Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Potty time

There is once again a potty sitting in my living room
Photographic evidence

A couple weeks ago we decided Emily was old enough to handle the responsibility of getting herself to an actual bathroom in the middle of the night instead of keeping a little potty in her room for her to use. Having the potty in her room was easier for her at first, and easier for us to just give her a water bottle and a potty, tuck her in and say "You cannot, unless you are injured, come out of your room at night until your clock turns green". Now she's old enough to use a full-sized potty with ease, and she understands "Ok, you can come out of your room when your clock is not yet green but ONLY to potty, then go right back to bed". I moved the potty from her room to the downstairs bathroom and figured I'd just leave it there until Charlotte starts to potty train.

Charlotte was not showing any interest at all, until Sunday night. She had diaper rash something fierce, so we were letting her have "naked time" to help her heal. Right before her bedtime she accompanied me into the bathroom, and then just sat down and used that little potty. We fell all over ourselves praising her and applauding and she was pretty pleased. I figured it was a fluke, slapped a diaper on her and put her to bed.

The next morning, after breakfast she pulled off her diaper and used the potty again. Huh.

So I bought some pull-ups, and decided we'd give it a shot. I bought generic pull-ups because they were discontinued and pretty cheap (score!), but it turns out they are kind of confusing and awesome. At least I know now why they were discontinued.
Shrek princesses...neat-o

The first pull-up we selected was just fine
Yep, those sure are Shrek princesses

But then things got weird
Yep, those sure are...NOT Shrek princesses. 
     
Cinderella?  Ok, I'll take your word for it 

Why does Snow White look like an Indian Goddess?
I think I've seen this tattooed on a guy's arm at the gym
Aaaand, that's it.  I don't know where the other three princesses in the picture are.  I don't know WHO the other three princesses in the picture are.  What I DO know though is that they work, so I guess that is good enough for me.  Maybe I should keep them and they'll be worth something one day, like first-edition books with typos.

Anyway, back to potty training.  I have been through the ringer before, and it is bittersweet. Sweet because, well duh, once your kids are fully potty trained you don't have to deal with their poop on a daily basis anymore (hopefully). Bitter because it is MONTHS and YEARS and gallons of pee to clean up off the floor of Toys R Us and four star restaurants and floor model playgrounds and HOURS of squatting on the floor of public bathrooms balancing an indecisive toddler on the nasty toilet before your kid is ACTUALLY self-reliant enough to use the bathroom all on their own. I'm not mentally prepared, I thought I'd have 6 more months of being able to drive somewhere without pulling over 3 times for my kid to pretend to pee!  This time around I had decided to be all zen and give it plenty of time and let things happen when they happened. They're just happening a lot earlier than I had thought.  I started potty training Emily at 27 months at the pediatrician's recommendation, and here's Charlotte now at 20 months using the potty all on her own and having very few accidents...it'd be pretty dumb to not take advantage of all her interest.  This girl never ceases to amaze me.

The only problem is that while she is perfectly able to run to the potty and use it while naked or while wearing just a dress, she doesn't have the motor skills yet to pull her pants/undies/pull-ups up and down by herself. That makes gym daycare-type situations very tough. I am guessing it's just going to take longer to get Charlotte fully trained. Which kinda sucks because potty training was long and arduous enough with an older child last time around, I have no wish to make it take even longer. We'll just have to rely on pull-ups more this time around, I suppose.

So I guess I need to go get some more packages of the multi-ethnic NOT Shrek princess pull-ups before they run out.  Trying to use anything else after experiencing these babies would just be boring!

Monday, September 26, 2011

First-ish

We've had lots of things going on lately that were KIND of firsts. There was Emily's first day of preschool, which was kind of also not a first since she went to the same preschool with the same teachers last year.

Also Emily had her first-ish dentist appointment last week. The first one she made it all the way through anyway. We tried over a year ago but I had to carry her out screaming uncontrollably when she had a complete meltdown before they could even look in her mouth.
Everything was going so well...

The most recent dentist appointment was also harrowing, and Emily took a good 10 minutes of convincing before she'd let the hygenist brush even one tooth. She hates being tickled, and she was afraid the tooth brushing was going to tickle. She also spit on the floor (there was no sink!) and hosed down the tools area with the sprayer, but we made it through and she now agrees that it wasn't so bad.
More mature, but still a goofball

Will and I went to our first wine festival in a long time. We used to go fairly often, but mobile kids and wine festivals don't really mix so we've been out of the scene for awhile. I was AMAZED at what has happened to the wine-making industry in Maryland since the last time we went to this festival 5 years ago. There used to be about 8 wineries that came to the MD wine festivals, only 2 of which were any good at making anything other than really sweet wine. This time there were almost 40 wineries! I sampled about 9 (holy crap, it didn't feel like that many!) and was very impressed with some of them! There were even some Ros├ęs that were decent, and it's really tough to pull those off in the best of circumstances, let alone in chilly Maryland. The development of the Traminette grape in the last couple of years really seems to have helped MD's wineries because it grows well around here and makes a tasty wine. In any case, it was worth coming out in the rain, and Will and I had fun on our wine festival date!
Dry wines on a wet day

Ok, yeah, it does look like I tasted 9 wineries

Then came Emily's second first dance class. We started her in dance classes a year ago at Little Gym, but after the excitement of the first couple weeks had worn off she'd just sit there and cry the whole class. After we finished out the semester we stopped because a little girl wearing a tutu just sitting in the corner and crying is super-depressing. Since my sister showed her an episode of So You Think You Can Dance at the beach this summer, Emily's dearest wish has been to learn to dance, so we've started her back up at dance classes, this time at a "real" dance studio. This place is more expensive, but you pay by the month instead of by the semester, so hopefully this time we can stick it out. Also it turns out her teacher is the same woman to used to teach ME tap back when I was 9 years old who now has her own studio, so that's all very neat and leaves me humming "Circle of Life" under my breath. I did not take a picture of her this time, because it seemed silly to take a picture just because it was her first class at a NEW dance studio, so instead here is a picture of her a year ago before her FIRST first dance class:
Didn't I say in my last post that she hadn't changed much in the past year? I take that back. Look at the little BAYBEEEEEE!


Charlotte got her first-ish ice cream cone at the fair this week. We make banana "ice cream" at home all the time by jamming bananas through the vitamix and scooping it into cones, but this was the first REAL ice cream cone she's ever had, and I ate most of it :-)
The ice cream scoopers don't know what "just a little bit" means

The fair is so big and so arduous to do with kids, we ended up going twice last week, once to have dinner and do the animals, and again later for Emily to do a couple rides.
Peeking at the duckies

Love the ducky slide

Cute chicken!

Mean chicken

Zhyoonicorns love to drive lawn mowers

Charlotte's ready to go

But then she decides riding is better

Fall is the time for firsts and first-ishes, I suppose, which is part of the reason I love it! Now if only we could get rid of this hot, humid, rainy weather then I could start enjoying the other part of the reason I love Fall!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First day of Preschool, round 2!

Emily's first day of preschool this year:

And just for fun, Emily's first day of preschool last year:

Yes, I love dressing my daughter in plaid skirts.

Emily does not seem to have changed much. I am starting to think she is going to be like my sister, whose face still looks almost exactly the same as when she was 3. Charlotte has certainly changed though! She's been training hard this past year, growing and getting stronger so she can endure all the enthusiastic sister love...

...and looking up to her big sister

The first day of preschool went well. We reconnected with kids from her class last year, and she seems ok that she gets to SEE her two best friends on the way to class but not be in the same class as them, since Emily's going 5 days a week and their parents opted for the 3 day a week program. It appears that they get to play together on the playground on Monday Wednesday and Friday though, so that's kinda cool.

There were tears from some of the kids, and tears from some parents out in the parking lot. I was once again surprised at how calm I felt about it all. I realized once I got back out to the parking lot and saw some crying parents that I was supposed to be feeling sad too, but mostly it just felt like we never even left for the summer. I'll save my tears for next year, when she'll be at school ALL DAY EVERY DAY, at the same school as FIFTH GRADERS.

That one will be tough.

Charlotte was pretty sad to be leaving her sister behind though. She wasn't old enough to notice last year (or maybe she did notice but wasn't old enough to express herself) and I guess by the time she WAS old enough it was just the routine. But now, after having her buddy Emmy home with her all the time, I heard a lot of mournful mentions of "Emmy!" on the way to the gym.

Saying goodbye to the sister


Being a "second year mom" is also pretty neat. I already know all the teachers and the director, and several of the moms of Emily's classmates. I even know moms walking by to go pick their kids up from different classes. Now by "know", I mean "know their names and the names of their kids so I can ask how they're all doing", not "know and am good friends with", but still, I am able to put up a good show having small talk with lots of people who walk by. I am a fairly outgoing person, but not at first. I am quite shy about approaching new people, but once I have gotten to know them a bit, then I lose my shyness and can chat with the best of them. So having acquaintances from years before is helpful for me. Maybe this year I'll finally gather the courage to invite some kids over for a play date.

Maybe.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pre Preschool

As I was hurrying everyone out the door yesterday evening and speeding us all to the church where Emily goes to preschool for her Meet The Teachers night I was hit with deja vu. Not surprising, since that's exactly what I did 3 out of 5 weekdays all last year (complete with the lateness part). I realized I've missed having Emily in preschool...not that I don't miss her when she's gone, but I miss the structure that school gives our lives. I am really awful at instituting structure myself. When Will isn't around to enforce a bedtime I tend to just wander around the house until 1AM or so accomplishing nothing and then fall asleep wherever, waking with the girls at 7 to curse myself for not going to bed earlier. I am appreciative of anything that forces me to be structured.

And Emily misses preschool too, especially her teachers, who it just so happens are her teachers again this year! When they were introduced at the little info session Emily started clapping wildly, and as soon as we went to her new classroom to check things out she positioned herself right between them and just spent some time gazing adoringly up at her heroes.

On the way home she asked if we could invite her teachers over to our house. I love that she loves them, and I love knowing that my daughter is spending 2.5 hours a day in a place she enjoys and benefits from so much.

So tomorrow, weeks it seems after everyone else has gone back to school, I will send my daughter back as well. And I will know that in the end, despite several years of freaking out about the "which preschool" decision, it appears I made the right one for her.