Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Adventures of Potty Training - Potty Training Prep (Post 1)

Here it is, folks.  A real life, vulnerable, honest, and accurate picture of our adventures during potty training.  I am sure that some of you will disagree with things that I've done, thought, felt or experienced along the way.  Everyone has their opinion and you are all certainly entitled to it, however, I desperately wanted to hear/read something like this before embarking on our adventures and I just didn't find it. it is...the good, bad and the poopy!

The Pre-Potty Training Days

Stella will be 21 months in about 6 days.  I'm sure many of you are thinking that she is too young to be potty training but she was showing signs of readiness so we opted to train young rather than miss a window. What were the "signs of readiness" that I saw?

Stella's signs of potty readiness:
  • She would race to the potty and sit on her potty while mommy went potty.
  • She would occasionally (hit and miss) tell me when she was going potty or poop.
  • She would stay dry for hours at a time.
  • She would grunt, push, and sometimes cover her eyes or hide to poop.
  • She could verbally express when she went potty or poop.
I am sure there are others that I just can't think of right now.  However, with all of those signs, there were things that all of the books say she should be doing but wasn't.  She never attempted to take off her diaper or ask to be changed and she never seemed uncomfortable once she had gone in her diaper.  Not having those items checked off did worry me and lingered as a warning in the back of my mind that she wasn't ready and I was pushing her too fast.

I'm going to get vulnerable and honest here so please be nice.  I am a competitive person by nature so even though I was seeing the signs of readiness, I was worried that I was pushing her too fast, too soon and that she wasn't really ready.  I was worried that I was interpreting things as signs of readiness because I wanted her to be potty trained and not because she was actually ready.  I basically was worried about pushing my agenda on her instead of embarking upon it as a team, as it should be.  I'm sharing these pre-potty training feelings with you because they were an integral part of the emotions I experienced during our first days of potty training and they were something that I never read from other moms, so I simply felt isolated.  Don't get me wrong...I'm no tiger-mom; But I do have a competitive side to me and I am trying very hard to not push that on Stella in an unproductive or unhealthy way so it always sits in the back of my head as a concern as I parent her.

With all of that in mind, we prepared for the big potty day.  I had read several books, blogs, parenting posts and opted for a method that I thought fit our family best.  We opted to try the Toilet Training in One Day method.  I spoke to my husband about it and watched some YouTube videos of other parents' accounts with it.  I bought all of the supplies needed for our big potty day, per the suggestions of the blogs and book.  If I am being honest, choosing this method sort of gave me an out.  I figured I could try anything with 100% commitment for 1 day.  Plus, I figured that if she wasn't showing progress after that first day we could disregard the whole thing without scarring her or making potty training a negative thing.

What did I buy to prepare?
  • Spot Shot carpet cleaner (since we would mainly be in a carpeted area of the house)
  • Cheap clean up towels x12
  • Salty snacks like Pirates Booty
  • Potty Treats (M&Ms was our treat of choice)
  • Juice
  • Potty Patty training underwear
  • Potty chair
  • Potty seat for the big toilet
My husband and I prepped for the big day but if I had to do it again, I would definitely loop him in on the process a bit more and get his buy in.  You will understand why as I progress into our experience during the first day.

I went to bed anxious that night.  We were about to embark on a new phase of our lives and I wasn't sure which direction it was going to go.  I was unsure and nervous.  I had doubts any of it would work and I feared failure. However, I was also optimistic and excited.  Just like the rest of Stella's life, we were about to experience a new phase.  One which indicated that my little girl was no longer a baby but growing into a full fledged big girl!

My next post will be about the first few days of our potty training adventure...

Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Sweet Sick Stella

Here we are 4 months later and Stella is 20 months old!  We have done so much over the last 4 months but it all blends together like one big blob.  I've started my new job which is a grand new adventure.  Stella is talking up a storm and learning new words and things EVERY day!

She enjoyed the holiday season because on Thanksgiving, she got to eat as much as she could (for those of you that know Stella, you know that is her heaven on earth).  She also met Santa (picture above) and she had so much fun visiting family! We visited Matt's side of the family (Grandma Red, Grandpa Troy, Uncle Tony, Uncle JR, Aunt Erin, Aunt Amanda, Collin, Great Grandpa and Great Grandma) on Christmas eve and Christmas morning and then flying with me to San Francisco to visit Grammy, Papa, Uncle Chris, Aunt Saira, Roan and Ananda.  Unfortunately while we were there she picked up a nasty cold which we have been battling for the past 4 days.

She has had a low fever, runny nose and awful cough but she is still my sweet, upbeat Stella.  On Tuesday night, she fell asleep in my arms at 6pm watching cartoons (something she never does) and so Matt just laid her down in her crib for an early bedtime.  She then woke up at 7pm crying really hard.  Normally we would let her soothe herself but I went up to comfort her since she was ill.  I kept the room nice and dark and just rocked and sang to her.  We sang all sorts of songs from the ABC song to Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  I think I even threw in a few tunes from Jersey Boys :)

While I was singing, Stella looked up at me, put her hand on my cheek and said, "Tay too, mommy" (English translation is Thank you, mommy) in her sweet little squeaky, sick voice.  I think at that very moment I melted into one gigantic mommy puddle and I responded, "You're welcome, Stella."

Then she responded by asking, "More?"

I said, "More singing?"

She said, "Okay!" (Like it was my grand idea :) This is one of her new tricks to make us do things she wants!)

I asked, "Do you want twinkle twinkle?"

"No," she responded.

"Do you want Itsy Bitsy Spider?"


So I proceeded to sing my baby the Itsy Bitsy Spider and many other songs while I rocked her.  After about 45 minutes, I put her back down in her crib.  She wasn't asleep but she was no longer crying.  I gave her BunBun (her grey bunny from Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Layla - a regular crib companion) and she said, "Ni-ni, Mommy."

You have all heard me say that Stella has her moments where she is more terrible toddler than my sweet Stella but then there are moments like these where she is the sweetest, kindest little person, even though she doesn't feel well and these moments happen far more often than her monstrous ones.  I thank God every day for picking me to be her mommy.  It is truly a blessing and a gift!