The week for Milestones

As timing would have it, Elliott decided that he wanted to start wearing underwear and using the potty the Friday before our trip to Mexico. The first round of potty training didn’t go well and after several months without success we decided to shelve the attempt. From everything I read we put to much pressure on him to use the pot. So he took control of the thing he knew he could-his bladder and bowels to resist the pressure.

After much parental guilt and discussion between the hubby and I – We told him that it was his body and that he needed to be ready to pee and poop in the pot. We apologized for pressuring him and told him to tell us when he was ready. And from then on we didn’t mention it to him. If he would complain about the cold wipes during a diaper change we would remind him that TP wasn’t wet or cold. Or if he would complain or fuss about diaper changes we would tell him that he could decide/choose to use the toilet anytime but until then we had to wear diapers.

I also decided to skip the pull-ups and the training potty and go straight for underwear and the big toilet. I wanted simplicity and less mess (counter intuitive but true!).

So 3 days before our 5+ hour plane trip plus countless airport hours we switched from diapers to underwear. He is doing great. We have had several accidents, of course. But this is a way different experience for us both. The timing is his and he is in charge. What an awesome feeling for him!

Elliott has also strongly resisted dressing and undressing himself. This is partly our fault as his folks. And partly his way of asserting himself. More often we would rather just do it for him and get out of the house than wait and wait and wait for him to get around to it-if he ever did. What we weren’t seeing was the big picture as it relates to self confidence and independence. We were also short changing him as it relates to coordination.

However, since he started using the pot we have required him to start putting his clothes on and taking them off. This is especially important after he has an accident-he has to sit on the pot, then clean up the pee (to the best of a 2 year olds ability), then put his wet clothes in the laundry and get dressed again. All of these things are normal events-but act as a deterrent for him. The benefit is that he is so proud of himself afterwards!

I suspect that alot of Elliott’s new found confidence is from the swim lessons that he took the 2 weeks prior to our trip to Cancun. There are several schools of thought as it relates to swimming. The classes we took we the life saving type and therefore they took a fairly hard lined approach to learning. Elliott hasn’t been exposed to the tuff love method to much-so it came as a big shock to him. There were a lot of tears the first few days and a bunch of pool water swallowed.

The lessons were simple-they were designed to tap into our innate ability to swim. The instructor always orients the child to the side of the pool and then sends him on his way.
At the end of 2 weeks Elliott felt very confident in himself and had learned the basics of life saving swimming techniques. Many people think this method is mean and won’t subject their children to this type of learning. And if my son had a fear of water I might not consider such a harsh method. But, Elliott has zero fear of water-he goes down the water slide at his Grandparents pool, jumps off the side of the pool into the deep end without a care for who will catch him, and last summer walked straight into the Ocean. I had to run in with all my clothes on and get him. So, these lessons taught him to swim as well as a healthy fear of the water.  A win-win in my book.

The finger saga continues.  Elliott has had 2 post-op follow up appointments with the surgeon.  Both appointments went well.  The doc thinks there is still something in his finger based on the swelling, but is hopeful that his body will be able to break it down and absorb it.  We follow up again in 2 months.  Again, as luck and timing would have it-the Sunday before we leave for Mexico I noticed that one of the stitch sites was infected.  There was a bubble of green pus.  I called the nurse line and she said to come into the ER and they would treat it–she didnt recommend waiting until we returned in case it was something more serious. 


The doc who saw him said it looked like a stitch was stuck inside, and was causing a light infection.  She took a needle and popped the pustule and sent a sample to the lab.  More antibiotics and we were on our way. I took the liberty of removing the other 2 stitches that appeared to be stuck myself.  Our medical deductible has almost been met.  Yes, that is $6k we are going to have to pay out of pocket.  We dont need anymore medical bills. I even cancelled Spencer’s last PT session because I think it was more of a formality than a necessity.  

Since this is the week for milestones–Spencer took the hint and started rolling over.  I bought him a travel tent/bed for our trip.  I knew we were going to be spending a fair amount of time at or in the pool.  So, I wanted to be sure he was comfy and in the shade.  One day while Elliott was swimming, Spencer was enjoying some tummy time in his tent.  Next thing you know he was on his side then on his back again.  And so it begins–his active journey.  Since he can now move about, we are also allowing him to sleep on his tummy.  He seems to enjoy sleeping both on his back and on his stomach.  Neither position elicit more sleep than the other though.  Boo. 


34 weeks and a Potty training update

34 week appointment this past Wednesday. It seems that all of a sudden all of the pregnancy symptoms have kicked into high gear. Backache-check. Exhaustion-check. Pelvic pressure-check. Hemorrhoids-check. Constipation(continued)- check. Heart Burn (so bad I cant sleep)-check. Restless Legs-check. Leg cramps-check. I do feel grateful that I have managed to keep these aches and pains at bay for so long. And they are only intermittent, and all things considered I really feel very good.  

After my Midwife appt. I actually felt relieved having voiced all of my concerns. It was as if what I really needed was for someone to hear my complaints. She offered some helpful suggestions–take Calcium/Magnesium for the RLS and take it easy for everything else.  

The baby was head down when she checked, and wants to wait until my 36 week appointment to confirm positioning. In spite of the evidence that he isn’t supposed to have much room in my uterus–he can still move around plenty and not without notice. Thursday he was hiccupping under my rib cage again. We spoke again about options since it is getting closer to my due date and Elliott came at 38.5 weeks.  

The options presented if he is still breech at 36/37 weeks are to schedule and perform a version (ECV) where they hook me up to an IV, and attempt to manually move him into head down position. I say attempt because occasionally babies don’t move. They can then place a support band around my tummy to ‘hold’ him in place until I deliver. Neither the ECV nor the band ensure he will not move again. If he moves again, they can perform the procedure again. Or I can wait.  I am most likely going to wait until I go into labor. If I present to L&D and he is still breech I will be having a C-section and if not, I will attempt a VBAC. The midwife seemed fine with this decision as she confirmed that babies can and do move from breech to head down up until labor. 

The potty training is hit or miss. Some days are great with few accidents and dry underwear for most of the day.  Other days (yesterday, for example) are accident after accident, fighting to get him on the potty, and frustration by all parties involved.  The successes are he will use public restrooms, isn’t afraid of the toilet flushing, and his aim is getting better.  He can also hold most of his pee all night long (8pm-6am).  The not so good parts are he is always wet after nap time, wont poop in the potty, and isn’t telling me all that often that he has to go pee. The other positive is that somehow potty training has improved our relationship in an awesome way.  I suspect the amount of one on one time we are spending together is having a positive influence on us both.  Plus, me being down on his level so much more, and all of the extra hugs and kisses and words of praise and encouragement.  Whatever it is—I am grateful for it.  

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.