Friday, June 22, 2012

Sweet Sweet Baby

Sweet Audrey. You are so precious and so easy. You are such a joy to have around and I just never want to put you down! When you are awake I am either feeding you, snuggling you or carrying you around. I keep meaning to give you some floor time to work those muscles but that would mean I would have to put you down. 

Last night you went your longest stretch yet, 10.5 hours straight. Your momma THANKS you for that. You've been consistently going between 7-9 hours the past couple of weeks but you are inching closer and closer to that beautiful 12 hour/night sleep. I do enjoy getting up to feed you in the night because it is only once and it is so quiet...just you and me in your dark room...the only feed of the day that is like that. Part of me will miss it when it's gone completely. 

Somewhere in the last week or two I've noticed you are a baby now, no longer an infant. You engage with us the whole time your awake. You coo and play with toys. The drool has begun, but not all the time. You have found your hands and chew on them just for fun. I love this age. You are so easy and so fun and I could smell your sweet smell forever!

I wish I could find a baby picture of me, most were lost in the fire, but I know my mom has one or two that were salvaged. I remember seeing one that looks IDENTICAL to this one below. Same facial expression and everything.

P.S. Your brother and sister are still obsessed with you. How could they not be?!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All aboard the Potty Train

The past week we've all been on Madison's "Potty Train" and boy has she taken us for a ride! Hunter kept asking all week. Mommy "is Madison done with the Potty Train yet?" He has been ready to return to normal life. Well, yesterday... Day 8 WE FINALLY DID!

Oh where to begin.... Madison, sweet Madison. You are sooooo 2. :)

We tried with her a few months ago before Audrey was born and she did so AWESOME but we had to stop in the middle of it because she developed a UTI. Her pediatrician suggested holding off so she could get over the infection and to start again later...then Audrey was born.

Two things that I think we had going against us this go round.

1. She had entered the "I do IT" stage. Somewhere in the last 2 months, probably when Audrey was born, she decided she is doing everything herself IN HER OWN TIME. This made potty training the most frustrating because she conceptualized very early on what she needed to do but flat out refused to do it if it was anyone's idea but her own. After all she knows best!

2. The second factor that made this difficult was... a nursing infant. Especially the day she had a growth spurt and wanted to nurse all day. Audrey is so sweet and SO LOW MAINTENANCE so I hate put some of the blame on her but the fact is she needs to eat every 2-3 hours and it takes mommy away for a bit. I nurse on the go all the time walking around, fixing lunches, putting down for naps, wiping bottoms etc. BUT it is just not possible to run over and grab a 2 year old child mid accident and run them to the potty 538 times while trying to nurse all day.

We decided to go a different route this time around, than we did with Hunter. We did the timer technique with Hunter which obviously worked, but had it's downfalls as well (as I'm sure every technique does). This time around we did the 3 day potty training technique. I really like it and feel like it is faster in terms of them learning their own signs as opposed to someone telling them "it's time to go potty" every 20 minutes. This way focuses on pushing fluids and basically sitting back and waiting for them to have an accident and rushing them in to the potty to show them where they should put their tee tee. It's more child led, and is 100% positive, no sitting on the potty unless you actually need to go. Her theory is this way the potty isn't looked at as a punishment that they have to leave playing every 20 minutes and be forced to sit on the potty wether they have to go or not. There is TONS of praise and encouragement during the training. Also, bonus, she is available for help and questions via email...that part is WELL worth it.

Day 1 Jordan was out of town so I was suppose to be home with all 3 alone to do this. I knew day 1 was the worst in terms of accidents. Part of this technique is you must catch EVERY accident IN THE ACT so you can rush them to the potty for a learning opportunity. SO I sent Hunter with Jordan and called our friend Sara who has kept our kids a ton and is so good with them. I thought for day 1 with a nursing infant it would be best to have an extra set of hands. Oh my was I right....Maddie took us BOTH for a ride that day.

"Maddie keep your panties dry. Be sure to let us know when you need to go potty! Maddie are you dry? We put our tee tee in the potty" repeated 5,837 times.

Day 1 She had 13 learning opportunities :) some of which actually made it in the potty (or part of it).

Audrey also started a growth spurt the night before we started this and was up every 3 hours to eat (which is not normal for her). I was getting over a cold and up all night coughing and feeding her and then she ate every 2 hours day 1 as well so I started day 1 already in the hole energy wise. I was SO THANKFUL for Sara at this point. Had Sara not come I would have thrown in the towel by 9am. It is just NOT physically possible to do day 1 with a fussy nursing infant eating every 2 hours and a 2 yo having accidents every 20-30 minutes ALL DAY LONG. Seriously I could not believe how difficult this juggle was. Sara was my saving grace. Thankfully she offered to come back and help the next day and was with me the first 4 days to help with the juggle of all the kids. Sara deserves her own post...she was a saint. So encouraging to me. I mean this isn't her offspring and she willingly offered to be here to be peed on for 4 straight days by a 2 year old haha. I told her she needs to do this as a side job. She is one of those that has been blessed with A LOT of patience.

Day 2 was much better. Maddie woke up dry on day 2 which I could not BELIEVE...12 hours through the night bone dry (this technique does day and night training all at once). The moment she woke she started the holding and dancing and was much more aware of the fact that she was wearing undies so she couldn't just go whenever wherever she wanted. She still had a few partial accidents but it wasn't until after her nap, when she needed to go #2, that it went downhill. She decided she was done! She was NOT going to go to the bathroom PERIOD!

Not in the potty, not in her undies she's done...HAHA!! I hate to break it to ya sista but it must come out somehow! End of day 2 was emotionally exhausting for her and us...5:45 bedtime..yes please!

Day 3 She woke up dry again....and we continue the holding pattern. She will NOT be eliminating she thought.  At this point the tears are flowing, tears of urine I am certain because she had so much fluid in her that she wasn't letting out. I mean it had to come out some how! I wasn't as concerned about accidents at this point because she KNEW how to hold it and she was not going to mess her undies. At this point she had gone so long without going (12 hours thru the night) and 2 hours of dancing and crying that morning because she had to go so bad but wouldn't, that I finally started a bath and put her feet in it...insert the tee tee downpour. I swept her up and put her on the potty...ah Score 1 point for mommy :)

Day 3 nap was an all time low. She needed to go #2 but refused. She was exhausted so I put her down for her nap and 45 min into it she woke crying POOP! I ran up there and yeah. All time parenting low right there. Poop EVERYWHERE. Icky ewwwy gewy nasty poop all over her and her bed. She was FREAKED about that. This made a lasting impression on her :) good learning experience.

Day 4-Day 7 all run together. She was basically just stubborn. She would go in the potty but she was ONLY going when SHE said it was time...and she would endure 2 hours of pain dancing and crying before she just flat out could not hold it anymore and then after 37 false alarm trips to the potty she would finally go. After she would go potty life could return to normal (meaning I wasn't watching her like a hawk repeating the phrases over and over again). We got out of the house a few times during these days and she stayed dry. We had friends over to swim (although Maddie didn't get to because she was holding her poop that morning and I was NOT going to let her in the pool like that!) She is REALLY GOOD at staying dry during these days....but still REFUSING to go potty until it's almost too late. I was pretty weary at this point. I was tired of the high maintenance emotional drama that would occur for 2 hours prior to actually pottying. I emailed the PT guru and she suggested we take a break for 30 days. She thought my divided attention between all 3 kids was the contributing factor...that Madison was OVER-holding because she knew she could get lots of attention in the build up before pottying...which is true. She wanted to be held and snuggled while she was in pain which meant I was focused on her 100% and not tending to the other kids.

Despite her suggestion to take a break, I decided to push through. For one I didn't want to throw away the last week of work we had done only to start over again later. I knew she KNEW where to potty and how to potty we were just having a battle of the wills on WHEN to potty. I felt like giving in would teach her that if she pushed hard enough mommy would eventually cave. I stayed positive and encouraging and finally on day 8 she woke up yelling POOP again from her nap. I ran upstairs just SURE I would find my nightmare again and much to my surprise she was clean! (Lesson learned from last time :) She was sitting up holding her stomach and rocking. I ran her to the potty and she went immediately! Lots and lots of praise and treats and she's been going ever since WHEN SHE NEEDS TO GO. No more holding, no more false alarms all day long, no more HIGH MAINTENANCE! Thank YOU LORD! We have arrived. She's done great ever since.

Side note: I also decided to night train Hunter at the same time and he wakes up dry every morning now too. So now we only have ONE kid in diapers! Hallelujah!

As I am writing this post the kids are playing nicely in the playroom. I over hear the following conversation.

Hunter: Maddie are you dry?
Maddie: Yeah!
Hunter: Do you need to go potty?
Maddie: Yeah, Potty time!
Hunter: okay well make sure to wash your hands
Maddie: OKAY!
Maddie: All done!
Hunter: Good job Maddie now let's go get you an M&M

Music to my ears!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

2 months old!

Precious baby girl I cannot get enough of you! I want to savor and soak up every moment with you. You are so sweet and so cuddly and you just smell so good :) You are such a good baby. You sleep well and eat well and enjoy watching your siblings play around you. You love to be sitting up especially after you eat. You would stay awake for a LONG time if I let you sit up where you can watch your brother and sister play. You find them very entertaining and interesting. You have such a sweet personality. Lately you have been cooing (started at around 6 weeks) and sometimes it's as if you are kind of laughing at us or smirking. You love to make eye contact and will usually give a big gummy grin especially if we make noises at you. 

We moved you to your crib this week (right at 8 weeks) and you have done really well. I get up only once with you at night around 3:45-4:00am you usually seem pretty hungry at first but then about 5 minutes into it you fall back asleep and sleep till 7:30am. You go to bed at 7:00pm (same time as your brother and sister) and I wake you up at 10pm, before I go to bed, to top you off. We all sleep a little better, you included, with you in your own room. During the day you stay awake for about an hour at a time before you are ready for a nap. You go down so easily without any fussing and put yourself to sleep in your crib (with a paci). Although at night you always fall asleep eating before bed. You sleep about 6-7 hours straight in the night pretty regularly and take 3 naps a day with your big 3-4 hour nap being right when Hunter and Madison nap 12:00pm-3/4:00pm.  I sometimes let you nap on my bed especially if I am going to take a nap, just because I like the company and enjoy hearing you breathe and watching you sleep. 

You love to be on your tummy. You sleep on your tummy most of the time but also sleep on your side pretty well. You do not enjoy being at a recline or on your back at all, only because of the reflux. Your favorite way to be is sitting up, on your tummy or in the baby carrier upright. You are not a fan of the car seat because of the recline especially after you eat. You do well in the car seat an hour or 2 after a meal but you don't sleep as well in there as you do in your bed.

 You are engaging so much more with us the past 4 weeks. You have started mimicking what we do. We smile, you smile, we stick out our tongue you do it back.

 You spend a lot of time outside in the shade watching your siblings swim and play in the sand box. You seem to like being outside, you look around and have such a peaceful look on your face...just taking it all in.
 Every night you fall asleep nursing before bed. Sometimes I just don't want to put you down. I love soaking up the snuggles and smelling your sweet smell.

We love you so much and are so thankful that God gave us YOU!