Milestones and updates

We have been flying under the radar these days.  Elliott was going through a nap/bedtime refusal period where he wouldn’t take a nap 3 out of 4 days.  He would get up repeatedly from his bed and play with his toys, or run around the house.  When I would try and put him back in, he would cry and scream and get out again. We fought like this for 2 weeks or so.  I decided to talk with his daycare provider, who in turn spoke with Elliott. And I spoke with all of my friends with kids.

They all suggested the same thing.  Once its time to go to bed–the child needs to stay there.  No exceptions.  So, we reestablished the rules of staying in bed (with the help of our daycare provider).  Then, if he got out once, I took a stuffed animal away.  If he got out again, I put him in his pack-n-play to sleep.    Needless to say–he hated being confined to the pack-n-play and after a couple of days in there, he was back on schedule.

But, then on top of the nap strike– he wouldn’t go to bed without kicking and screaming, crying and fighting.  He was sleep deprived and was getting up in the mornings around 5 or 5:30am.  Elliott is the classic kid where sleep begets sleep–the more sleep he gets, the happier he is, and the longer he naps and sleeps in.  If his naps get cut short, or we get out of our routine for to many days–he starts to wake early, nap short, and get very cranky.

We moved his bedtime to 8pm, reestablished the naps and the bedtimes solved themselves.  During the sleepless weeks, hubby thought it would be a good time to kick the Pacifier habit as well.  His logic was–as long as none of us were sleeping, we might as well bite the bullet and make the the change.  The last time we tried to get rid of the paci–none of us slept and one of us was traumatized.  This time it was an easy transition, and we haven’t looked back.  There was hardly any talk of its absence.  WooT!  Three cheers for something good coming out of 2 weeks of struggle!

While both the hubby and I are careful planners with some things…others things we are more whimsical about.  Deciding that NOW was the time to start potty training/learning was one of those whims for me.  Let me explain–we have been practicing the potty for about 4 months.  Sometimes he would use it while other times he declined.  The challenge was that he would only pee standing up–which was a mess to say the least.  Monday, after I picked him up from daycare I decided that we should start training him the next day.  I put all the diapers away, moved the changing table mat to our bedroom in prep for baby #2, and repacked the diaper bags with pull ups and changes of clothes.

Tuesday morning we told Elliott what to expect, put a pull up on him, and set the timer for 35 minute intervals.  We also went and bought a new potty chair because ours sucked.  I LOVE the new chair because it is easy to clean, sturdy, and he actually will sit on this one.  Elliott seams to like it because he can sit easily on it and not spray pee all over the place and he can empty to bowl into the big potty.  So, we have established a sitting only rule for the potty–and have had great success these last 2 days.  We have handed out many stickers and M and M’s, cleaned up a few messes from diaper free time and my back is killing me from leaning over and squatting in the bathroom.  But, today he pooped in the potty for the first time; which I think took him by surprise because he looked totally shocked when he saw what was in the bowl.  And he seemed kinda nervous about what had just happened.  We also have taken him into public restrooms to pee yesterday and today and he seems fine with using public bathrooms.  Although I am still learning the best way to handle his penis spraying pee all of the place…All and all I think we are well on our way.

Nothing new to report on the pregnancy front–32 week appointment was uneventful.  Baby #2 is doing fine, he was head down yesterday as far as she could tell, his heart rate is normal.  In 2 weeks I go back and if the midwife isn’t 100% certain of his position–she will do a quick ultrasound to confirm.  I told her that I was certain he can still move around as sometimes he has the hiccups and I can feel them in my ribs and sometimes  I feel them in my pelvis.


summiting K2–Elliott’s 2nd dental visit

Today we took Elliott to his second dental appointment of his young life.  His first appointment was when he was 14 months old.  He didn’t have any area’s we were concerned about, but we do want him to become familiar with the experience and stave off any potential cavities.

We also have dental insurance that covers some of his visits, and found an incredible pediatric dentist. The office is designed for kids and adults alike.  There is a coffee machine in the waiting area with latte’s and all the fixins.  There is a video game room, a TV area, and a play area for the little ones.  Very comfortable and relaxing.  

They give new patients an “I’m Special” sticker when they arrive.  They are very friendly and allow the children to get comfortable with the tools and office equipment before the dentist comes in.  They were careful to close the door when they heard other children crying.  The dentist himself took some time to talk with Elliott directly before starting the exam.  

Now the exam was something else all together for our wee lad.  He was hysterical for the 5 minutes it may have taken for the dentist to look at his teeth.  He was sweaty and stressed when it over.  He didn’t want to look at or talk with the dentist for a full 10 minutes while he counseled us on good dental health, positive eating habits, and strongly advised us to kick the pacifier habit.  But, by the end, he said ‘thank you’ to the dentist and gave him a high five.  

He didn’t notice any problem area’s except for the front 2 upper teeth, which we admittedly have trouble brushing.  And the hygienist informed us that his upper lip was tightly affixed to the gums on the top and that may contribute to the challenge.  They recommended we floss the upper 2 teeth, but that a traditional cleaning wasn’t needed as there was no plaque.

The dentist informed us that he had all 20 of his baby teeth (which was news to me–I thought we were still waiting for his big molars to come in).  Yes, I win the bad Mom award for the week.  Hmm, perhaps that was why he was so sensitive when I was in charge of brushing his teeth…  Now, I have a knot in my tummy for being not only a bad Mom, but an insensitive one as well.  Well, on the bright side we are done with teething!  Hooray for that.  

Elliott had a less severe but still valiant meltdown when the hygienist brushed and flossed his teeth.  But was much happier there as he got to pick out his tooth brush and a toy.  

The dentist offered some good advice that I wanted to share with you, dear internet.  We have tried just about everything we could to get Elliott to warm up to the idea of tooth brushing.  He would throw K2 size tantrums when it came time to brush.  We tried different locations to brush, letting him brush first, letting him brush our teeth, singing a song, silence during brushing, changing the time we brushed, getting new toothbrushes and toothpaste, letting him pick them out, a musical tooth brush, forcing him to brush through restraint, sticker charts (for many, many months), prizes for a completed sticker chart, stickers as rewards for brushing, and shamefully last: fear tactics of eminent cavities and threats of black teeth.  Did I mention education in there also?  We have several books about teeth, dental heath and good brushing habits.

So, the advice he gave was to sing the ABC’s while brushing.  He said the song is familiar, it lasts the correct amount of time, and there is a known end every time.  He also suggested brushing with your child post-bath when they are the most relaxed and with them wrapped in a towel, so you can restrain their hands and arms.  Lastly he said to get them in the habit of laying down to brush since this is how they will examine him at the dentist’s office.

All and in, he scored a 94% on his dental report card which is far better than either of his parents scored on their latest visits with the dentist and hygienist.   Next visit–6 months.   

Big Hole

Pink paci broken, BIG HOLE.  My son has been repeating that to himself since yesterday afternoon.  It was the last thing he said before falling asleep last night and the first thing he said this morning when he woke up.

4 days ago, I noticed that the pacifier that he sleeps with was making an odd noise.  I tested it out by sucking on it myself and sure enough it had a big hole in it.  I suspect that my son either wore it out or punctured it with his new canine teeth.  Either way, I explained to him that he cant chew or bite the pacifiers because they will break and then we wont have one any more.  
I promptly switched the broken one that was blue for a hot pink one (I had previously packed all the pacifiers away when we went to just using them at night).  The next day I inspected the newer pink one, and sure enough–another puncture hole.  This one was very small.  In a spontaneous decision I showed him the hole and explained that we couldn’t use that one anymore since it was broken and I told him we didnt have anymore.  I then secretly cut the tip off, in case he wanted to see it and I felt the need to cave.
Yesterdays nap went fine, bed time was OK.  He woke up a few times in the night asking for it, and crying a bit.  This morning he was up 1 hour earlier than usual.  He went down for today’s nap talking about the broken pink paci, BIG HOLE.  But, no tears.  
It would seem that we have effectively eliminated the paci habit with little stress or feelings of loss.  I will let you know how this evening goes or if there is any regression.

After 3 nights of sleeplessness, a very cranky toddler, and a weak consitituion–we caved and gave the pacifier back.  In all reality–he was pretty heartbroken about it’s absense.