Saturday, July 28, 2012

Potty Training

We're still letting Charlotte mostly take the lead when it comes to potty training.  I bought her some "big girl" underwear (the really thick, absorbent kind that's completely NOT waterproof), and she likes wearing it around the house.  I'm not brave enough to let her wear it out yet.  She spent a whole afternoon, from 3-7, in it without an accident while we asked her every 40 minutes if she needed to use the potty.  And when she said she did not need to, we insisted it was time for a potty break anyhow.  Today, we were checking out at a department store when she informed me that she needed to go, so we had our first encounter with a public restroom.  We rushed to the bathroom, which was as far from the register as it could be.  I had her straddle the seat, facing backwards, so there was no danger of falling in.  I also held on to her so we'd both feel safer.  And she did it.  I was so proud of her that I gushed all the way out of the store afterwards.  So far, that's the only reward we've offered, and it's all she seems to need.  She beams when we exclaim how wonderfully she's doing, and it's the first thing her Daddy asks about when he gets home from work each night.

My only complaint about Charlotte and the potty is that she takes FOREVER to go.  Even when we're getting ready to go swimming or to go some place she likes, she takes up to 30 minutes to finally believe she's finished.  And she GOES the whole time... little bits here and there.  We have to start the bedtime routine half an hour earlier now to accommodate nightly potty time, and getting out of the house on time is more challenging than ever.

My plan is, when we have three consecutive days without anything on the calendar, to put Charlotte in her big girl undies and just take potty breaks on a schedule the first day.  I'll remind her about the potty on the same schedule the second day, and on the third day I'll see what she does all by herself.  She's already stayed dry through a few naps in the past week, and she hasn't done a complete poop in her diaper in two weeks (half in the diaper, other half in the potty after she realizes that she needs to go).  We need to work on   her undressing by herself, too, but I'll worry about that later.

at five months

If I wait for the time to write a lengthy post, I'll be writing this when both girls are in college.  Instead, here are some highlights from Maggie's 5th month-
* She rolls over confidently and purposefully now, mostly from back to front, and is comfortable staying on her belly for extended periods of time.
* Preferred sleeping positions are on her side or on her tummy.  She only stays on her back when she's too tired to move after being placed in her crib.
* She has a sippy cup and LOVES drinking water from it.
* She's beginning to settle into a rhythm of 2 daily naps and sleeping overnight most nights from 7:30 until 5:30.  She sleeps through the night 3 or 4 nights in a row, then needs a "midnight" snack once or twice before returning to STTN-mode.
*  She enjoys rice cereal immensely- takes her fingers (two of  which are almost constantly in her mouth) out of her mouth to allow the spoon in and gums the heck out of the spoon to make sure she doesn't miss a drop.  The fingers go right back in as soon as the spoon exits so she ends up with cereal-covered fingers... all the better for sucking on later?
* She wears 9-month sleep-n-plays, and size 6-months in everything else.  Size 3 diapers fit perfectly.
* She eats 5 times a day, plus her cereal snack.
* She almost never protests bedtime.  And I mean very nearly never.  I don't even remember the last time she cried when I put her to bed.  She usually smiles at me when I sign "sleep" after laying her in her crib.
* When she wakes up, Maggie usually plays quietly with her feet or a bed-toy until someone notices that she's moving around.  She plays so quietly that the monitor stays off (it only turns on when she makes noise).
* She's still fascinated with anything Charlotte does- just can't take her eyes off her when she's in the same room.  Maggie will not nurse if Charlotte is around.
* Meals by bottle are up to 6-7 ounces at a time now.  My parents babysit when I work once a week, so that's when she gets a bottle.  I don't bother trying to give her a bottle myself any more.
* As long as she can see what we're doing, Maggie doesn't need or want to be held all the time.  She loves hanging out in the doorway jumper or exersaucer.  She tolerates the pack-n-play as long as Charlotte and I are playing on the floor beside it, but as soon as we wander out of her sight, she wants out.
* I can't tell you the last time Maggie cried.  It may have been when she got her 4-month shots at the pediatrician's office (a couple of weeks late because the power was out at her 4-mo appointment).
* Maggie is so curious about what's going on around her that she will not nurse in public.  If we're out and about, I have to take her to the car to get her to focus on eating.
* The dark hair she was born with has turned to a very light brown, almost blonde.  It still sticks up on the top of her head, but gravity is starting to tame it as it gets longer.
* Maggie loves splashing in the bath.  And sucking on her toes or a wet washcloth, whichever I let her grab.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A big day

Charlotte is suddenly very interested in potty training.  For the last few days, we've asked her every couple of hours if she'd like to go potty, and almost every time she's said "yes," and then successfully used her potty chair.  Hurray!  That's 3 fewer poopy diapers I've had to change in the last two days, plus many wet ones avoided.  I'm so proud of her.  We still haven't come up with any kind of reward or incentive, aside from our endless praise.  So far, that seems like enough for her.  So, today is a big day because Charlotte has used the potty 4 times already and it's only 4 in the afternoon...plenty of time to use it another few times and set a new personal record of more than 5 in one day.

Maggie is having a BIG day too!  She rolled over.  On purpose.  BOTH ways.  She rolled over kind of accidentally a week or so ago, but didn't repeat it until today (unless she's been doing it while I sleep, and returning to her back so I'd not find out).  I set her down on the floor to help Charlotte with her big day, and returned to find Maggie playing happily on her belly.  And just moments ago, I watched her roll over from back to front, play with a toy for a couple of minutes, then roll to her back to get at another toy that was dangling above her.  She doesn't even get an arm stuck under her chest.  It looks like she's been doing this rolling thing for a while, but as I wrote, I had not seen it happen intentionally before.

This mom thing is soooo much fun!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

teething? sharing. "swimming." parade. smile!

the fourth. And the third.

Happy to report that both girls slept through all of the amateur fireworks displays that went on in our neighborhood, including some incredibly loud BOOMs that literally shook the house.

I love sleep (posted at 12:30am, when I should be sleeping.  Why am I not?  I have no idea...)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Memorable moments

Charlotte packed up her pink plastic Halloween pumpkin with a tiara, some blocks, and some bracelets today.  She put it on her arm like a purse, marched toward the door, and announced, "I'm ready for the pah-tee ("party," in Massachusetts-speak) now.  I'm going to the pah-tee.  I'm getting married at the pah-tee!"   [I have lived in New England on and off for 34 years, but I learned to speak in Georgia.  I have neither a southern nor a Massachusetts accent.  I have not lost my R's.  In spite of spending most of her time with me, Charlotte seems to have picked up her father's accent.  Wierd, huh?]  [And MARRIED????!? Where did she get that idea?]

Charlotte likes to sit on the couch, turn on my pump, and put the adapter cap against her chest.  She sees me pump and wants to make bottles of milk for her babies, too.  She has also offered her bare chest to her dolls and to Maggie.

Our latest assortment of books from the library includes "Angelina Ballerina."  Charlotte loves it.  She asked me what a plie, an arabesque, and a curtsy are.  I showed her and now she insists on practicing her ballet before bed each night.  I took ballet lessons until I was 8 or 9 years old, so I think I showed her the correct moves.

Charlotte can say (and use) some pretty complicated words quite well, like arabesque and stethoscope.  She also seems to have learned the correct use of the words "I" and "me."   As a grammar-snob, this makes me very very proud and happy.

There are at least 10 "friends," one pillow, and four blankets in Charlotte's bed.  When she wakes up from a nap or in the morning, she likes to toss them all on the floor to make room for jumping and hopping in her crib.  Before she'll lie down to go to sleep, each item must be properly placed in its own special spot.  It's a great stall-tactic at bedtime.

At the end of her bath tonight, Charlotte announced that she was finished and that she needed to sit on her new potty (I thought she'd be more likely to use it if she picked it out).  She pooped (hurray!), then looked at it and said, "I made a pine cone."

Charlotte doesn't want to wear anything identical to what Maggie's wearing, but she frequently insists that they both wear the same color.

Maggie reached out and held Charlotte's hand today when the three of us were watching the Backyardigans on TV.  Charlotte wasn't in the mood for hand-holding, but tolerated it for a minute or two.  (I'm really enjoying the music and dancing on that show and can't get the theme song out of my head.)

I showed Charlotte "European kisses" last week (three kisses on alternating cheeks).  Now, she asks for "my'pean" kisses.  Get it?  "Your-pean."  "My-pean."  I love it when she makes logical leaps like that.

Maggie is completely entranced with Charlotte and contorts herself if need be to get a view of her.  Charlotte still asks to hold Maggie almost every day, and now she really wants to HOLD her, not have Maggie propped up beside her.

Maggie is sleeping through the night (from before 8 until after 4) about 80% of the time now.

I had steroid injections in both thumbs last week to address my trigger finger problems.  The injections were extremely uncomfortable, and my thumbs were in a LOT of pain for about 24 hours afterwards, but by day three I was able to straighten both thumbs painlessly.  One still clicks a little, but the doctor said it could take 3-4 weeks for the injections to fully take effect.

Charlotte loves Thomas the Tank Engine, so we went to a local touristy train-to-nowhere to see him this week.  The excitement on the faces of all the 2-5 year-olds as Thomas pulled into the station was priceless.

Laid-back Maggie, enjoying her playmat solo because Charlotte was napping.