a Mustang Matchbox car... and lastly.... a picture of Mommy and MacKay (from when he was 6 months old).

Lastly.... I just love art projects like this... the ones where they do hand prints or footprints. I keep most (let's admit it, almost all) of their artwork, though I probably need to start being more picky about what I retain ..... but I will ALWAYS treasure these pieces and keep these. Here the boys made penguins out of stamping their hands and their feet [Top: MacKay; Bottom: Oscar]

Well that is it for now. If you get the chance... try out Amy Klobuchar's award winning Taconite Tater Tot Hotdish recipe available online. We made it last night and LOVED it. Classic meat and potatoes, nothing too complicated ..... real Minnesotan meal.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Say it aint so.......Oscar POOPED in the TOILET!

Could a mother be any more proud?? I think not.
Yes, Oscar pooped in the toilet. Last night (Tues 1/25/11) I was trying to make Chicken Parmesan and I swear the kids wanted to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes. Granted, they had been drinking a lot of juice and water throughout the day.... but the one time in the day where I just needed everyone to be independent and just play.... they all were vying for my attention and wanting to make multiple trips to the bathroom. I also blame it on the fact that I've now made pee'ing fun for them .... now that they pee standing up and get to pick various things to pee on (images I've drawn on toilet paper tiles). Not to mention when one sees the other heading to the bathroom, they are bound to follow and try give it a go. But with Oscar, he had told me he had poopies .... and I found that nothing was in his pants so I asked him if he had to GO poop, which he said yes to. So we ran to the bathroom. I was mid battering up my chicken, so I quickly washed my hands and got him up on the toilet and told him that I was going to give him some privacy so he could go poop and that I would be back in five minutes and to NOT get off the toilet no matter what. I could just see the image of poop smeared everywhere from him trying to dismount from the toilet etc. Yuck. As I was leaving he was proudly telling me that he was pee'ing and I just told him that usually when we have to poop, we pee a little too, and to just sit tight and try for a few minutes while I finished up the chicken. I came back around 4-5 minutes later and he was still on the toilet. (YAY). He told me he pooped, but when I asked if he REALLY had, he told me "No... I just pee Mommy." So I told him it was good that he tried and that he needed to tell me again if he felt the need to go poop and let him go through his routine of pulling up his pants, stickers, washing hands and M&Ms and we were on our way back to cooking again, or at least I thought we were. About 10 minutes later, while I was frying up the chicken... which was just shy of being ready to be flipped, Oscar came to me again.... grabbing at the back of his pants telling me he had poopies. We went through the same conversation as he didn't have anything back there and he said he needed to go poop. So down the hallway we went again ..... went through the same schpeel about how I would check on him in 5 minutes and to NOT get off the toilet under any circumstances. So I let him be and after I flipped my chicken I went to check on him again. When I walked in he had a BIG smile for me and told me "I pee'd AND pooped, Mommy." When I asked him if he was serious he said "Yeah... I serious." Sure enough, he was serious. After a series of praising, hugs, high fives, knuckles, dancing around and a few "WOO HOOO"s we got him cleaned up .... and got him his big dinosaur sticker and FIVE M&Ms (they only get 2 for pee'ing). He was SO proud and kept telling me how proud I was of him.... "You're proud of me, Mommy..... you're so proud?" I love it. He even wanted two dinosaur stickers (which I happily allowed him) so he could put one on his chart and also wear one. I told him that when Daddy came home, he had to show him his dinosaur sticker (on his arm) and tell him WHY he got that sticker. He ran out into the living room and told MacKay about it straight away.
It was at that moment (when I heard him bragging to MacKay) that I realized it was time to REALLY reward him and give him his choice between the big garbage truck and helicopter toys we've been using as "bait" for so long. Initially I had wanted to give them when they were consistently going to the bathroom (no, or minimal, accidents). But I figured they don't know what "consistent" bathroom use is .... AND, they had both been dry for so many days at this point. I know we're going to have bad days here and there... when they are just too engrossed in whatever they are doing to take time to realize they have pee running down their leg.... but I pretty much consider them about 100% on peeing, and that first poop on the toilet was a huge milestone to me.... and to Oscar. So I told him that he could get his garbage truck (the one he has stated over and over again is his) after he was done with his dinner.
Immediately after finishing dinner and getting cleaned up he was begging me to follow him into his bedroom closet to get his prized garbage truck. And I must say, he hasn't put it down since. For Oscar, this garbage truck is like what Diesel 10 is to MacKay. MacKay was pretty bummed he wasn't getting his helicopter ... but we just reminded him what he needed to do to get his helicopter down off the shelves. Even this morning I reminded him over and over again that if he wanted his helicopter, he simply needed to poop in the toilet instead of in his pants.
And I should note..... in all the excitement last night, and even this morning, over the garbage truck.... we HAVE had a couple accidents. Oscar was so interested in his garbage truck that he ignored the signs he needed to go visit the bathroom again. But we just used that as a way to explain to him how we expect him to use the toilet ALL the time now, and that if he continues to have accidents that we will have to take the garbage truck away. Both MacKay and Oscar had little accidents this morning too... where they started, got wet... but then stopped and let the rest out in the toilet. Again I told Oscar this was just a little accident and I was glad he caught it before it made too big of a mess... but that he needed to be more aware and save it all for the toilet if he wanted to keep his treasured garbage truck. And MacKay ended up pooping in his pants this afternoon which was a bummer... I was really hoping that Oscar would inspire him to give it a try. He talked a big talk about doing it so he could get his helicopter... but we'll have to wait for another day for that one, which is fine by me. I wasn't even expecting any "poop" strides any time soon anyway .... but am SO happy to report that Oscar even did it this once.
Oscar and his prized Tonka Garbage Truck

Evie in a new dress .... from the Nygren family. She was SO aware she was wearing a long flowy dress.... twirling and swaying and playing with the skirt part.

That's it for now, just a quick post from a very proud Mom.

Monday, January 24, 2011

100% POTTY Trained ..... and I stress POTTY

Yep, that is right. To date, MacKay and Oscar have had NO pee accidents for the past 3 days. The only times they have accidents now are pooping accidents (which sometimes are accompanied by a little bit of pee dribble but not an entire pant wetting experience like before). It is SO great. Though we still need to work (or wait) on the pooping part, I am SOOOO happy that they are doing so well at pee'ing in the potty. Up until recently I was asking them periodically if they needed to go .... sometimes they said yes, but usually they told me no as I was asking so frequently. On a few occasions they actually would tell us they had to go. MacKay's way of letting you know he has to go is quite interesting... he tells you he DOESN'T have to go or that he ISN'T wet/poopy. I caught that one only after 2 instances where he did that. Today I decided to leave it up to them to just tell me all the time and they are doing really well. They sorta feed off of each other on it .... they see the other have to go and it makes them think about it and the 2nd one usually isn't too far behind in the race tot he bathroom.
I also decided late last week to attempt "standing" while peeing with them. Mainly because Oscar, again, pee'd at school and messed himself up a bit. At home they come to rely on that "guard" on the potty seat/chair... but at school (and every other public place) they won't have that and need to either know to direct their flow down or just do it standing up. They weren't fans of standing on a stool in front of the toilet - I think they didn't feel stable and were more worried about falling. And those holes in the potty chairs are WAY too small. So we started them out with getting them to pee into an old ice cream bucket in the shower. They did that a couple times and then lost interest. So this morning I decided to try the cheerios trick with MacKay. He did well and really liked it.... so I grabbed a ton of toilet paper and proceeded to draw pictures on the individual pieces .... for them to sink into the toilet. I asked them to help me think of things they wanted on them and we ended up with: Diesel 10 (big shocker), spider, fish, octopus, boat, sailboat, smiley face, snowman, helicopter, train, star, shark, etc. So I put my artistic talents to use to make things for them to pee on. They now are DYING to get into the bathroom to go pee, even when they don't even have much in them. Pretty funny. They still thoroughly enjoy all the steps they go through in the bathroom and are getting SO good at doing them all on their own. They pull down (and up) their pants with very minimal help if even any at all, dump the bowl from the potty chair in the toilet (though Oscar dumped an entire bowl full on the floor the other day as he wasn't paying attention), flush the toilet, get their sticker for their chart/tree, wash their hands, and lastly get their M&Ms.
The other big event for the boys: their new room/beds. All last week we were getting ready to do some major painting etc this weekend. Thursday night the ceiling was "popcorn'd" and we had orange peel texture put on the walls. Gma Chris came up Friday afternoon to help watch the kids while we focused on the bedroom, and their cousin, Kelly, visited for the day which always is a treat for the kids as well.. Gma Chris was quite impressed with how much progress the boys had made with potty training and kept up our endeavors quite well, even got them doing a better job of washing their hands.... though we still need to work on getting them to quicken up the pace as we're currently wasting quite a bit of water in the process. Friday morning we were able to get a coat of primer on the walls, and later that afternoon we taped off a line to separate the top from the bottom so we could start putting on the two colors we had. The navy color we used on the bottom half needed a second coat, so that went on Saturday morning.... then the rest of the day was spent installing the new doors we had (closet, bathroom and bedroom), putting up the new trim (baseboards and door casing) and the chair rail to separate the two colors. On Sunday we moved the boys' new beds in and put their new bedding on. They were excitedly running around in the room the entire time, saying how they LOVED their new room and the colors etc. They were SO excited to get ready for bed that night and crawled right in. They didn't go to sleep as quickly as they normally do.... but eventually they did, AND stayed in bed all night long without falling out. I only checked on them twice throughout the night (I was EXHAUSTED and only woke up twice myself) .... and I only had to readjust Oscar once as he was sleeping sideways in his bed. Hopefully they are able to stay in there going forward as it is a LONG drop down ...... why do they make mattresses so high these days. Yikes. But they are SOOOOO plush and comfy.
Evie just had her (early) 18 month doctor appt where we found out that she is in the 50th percentile for height (31.5") but the 20th for weight (21 lbs 6 oz). She's such a scrawny lil peanut .... but long. She still wears them, but I think we're ready to pack away all her 12 month pants now. Though the waist fits just fine, they are getting short. I think it's going to be hard fitting clothes for her if she is going to continue to be such a little string bean. Poor little one got 4 shots that day at the doctor's too.... though it was largely my fault. I had forgotten that she needed a 15 month appt, and she was due a shot then (which she never got), and to top it off she still needed to get her flu shot booster. She was a trooper, though she was a sore little girl later that night. She would just stand there and cry to be picked up cuz her legs were hurting her. Evie also was in prime form for Gma Chris's visit and still enjoys being a part of the whole potty training experience..... namely, the M&M portion of it. She somehow manages to get a couple M&Ms out of us while we are in there... she's got such a sweet tooth. Hoping that will help when it comes her time for potty training. Lately she's been infatuated with wearing her tutus all day long. Right away she nabs one and comes running to us with it pleading for us to put it on her. She just prances around in it too - like she totally knows how cute she looks in it. Even tends to walk on her tip toes at times when she is wearing them. Must get some more of those for her .... I think she's going to like playing dress up and princess in the coming years. She's also been climbing up into her highchair at her first notice of us starting to prepare meals. Poor thing - I don't know if she is just super hungry or she just knows what we're gearing up for and jumps the gun... but it's sorta cute. She's also started saying what I think is "Mine". Not sure if she got this from the boys... or if Gma Chris thought she was being funny teaching her a new word :) But I could swear that is what she is saying, and it would be fitting for the times she is using it. Still a little chatter box and running around singing all the time.
Well.... as always, it's time for the pictures ..... enjoy.
Evie donning some chocolate pudding, one of her favorites that she just won't accept help on.

Oscar and Evie came across some of my shoes and decided to take a stroll around the house in them. (Note Evie in one of her tutus that she just has to wear all the time now)
MacKay (with Daddy) and Oscar (with Joe) helping the big boys put up trim with the nail gun.

The boys new room/bedding

Hoglund WrestleMania 2011:

The boys' first night in their new bedroom and beds

Evie wearing the dress I wore for my 1 year old pictures ..... it's a little small on her, but looks so cute. I will try get one of my pictures to scan in to compare. Though I can say with sheer confidence that she looks MUCH cuter in it and has WAY more hair than I did at her age.

The boys' potty charts/trees...... now FULL of monkeys. Might need to make a new chart for them soon. (Note: I've told them that when they finally poop on the potty that they get to put DINOSAUR stickers at the bottom under the tree)

See you soon.....