Monday, May 30, 2011

Mundane Monday

Memorial Day! Ryan was home with us all day. Gotta love that. We headed to the zoo first thing. When I asked Nola what animals she wanted to see at the zoo the first one she said was, "Tapir." Her love for Diego has been renewed lately so that must be why she had such a random animal on the brain.

Were we crazy? The zoo on Memorial Day? Well, a little bit. But we got there early and sort of beat the crowds. Grandma Nita and Papa Tom came too. That made it special for Nola. Ry and I were going to ride Skyfari for the first time, but it was closed! We think it was because it was so windy. Everybody went through the aquarium while I went to nurse Violet. As I sat down at a table in the shade I discovered I'd forgotten my cover. (By the way, I just found out it is now legal in Nebraska to breastfeed in public. Ummmm...send me to jail about a million times over. Did not realize it was illegal. Still, you won't catch me whipping Violet's lunch out for all to see next time I'm out. Covering up is still my preference.) So off I went to the bathroom to nurse. Standing up. In the corner. Not fun. I started out in the handicapped stall since I had the stroller with me. Then I overheard someone say, "Well, I'm going to need the big one." So I thought I'd better not hog the handicapped stall from the actually handicapped people. Out I came. I don't think anyone even really noticed what I was doing. I think they thought she was sleeping.

After seeing the cats, we left the zoo and went to Mai Tai for lunch. It's a Thai restaurant. I thought Nola would be a fan of pad thai. It's noodles! She tried it. But after a few bites she turned to me and said, "Mommy, I want some french fries." Little honey.

We came home for naps. Even I fell asleep on the couch. After everybody woke up, we had some leftovers for supper and headed to a party for our friend Britney who just graduated from College. Nola was happy to see a table full of cakes and desserts. She chose white cake with white frosting and sprinkles. She even told Britney "congratulations" to earn her cake.

We had to run to Wal Mart to get dog food and breakfast. I also grabbed a white hat while we were there. It looks quite stylish if I do say so myself. But don't be fooled. If you ever see me in it, it's because I didn't wash my hair. It's not because I was in the mood to accessorize.

This picture was taken Sunday afternoon after naps. That little blanket Nola's holding is "Boolah".

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Potty Post Full of Too Much Information

Violet is 6 months old now. I have been taking her potty since she was around two weeks old. I just thought, "Why not?" I knew I wanted to do elimination communication with her the same as I did with Nola. I started Nola around 7 months, but thought I'd dive in with Violet from the get go. I was amazed at how quickly Violet caught on.

Here's the thing. Little babies pee a lot. A lot, as in, probably every ten or fifteen minutes. They've got some tiny bladders. This translates into a lot of opportunities for success on the potty. Violet pees pretty much every time the potty is offered. Most often, this is right after she wakes from a nap or right after I nurse her. Every once in a while I take her between those times, and it's more hit and miss.

She also poops in the potty. She went almost two months using the potty exclusively for pooping. It was around 4 and 5 months of age. So, I guess I would say that around 4 months she really caught on and was effectively controlling when she eliminated her bowels. (This is such a gross post.) It was around the same time that I stopped drinking milk. I still eat dairy products, but we buy almond milk for the whole family now. This diet change really affected her and she was only pooping about once a week. (My pediatrician says this is fine.) But it was still going in the potty!

We did a lot of traveling recently and she still seemed to have some serious control over her bowels. But then I started feeding her solid food. This threw off her groove. For about a week, she pooped two or three times a day it seemed like, usually in her diaper. I thought, "Oh man! Why am I even doing this? She doesn't know what she's doing. This is craziness." But then she figured it out. I guess the change in her poop threw her off and she wasn't sure how to control it or how to get it out. I don't know. But she's on top of it now. Well, her last poopy diaper was Sunday and today is only Wednesday, I realize. But she's been going just as frequently but putting it in the potty every time.

I think starting earlier is paying off. Nola was around 9 months when she started pooping in the potty successfully, 75% of the time. Poopy diapers have become rare enough already for Violet that it feels kind of weird when I have to change one. And we really don't spend our whole day in the bathroom, I promise. It probably takes me less time to hold her on the potty and let her poop, than it would to clean her up after a poopy diaper. I don't sit there all day waiting for action. She either goes or she doesn't. And then we move on with our lives.

I feel much less obsessed with this process this time around. I'm not gonna lie. I was a little crazy about it the first time. This time I'm so much more relaxed, and yet, look how successful Violet is with it! I guess I could have chilled a little last time. Sorry, Nola.

I can't wait until she is doing so well that I have an excuse to buy cute, teeny tiny cloth training pants. Don't tell Ryan.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mundane Monday

This Monday started out most beautifully. It began with breakfast at Cracker Barrel WITH MY SISTERS! Oh the sheer joy of sitting at the same table with my favorite people in the whole wide world. The only thing better would have been if my mom had been sitting there, too. (Of course, Ryan would have made the table complete for me. But he also would've been stabbing himself in the eye with his fork while sitting there listening to us women jabber.)

My sisters were in town for the engagement party for some very good friends on Sunday night. (All the happiness in the world to Kate and Drew! Although it appears there may not be any more happiness to wish them. They were overflowing that night!) Felic and Seren brought Jake and Macy. Ryan was a doll and watched all the kids so we could go out for dinner beforehand. As we got seated at Red Robin we whipped out our mile long lists of things-to-talk-to-my-sisters-about. There is never enough time at dinner to complete those lists, people. Never. Enough. Time. Later that night we headed to downtown Omaha for the party. It was fun to see us walking to Old Chicago. The three Nickerson sisters with their matching mini people in hand. (Ry took Violet in his car. I had to ride with my sisters. Going downtown is an entire half an hour of conversation I refused to miss!) We took this picture at the party. Nola was busy hunting down deer in the arcade and shooting them with the bright orange shotgun that was as big as she was.

Anyway, that brings us back to Monday's breakfast with sisters. Being with them reminds me how happy I am that Nola and Violet have each other. Sisterhood is such a gift. Alas, we did have to say goodbye. Nola did not want Jakey to leave. And she was disappointed she hadn't seen Macy's bag of animals sooner! We have a classy picture of Jake and Macy smiling nicely at the camera while Nola sits between them staring at the toys in her hands. Violet gave her aunts smiles now and then, but she was mostly sleeping while they were here.

After our goodbye we went home. It was a beautiful day and I got all ambitious and trimmed the tree in our front yard. (This is probably because Felic casually mentioned that it needed done. And I worship her.) It was hard work but it looks so nice. Ryan is annoyed that we now have a pile of limbs in our back yard. TREE limbs. Tree limbs. I promised I would take care of them.

Nolie followed me around in the yard with her rain boots on. We had a lot of "STAY OUT OF THE STREET!" practice. And also some, "It is not safe for you to play in the car." And a little, "Nolie, put down the hand saw." I'm not sure why she insists on sitting on the patch of grass between the sidewalk and the street. What's wrong with the grass in the shade IN OUR YARD?

Saint got out while we worked. He tore at the fence and dug enough of a hole to wiggle out of there. Yay! Nola told me, "I'll go get 'eem" as she ran after him. I told her he'd come back on his own. Violet was asleep inside so we couldn't leave. He did come back because he got hot and needed to take a dip in Nolie's pool in the back. I grabbed him and locked him up downstairs.

We ate some cold pizza for lunch. Then we all took a nap. Violet was still sleeping when we laid down, but she got up about an hour later. I nursed her and took her outside for some fresh air herself. We played in the front yard until Ryan pulled the Jeep into the driveway. You should see the smile on Violet's face when she sees her dad. *Sigh* Heart melting.

The day kind of went down hill from there. It was just one of those nights where having small children was a hard job. They were lovely little girls, but they were needy. We survived through supper and a bath, and an episode of Diego. Then the girls went to bed, and Ryan and I tucked ourselves into the tv room for a movie.

And that's that. Mundane Monday memories in a very large nut shell.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mundane Mondays

We are driving home from visiting Ryan's grandma in Kansas. Papa is driving. Aunt E and Grandma are with us, too. Both baby girls are sleeping beside me in the back seat of the minivan. We stopped at Subway for lunch. I nursed Violet while chowing down a chicken salad sandwich.

Before Nola fell asleep she said, "I still need to drop a duece, Mommy." Thank you, Ryan, for teaching her that incredibly lady like phrase. I told her she had to wait. While we are on the topic, Violet broke her streak of only using the toilet for her solid waste and we ended up changing a poopy diaper this morning. Travel messes with the best of us. (Aren't my girls going to love me for writing this?)

Nola was excited to see a few buffaloes near Grandma Norma's house. She pronounced it "BUCKaloes". I bought her a toddler cot to use on this trip and she loved it. We put a foam topper on it for a little extra comfort. She took a nap and slept both nights in it without a fuss.

As is her usual style, Violet gave lots of great smiles. When she made the rounds for goodnight kisses last night, she gave everyone this low little growl accompanied by her happy, smiling face. It's like she's talking to us. So cute. She also enjoyed her beginning baby foods. Squash, sweet potatoes, applesauce, pears. She eats about a tablespoon in the morning and a tablespoon at night. She wasn't a fan of rice cereal so I just skipped it. Yeah, I break the mom rules like that. Such a rebel.

Home will be a welcome sight. Nobody rob us before we get there. Our dog Saint will eat you alive.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How'd that work out for 'ya?

Nola is 30 months old. What? Nola is 2 1/2. That's better. Once I get past 18 months, I'm lost. Since Nola has recently come to a new level of independence with her potty needs (She is officially diaper free. Nights, nap times, everything.) I thought I should share how I feel about elimination communication after the fact.

I wish I'd never done it.

HAHAHAHA! Just kidding. Read on for the truth. :)

At the beginning of this process I told a friend, "If she's not potty trained earlier than most babies, this might not be worth it." Well... she wasn't. She was using the potty well before most babies her age, but she wasn't completely potty trained before the average time. I disappointed? Surprisingly no.

While it would have been nice to have a one year old who could hold her pee for two hours, elimination communication is most definitely one of those it's-the-journey-not-the-destination things. You do reap rewards in the process, though. I washed less diapers every day, little by little. From seven months old on, she rarely sat in her own poop. I'm pretty proud of that. And it was awesome to not have to wash poop out of her diapers for two years. Major motivation there. And it was just so satisfying to meet that basic need for Nola. The same way you feel all happy after your baby is nice and full from a bottle, I would feel all happy when I was able to get her to a toilet to do her business. I think this would work for everyone? Maybe.

I definitely think every mom and every baby is capable of this process. I'm not a baby potty whisperer. I just consistently offer my babies the potty, and it's like they know. And despite what my mother-in-law would say, I don't think it's because my girls are geniuses. However, having worked in daycare before, I don't know that it would be possible for your baby's caregiver to do this all day. But I do think you could try pottying only at home. With consistency, I think a baby could catch on to a routine of using a toilet at home and a diaper at daycare. Yes, I'm serious.

So, after all is said and done...I loved elimination communication so much that I'm doing it again with Sweet Baby Violet! Stay tuned for news on how that's going. I'll give you a hint: I've only washed one poopy diaper in the past six weeks. And, no, she's not crazily constipated.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mundane Mondays Catchup

I missed a few weeks of Mundane Mondays! I'm bummed because I recently read through a couple of those and was so glad I had written them. Not for you, sorry. It's a self indulgent post, really. Someday I will be so happy to read over those mundane little details. And I think the girls will like reading them in the future as well. I'm going to try and include details of technology we use that they will find archaic. And I'm sure the way I mother will be funny to them, as well. You did what?! I once read a little booklet that my husband's grandmother received when his dad was born. It was crazy some of the things they say to do or not to do.

So here's a highlight of our past few Mondays...

The Monday before Easter we were at my mom and dad's to spend a week with them. We drove down after church the day before. The night we got to their house, Nola walked in and pointed at all the elk statues and then the elephant statues. Then she paused, looked at my mom and said, "Where's your baby camel?" So Grandma and Grandpa immediately jumped in the truck and took her to see the camels and the zebras.

The Monday after Easter we drove home. Stopped at Chik-Fil-A in St. Joe for some delicious waffle fries and sweet tea. (That's what I go for, anyway.) Nola liked playing in the kid's area where they have a race car way up high you can crawl into.

The most recent Monday was just four days ago, and I can't seem to remember it for the life of me. Ryan and I spent the weekend in Mankato, MN spending some time with the worship team that some friends of ours lead. Violet went with us, and Nola spent the weekend with Ry's parents. We were all pretty wiped out on Monday. Hence the blockage of memories.

So, there. That's better than nothing! I love having these memories written down. Mundane matters.