Potty Training PT 4

Blog Writing Fail… I started and apparently never finished this post… so let me do that now.

All last week I sent Colt to school “commado” as recommended in Oh Crap! Potty Training. He wore pants with elastic around the ankles in case of any accidents. I was super nervous dropping him off the first day, but his Teacher seemed positive and supportive. It wasn’t great. Even though they were regularly taking him to the potty, he was still having accidents. And I think only once or twice actually used the potty.

Unfortunately, I think one of the biggest problems was that his classroom has a near full size potty. I know he will eventually get used to it. But I was surprised considering that the one classroom below him has an appropriate size toilet, but they don’t focus on training. I hope that down the line, the new management (who happens to have a son Colt’s age) will change out the toilet.

Anyway, at home Colt was having about a 50% success rate. He was still having accidents but would occasionally make it to the potty. You could tell he was still holding it and wasn’t communicating until right at the last second. We still stayed focused, even though I thought about quitting.

So that was back in August… 

Colt has been diaper free during waking hours since the first week of August. Shortly after that, we stopped putting diapers on him at night and during naps at home, and he was doing so good, that when daycare ran out of diapers we just called it done. I would still say we have a 75% potty trained kid.

Colt is pretty gosh darn good about going number 1. He let’s us know when he has to go, most of the time, but he still needs a bit of prodding now and again. I attribute this to him just getting too focused on what he’s doing to want to stop. So we do still have moments where he’ll start leaking a bit before he’ll cave and go. He’s even pretty good about going in public. In fact some days I have to tell him that we are not going to the potty for the 3rd time while we are out. I am hoping that doesn’t come back to bite me, so far so good, knock on wood. 

The only issue we really have is with going number 2. Colt dislikes going poop… it seems, in general. I understand that is a thing that some kids go through. It pains me to hear his little tummy grumble, to smell his little farts, to see the look of panic on his face when he squats down to play with something or sit on a chair. Once we get him to go, he’s fine. But he holds it for so long some times. We’ve cut out bananas and cheese at the house, and upped the amount of applesauce he can have until he gets more comfortable going. He gets rewarded with M&Ms. I know he will get it soon.

But otherwise, Colt really is doing well with the potty training. He goes longer and longer without an accident.

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Potty Training PT 3

When I last wrote about potty training we had put up a sticker chart and were on our way to earning a toy tractor. It took just more than a week but he got his tractor. Going with that success, we started another chart, this one ending with a new book. And admittedly, we didn’t do as great. Colt was not going consistently in the mornings, and during school was hit and miss. With our vacation to Boston coming up, I decided to slow down again. 

Once we were back, and knowing Colt was creeping up on 2.5 years old, I went back to a post I had read on Lucie’s List. I had remembered that she recommended a book and I went looking for it on my Kindle app. Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki is a hilarious read that really does break down potty training into simple blocks. 

I started reading the book during one of Colt’s naps and I am glad I did. A few things that I had thought I was doing “right” wasn’t harmful, but wasn’t helpful either. Thankfully, Jamie has a chapter on starting over. I set a date, and started clearing my mind and trying to get any insecurities gone. I had to go into this with patience, understanding, and positivity. 

Today (Saturday), Mike and I got started. We picked up the rug, conveniently ran out of diapers, and encouraged Colt to be butt naked. It started a little rough, it was a cool morning and Colt really wanted pants, but after a while we were playing trucks on the living room floor without issue. 

We had a pretty good morning. Colt started to pee-pee on the floor twice, and both times we were able to get him to finish on the potty. Dada rewarded him with M&Ms. He ate a pretty decent breakfast too, (which was an added bonus). Around 11 he asked for a snack that started to become lunch but after a few bites, he asked to take a nap. I put a pull-up on him and he dozed off pretty quick. 

When Colt woke up, I rushed into his room, maybe too quickly, hoping to get him on the potty before wetting his diaper. Unfortunately, that just lead to a cranky kid who had already gone pee. Oh well. I decided to go outside for a little while, so Colt put on his sandals and we brought his potty out back. We had a popsicle and blew some bubbles but he wasn’t too excited about it so we went back inside. 

It was very obvious that Colt needed to poop, but he did not want to sit on the potty to do so. He was farting pretty bad and every once in a while after he’d been squatting down to play with his trucks, he’d hop up and sit on the potty or jump in my lap. Mike’s mom stopped by for a few minutes, but he was still not going to go. I tried to let him have his privacy, but he’d come running after me. He finally told me one of the times that he was scared. 

I let Colt watch The Minions Movie for a while, hoping that would relax him enough to go. Unfortunately, it didn’t. And after, while Mike was making dinner, he had a pee-pee accident, and when I turned my back to clean it up, he had a second. Just another reminder why it is easier with two people. 

During dinner, Colt was uncomfortable in his booster seat and finally I was able to get him onto the potty where he finally went poop. Yes, you stop eating shrimp and scallops,  no matter how good they are,  for that. We were all kinds of excited and happy and Colt was super interested in his poop. He was a big boy who dumped it in the toilet and flushed it. Mike let him have an ice-cream sandwich, and he still ate all of his hotdog. 

Colt had asked earlier in the day if he could go to grandma’s and feed her dogs biscuits, and I had told him we could if he went poop in the potty. So once dinner was done, I slipped some pants on him and we drove over real quick. I didn’t want to be away from a potty for too long. He enjoyed the little outing and stayed dry the whole time. Once we were back home, I took his pants back off. I wanted to get one more pee in before putting him back in a pull-up, jammies, and bed. It took a bit of time, but we succeeded. 

I reflected on the day to both my mom and Mike after Colt had gone to bed. Both agreed that it had been a successful day and that we did pretty good. I was pretty exhausted. It’s definitely a strain on my patience, but mainly because we’re also dealing with a toddler that wants to jump on the couch as well. 

Sunday, we got up around 7. I told Colt first thing we had to do was sit on the potty. He was pretty resistant at first but Mike brought him a smoothie and a Nutragrain bar and he settled down. After he finished, we went to the living room and had a juice box while we watched Sesame Street. Mike made breakfast again a little while later, and Colt had still not peed. I knew it would be coming soon. 

Colt didn’t eat much for breakfast, and I was starting to wonder if he needed to poop again. We were playing with trucks in the living room when he had his first accident. I got him on the potty while Mike cleaned up the puddle. Colt asked for M&Ms, but we told him that was only for when he didn’t have an accident first. He seemed OK with that. 

A little while later Colt was starting to do his poop routine from the day before. Of course the few times he rushed to the potty, he didn’t go. He had another pee-pee accident, at least this time we got him on the potty in time for him to finish. I was starting to think I was missing his queues, and was getting a bit upset with myself. But I was good not to show it, and promised myself to pay more attention. 

Mike had to leave to go to a quick side job. I didn’t really want him to go. But knew I had to knuckle down and just focus on Colt. He was running up and down the hallway when he came barreling into the room yelling, “I pooping, Mama!”. He sat down on the potty and I held his hands and he pooped right away. We took the bowl into the bathroom, flushed the poop and I rewarded him with some M&Ms. 

Before lunch, we had one more near miss accidents. We got half the pee-pee in the potty, but we had made quite the mess getting there. Even with the potty within reach it is almost always facing the wrong direction. Colt helped me clean up and then we watched some Chuggington until it was lunch time. He ate pretty well this time, and I told him he was to use the potty when he was done and then he’d take a nap. I read him a book while he sat, and he went pee-pee in the potty! We cleaned up and put a nap time pull-up on and I tucked him in bed. 

Colt woke up from nap with a slightly wet diaper, sorry, pull-up. According to Jamie’s book, we don’t need to be concerned about if he’s dry or not after waking as it’s more important to focus on the day hours, unless we were going to also attempt night training. I considered it at first but decided against it since we also have daycare to contend with. We headed back out to the living room and played. This time I was really watching his face intently. 

We waited. I watched. Minutes turned into hours. I offered Colt a cup of water. And still nothing. I double downed and gave him a juice box. I think it was a good 3 hours before he finally broke the seal. And then we had two accidents where we caught him quickly and got him on the potty, but then he didn’t finish before insisting he was done. Of course, then we started dealing with the over energized toddler who hadn’t gone outside today. We finally got him to sit down on the potty and he finished emptying his bladder. 

After dinner, Colt was again running around the house and challenging authority by jumping on the couch. Mike finally had enough and sent him to his room for a time out. I snuck in behind him and left his potty with him and told him to use it if he had to go. After a minute I decided to check on him as he was being pretty quiet, and low and behold Colt was sitting on the potty! “Are you going potty buddy?” “Yeah” he said as I came around in front of him. He pooped! Without saying a word, he sat on the potty and pooped! I made a huge deal about it and Mike came into the room. Many high-fives were given. He proudly took his poop to the bathroom to flush. Mike gave him some M&Ms and took him outside for a “tractor” ride. 

I have to say we had a really successful second day. I don’t think it will be an instant end to diapers. And I know that we have plenty of accidents to come. Not to mention, we need to work with daycare who seems really relaxed about it. Colt will be out of school and home with me again tomorrow for one more day to practice. I’m really proud of my big boy. 

Adventures of Colt: Boston Edition  

On Thursday, June 22nd, Colt and I, along with my mother and sister, Jerrica, headed to Boston to visit my aunts. It was Colt’s first plane ride, along with his first extended trip away from home. I really wish that Mike could have joined us, but it was important that we took this trip sooner rather than later. 

Colt was very good at the airport, and on the plane. He had been excited to go “up there!”. Only after we got off the plane did he fuss much, and that was mainly his independent side not wanting to hold anyone’s hand. But that was short-lived thanks to our flight attendant offering him a Boston Cream donut. The car ride back to Barb and Eileen’s was long due to traffic. 

Once we arrived at the house, Colt was able to stretch his legs and burn some energy in Barb’s daycare play yard. We picked up Italian food for dinner, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much Colt ate, but then again, we only had a chance to snack at the airport, rather than the lunch I had hoped for. 

Friday morning, Barb’s daycare kids were dropped off and we promptly got them all ready for a field trip downtown to the New England Aquarium. Five adults each holding the hand of one of the five kids under 3 years old, we walked a short distance to the bus stop. The kids had a blast singing and looking at all the other vehicles. From there we hopped on the Orange Line. “Choo choo!” They were all excited to ride a train, especially in the tunnels! We counted down the 12 stops until State Street and emerged from underground at historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace. From there we could see the ocean in the distance. We made our way down the busy streets to the aquarium. 

The New England Aquarium is one of my favorites as it is designed with a large cylindrical tank in the center that houses all kinds of sealife. Around the edges are other various tanks. And they even have penguins and sealions. It was quite busy, but we let the kids see a bit before stopping for lunch. You would think I hadn’t fed Colt that morning. Of course, it’s not the greatest food health wise, but he ate french fries, pizza and mac n cheese. We checked out more of the tank on the way out, and the kids even got to watch the divers feeding the fish and sharks and the sea turtle. 

It seemed like a long way home, but once we were back the kids took a nice long nap and the grown-ups enjoyed a rest as well. As the kids woke up, they dressed in their play clothes and headed outside for popsicle and play time. 

Saturday morning I was not impressed when Colt woke up shortly after 5am. But I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to convince him to lay back down. I was awoken by the sweetest little hand on my face and a tiny, “hi momma”, at 8am. It was a rainy morning so we played indoors, Colt pulling out whatever toys he could find, as well as his new sea animals that his grandma got for him at the aquarium. 

After his nap, we loaded up the rental CAR, that we were conveniently upgraded to a – passenger SUV, and headed to Nantusket Beach. Colt’s first time seeing the ocean. We splashed around ankle deep in the cold water, collected rocks and seashells, dug holes and built castles in the sand, and ate proper boardwalk junk food. We rode on the Paragon Park Carousel, and walked along the boardwalk after dinner. I have to say I’m genuinely impressed with how well Colt kept up, only asking me to carry him the last few feet back to the car. And it took a bit for him to doze off in the car, but once he did, he was out for good, barely lifting his head off my shoulder as I carried him inside. 

Sunday we originally had planned to visit Downtown in the morning. We were thinking about visiting the Public Gardens and Boston Common, as I was interested in showing Colt the Frog Pond and the Swan Boats. But with all the walking we did the day before, we decided to do a Duck Boat tour instead. Unfortunately, no morning tours were available, so we chose one for later in the afternoon. 

Since we had no morning plans, we instead went to IHOP for breakfast and then to a local pool and spray deck where Colt had a great time running through the sprinklers. After lunch and a nap, we headed into the city, this time to take one of the famous duck boat tours. While it wasn’t the first tour for me, it was for Colt and my mom. Colt wasn’t really interested in seeing the sites and learning the history, but he was pretty excited when the vehicle drove into the Charles River. A little ways into the ride, the captain let the kids on board steer the vessel. 

On Monday, Barb had her daycare kids again. That afternoon, we walked the kids to Ron’s Ice Cream and 20th Century Bowling. Candlepin bowling is a little different than the bowling that most people are used to. The balls and pins are much smaller and perfect for a bunch of little kids. The kids were very well behaved. I’ve never seen kids so patiently take turns! After a half hour of bowling, we got the kids ice cream. 

Tuesday was the last day of our adventure. And of course that was even quiet the experience for Colt. After breakfast we headed out walking to the bus stop to take that back to the Orange Line, which we took to the Blue Line and then to the airport shuttle. We said our goodbyes to Barb and then got settled into a long line at Security. We had just enough time for a bathroom break before boarding. The flight was quick, and Colt was able to catch a nap. It was good to be heading home. 

I really enjoyed experiencing the city again with Colt. I am looking forward to many more trips out there. There are so many historical places that I think he will appreciate as he gets older. 

Colt was also so well behaved. It really couldn’t have been any better. I’m glad that we got to share time with my aunts and I hope that we get to do it again soon. I always appreciate the time I get to spend with Barb and Eileen. They are genuinely good people who enjoy spending time with friends and family and it truly shows. I just hope that I can someday reciprocate their hospitality. 

Potty Training PT 2

So after last month’s failed attempt at the 3-day potty training weekend, I decided to hold off on the whole idea for a while. Of course, not everyone had that same idea. “Helpful” family members kept suggesting he use the potty, which I couldn’t really blame them for trying. Anyway, I hadn’t put much effort in it, and was happy to see that at school they were having him sit on the potty at every diaper change and after meals and naps.

And then one day, I am working at home and I get a notification on my phone from Daycare, “Went Potty”. Wait, does that really mean he used the Potty?! I called and talked to his teacher. Confirmed! Colt used the potty at school!

That night after dinner I decided to make up a sticker chart. I thought that perhaps we can start encouraging him to go again. I got out some paper and some crayons and drew a crude chart, and as a reward, drew a tractor. Colt is obsessed with tractors and trains right now. I showed Colt the chart and let him pick out a sticker for his potty success earlier in the day. I told him he needed to go pee-pee in the potty 10 times and then he would get his new tractor. This was later revised by Dada, to just 5 timesIMG_20170509_085007

For the next few days we had no other successes. We would occasionally sit on the potty, but it ended up just being the wrong time and we would get no pee-pee or poop. Just a lot of stories read.

I decided that what I needed to do was get him used to having his diaper changed first thing after waking up. Since our morning routine is pretty rushed, if Colt didn’t have a bulging diaper when he got up, I would usually let him eat his breakfast first and then change him while getting dressed. No more of that. It was going to be straight up and straight to the changing table.

And wouldn’t you know it. Monday morning comes around and I get him up out of bed, lay him on the changing table, take off his pants and a dry diaper! Quick! what do we do now? “Do you want to try sitting on the potty? Do you have to go pee-pee?” “No!” Crap, ok. I put his diaper and pants back on and went and took him to the table for breakfast. I just knew he was going to go pee while he ate and I was disappointed in that missed opportunity. He finished his yogurt and banana and surprise, as we are going to get dressed I notice his diaper is still dry! “Do you want to sit on the potty while you eat your waffles?” “Ok” Internal Cheers! 

And we sat. And I read him his book on bugs. And we sat. And suddenly! Pee-Pee! Just as Mike was about to leave the house, he had to come back and do a quick hi-five and hugs, and whoo whoo! We dumped the pee-pee in the toilet and let Colt flush, and then we let him pick out a sticker for his chart.

Of course that was about the only successful part of that morning. The rest of the morning was spent trying to not get stern with a “Big Boy” who is goofing off rather than putting on his shoes and coat to get out the door.

This morning, again Colt woke up with a dry diaper. Poor little guy did not want to get up this morning and had to be coaxed out of bed. I asked him if he wanted to use the potty, “No”. I asked him if he wanted to drink his smoothie while sitting on the potty, “Ok”. So today we had breakfast on the potty. He drank his smoothie, still no pee-pee. He ate his Nutragrain bar, still no pee-pee. At this point, I had to get up and start getting ready for work. I handed him his banana, and he sat. And I checked in on him as I was looking for my pants (I am not good at laundry). I stopped in his room to check and sure enough, he had gone pee-pee! (And really emptied his bladder this time, yesterday he was too shocked by all the excitement that he stopped apparently and finished in his pull up shortly after).

We cleaned up the banana, and went and flushed his pee-pee, and then we got to put another sticker on the chart. And we got dressed and I let him have a sticker to wear on his shirt. His shirt, by the way is awesome. 

So I will be purchasing a Vtech Tractor with trailer from Amazon today. And we will keep working toward filling up our sticker chart. I am hoping that now that he sees the rewards, he will start being interested again. Though, I am nervous about getting to far into this and then having him regress when we go to Boston. My saving grace is that we will be visiting my aunt who runs a daycare, and who is used to potty training little boys.

IMG_20170509_100915

“No Cheese” he says as I ask him to smile

 

 

Colt Turned 2!

I’m super late writing this post, I’ve just been really busy with work and we’ve been fighting colds as well. 

On February 1st, Colt turned 2 years old! Since it was a school day, Colt brought cupcakes in for his class. His classmates all made him a card, drawing pictures and stamping their hand prints. 

In addition to celebrating with his class, we also threw him a “grr-rific” Daniel Tiger birthday party that following weekend. It was just a small gathering of family. I’m not sure if Colt liked the balloons or cake better.  

When I took him in for his 2 year check up, he was measuring 35 inches tall (75%) and weighing 27 pounds (50%). All of the items on the checklist for what he should be able to do were right on track. 

He’s a jumping, running, climbing crazy kid. He tumbles, and falls just to get a laugh out of you. He loves to be tickled and tickle you back. He’s very fond of his cars, and his new toy tools. 

He’s pretty good at climbing up into his booster seat for meals, uses utensils pretty frequently, and occasionally drinks from an open cup. His favorite foods seem to change from week to week, but he’s still quite fond of oranges, strawberries, bananas, cheerios, gold fish, waffles, and cereal bars. 

Colt is becoming more independent insisting on doing a lot for himself. Getting ready in the morning is now taking a bit longer than before. Once he’s dressed, there’s a lot more fighting to get shoes and coats on. But he’s getting pretty good at the velcro on his shoes, the zipper on his coat, and putting on his hat. 

Colt is still quite the singer, adding in the Alphabet song to his catalog. Although he doesn’t really get the letters right, he is recognizing a few. He can find the letters of his name when you play with his magnetic or foam letters. He also knows D is for Dada, and M is for Mama. 

I’m also impressed with the way he’s moved onto more complex puzzles. He’s quite good at those that just have the holes for the shape without a background picture, and his one firetruck puzzle that does not have individual holes for each piece. He’s also pretty good at his one magnet toy where he uses the pen to sort colored magnets. 

Colt has gotten a ton of new books. And is starting to finally let me read a few more than the standard dozen. He’s been very interested in a book about a panda using the bathroom to brush his teeth, take a bath, and go potty. We had one successful use of the potty recently, but haven’t been as lucky since. I’m planning to get more serious hopefully this summer. 

I’m continuously amazed with Colt’s language development. He had taken a bit of a break from signing when he started to be more verbal. But recently he’s starting to say more words both verbally and with signs. He doesn’t repeat back many words for me, he tends to just surprise me by saying something new. But if I ask him to sign something he will. He says more phrases; more please, go sleep, where at, what happened, there it is. He’s been saying more descriptor words; hot, cold. Lots of the use of the word mine, or “I do it”. He signed cereal and hot for me yesterday. 

He seems to be doing very well in school. I know they are studying ancient cultures right now. He’s still in the Tod B classroom, but he occasionally visits with the Twaddlers. I’m not sure if there’s room for him to move up just yet.  

Otherwise, he’s a pretty funny kid, loves to play with his Mama. Always wants to know where his Dada is. He exhaustes his grandparents when they visit. He’s nearly on the go from the time he gets up, until it’s time for bed. He’s an excellent helper, has a wicked memory and a caring individual. I’m pretty proud of him. 

Goodbye to 2016

I know many people are considering 2016 a dumpster fire of a year, and I get it. There were many reasons it was hard to get through it. But tonight I’m trying to focus on growth. 

I had turned on the  Netflix original series Beat Bugs for Colt since I knew my mother enjoyed the show and she was stopping by for an impromptu babysitting job while Mike and I had dinner with some friends. When we returned home it was just before Colt’s bedtime so we finished up watching the episode and I remembered that Netflix had created mini cartoons to let young kids ring in the new year, so I tuned it to the Beat Bugs. Colt and I danced along to The Beatles song It Won’t Be Long and then counted down to 2017 (it was midnight in Dubai). 

After that Colt climbed up onto the couch with Dada and we all talked about all of the things Colt had learned during the year. From walking, running, and jumping. To speaking and signing new words and even phrases. Counting. Eating with utensils. Coloring. Singing and dancing. 

We went to a few new places. Splashed in puddles. Swam in the lake, went for a boat ride, played in the sand. Jumped in leaves. Bundled up to play in the snow. 

It really is amazing how much kids grow in such a short period of time. And I have to say that I think Mike and I have done a lot of growing as well. I continue to be grateful that he and I share many of the same parenting beliefs. We both of course want whats best for Colt, and value independence and imagination, and strive to make every day a learning opportunity. 

I am looking forward to a new year with new experiences, new travels, new perspectives and new challenges. Goodbye 2016! Hello 2017!

Happy Holidays! 

I’d say we had a pretty successful weekend celebrating Christmas with Colt.  

Friday, Mike and I were both off work and able to spend time with peanut and get some last minute shopping completed. Surprisingly, Colt didn’t take a nap, but was able to stay up and go to my Aunt Ronnie’s house that night.

It’s been quite a few years since I felt like a kid at my aunt’s house at Christmas, but I definitely felt like an adult this time. My mom and her sisters are grandmas now. Watching the next generation run around my cousins, sisters, and I brings back so many memories. I definitely miss my grandparents. 

Colt is still learning about opening presents, in that as soon as he opens something he wants to play with, he’s done opening gifts for a while. This was definitely the case with the toy vacuum he received from my aunt. 

Saturday was a busy day. We were up around 8am and opted to leave for Grandpa’s just late enough in the morning that the car ride would sooth Colt into an early nap. A few extra laps around the Gander Mtn. parking lot granted us a little extra time sleeping. 

Of course Grandpa got Colt a number of toys to play with. A few suggested puzzles from the Lakeshore Learning store were great. Colt also got a few new cars. 

After some lunch, we headed to Doug and Debbie’s house to celebrate Doug’s birthday, which has become tradition. Colt ate his weight in cheese and crackers, chased their pets, and gave Debbie a heart attack every time he ran up and down the stairs. The short nap didn’t seem to stop him. 

Christmas morning was spent at home. Grandma, Jes, and Jer came over for breakfast and gifts. We had a feast of Colt sized foods; mini pancakes, mini waffles, mini scones, mini cinnamon rolls, and mini quiches. 

It was a year of cars, puzzles, and household items (? He got a vacuum, dishes, and food, lol).I love that most of what he got required him to either think or use his imagination. 

Though, this week between Christmas and New Years has been a little difficult. We’ve been out of our routine, we’re trying to encourage more food choices, and Colt’s been a tad clingy. I’m wondering if there is a growth spurt coming. I’m sure by next weekend we’ll be better. And before I know it, it will be Colt’s 2nd birthday. 

22 Months! 

I’d start by saying time really flew by, but for the first time in a while it didn’t seem that way. 

Colt has learned the art of the tantrum. Though, I do count my lucky stars that they have all been at home and fairly brief. Usually it’s because I won’t let him play with something, or eat something. Tonight was an epic whine-fest because he was hungry but didn’t want to eat the dinner I served. Sorry kid, goldfish and oranges are not an acceptable dinner. 

Colt still loves to be read to and thankfully he’s bringing me more than just the same 2 books over and over. We’ve started playing games of “I Spy”  to make the books more entertaining. 

Regardless of what type of music I choose for Colt he still loves to have the radio on most of the time. He’s particularly fond of Mike’s “90s County” station on Pandora. He’s also quite the singer now. His song book includes; “Ring Around the Rosie”, “Frères Jacques”, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, and “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”. He also knows the hand movements to “Bringing Home A Baby Bumble Bee”, “Patty Cake”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, and “If You’re Happy And You Know It”. 
Colt’s communication style has moved to more spoken words and less sign language. When he wakes up, he calls for “mama” and “dada”. He now asks for “milk” or “fish” and I think today he tried to say “oranges”. He says “hi” and “bye” to most people and things, and recently started asking for “hugs”. Other favorite words are still “book”, “dog”, “duck”, “bath”, and “outside”. Very recently he started saying “go poop”. 

As a matter of fact, the other weekend Colt started saying “go poop” and looking around for his potty, which he drags all around the house. I asked him if he needed to go and he kept running around and occasionally sitting. Smelling the familiar oder, I asked if he needed a diaper change, and he ran into his room and grabbed a diaper. Not thinking anything about it, I took him to his changing table and was surprised to find no poop. I told him he went pee and that he can do that on the potty as well. I don’t think it was 5 minutes later, he sat on his potty while playing and actually pooped. I guess he was warning me after all. 

The following week, we came home from school and he started running around and proclaiming again “go poop”,  so I asked him if he wanted to sit on his potty and he was very eager too. I was even able to pull down his pants and remove his diaper, he’s resisted sitting bare butt in the past. We waited for a while, but nothing happened. He was however not happy to put a diaper back on. And the same thing happened a few nights later, and then again. I’ve since decided that I’ll put him in pull-ups while at home in the evenings with him.  I’ll get into the habit of asking him frequently. If we have some success, then we’ll try to fully potty train over Christmas break. If he’s not ready, I won’t push it. 

Speaking of holidays, Colt got to experience Trick or Treating a few times this year. Once at the campground Doug and Debbie were staying at. That was just about perfect. It was at the beginning of October so the weather was still warm, it was during daylight hours, and we only had to walk a few feet between campers. Later, he got dressed again and visited the retirement home my friend Jessica works at, and Trick or Treated with the residents. And then there was his party and costume parade at school. Colt was a pro by the time his dad and I took him around the neighborhood. 

Thanksgiving was probably more about fun for him than it was about food. He had a blast playing with his aunts and grandparents. He snacked pretty regularly, but come dinner he didn’t want anything to do with what was on his plate. And apparently he easily forgets how much sweet potatoes don’t suck, which has been the reason for tantrums the last few nights. 

Patience continues to be something I work at. I’m getting better at choosing the battles worth fighting. I know dinner is going to be a long one again. We’ve been busy a lot and we’ve been too quick to offer up the chicken nuggets. I’ll be focusing on offering good dinners again. 

It’s also been very easy for me to get fired up about politics and my son’s safety lately. Watching the news is crushing. I won’t go into details, but if you are messing with my child’s safety,  the country he will grow up in, or the planet he will inherent, I will have words. I’m a momma bear. 

A Whirlwind Week 

This past week has been busy, fun-filled, and exhausting. I’ve laughed and cried. It was far from perfect. But it was filled with love and family and I couldn’t ask for more than that. 

Earlier this year my Aunt Barb decided that rather than coming home to Michigan at Christmas like normal, she and Eileen would make the trip out for a week in the summer. This excited me as it meant that she’d get to meet Colt sooner rather than later. And we’d be able to plan a few activities in the warmer weather. 

Warmer weather was an understatement. It may have actually been the hottest, most humid week of the entire summer. We did our best to beat the heat and still have fun.  

As a kid, my Aunt Barb was another of my mother’s goofy sisters. Only she lived in Boston so we didn’t get to see each other often. But that never stopped her from being a part of our lives. We frequently received colorful packages in the mail. She runs a childcare center out of her home and always related to us kids in fun educational ways.  

Since becoming a mother, I’ve reconnected with Aunt Barb. I love sharing Colt with her and Eileen through stories and pictures. It’s like my way of validating that I learned something about raising a kid from all the experiences of her kids she shared. Having her meet Colt for the first time was important to me. I hoped that she’d be impressed with how smart and well behaved he is. 

Of course, the trip back to Michigan ended up staying little more important and sentimental then we had planned. Barb was diagnosed with breast cancer after Memorial Day. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster emotionally and physically for her. I can’t imagine how difficult the trip had to be but I’m eternally grateful that she and Eileen did. 

Monday Colt had his 18 month check up. And aside from the long wait to see the doctor, everything checked out well. He’s a typical 1 and a half year old.  Mom, Colt, and I had breakfast after, did a little shopping, and then visited with Barb and Eileen at our house for a while.  

On Tuesday, Barb and Eileen took Mom, Colt, and I to the Sea Life Aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing. It’s a great little place for young kids. It wasn’t too busy, thankfully. Unfortunately, Colt is just old enough to want to roam about freely without the understanding that he needs to hold an adult’s hand.  He was a bit fussy, but overall I think we all had a good time.  

Wednesday Colt and I spent some mommy and son time in the morning visiting the Stage Nature Center in Troy. For being so close to home, it’s a nice little get away. It’s definitely a place I can see going back to frequently. And hopefully Colt will continue to grow and appreciate what he can learn there.  

Thursday started with some miscommunication, but ended on a positive note. Most of my mom’s family was able to get together for dinner at Olive Garden. Colt has been a bit of a fussy eater again lately so I was embarrassed that Barb and Eileen paid for a meal that went mainly untouched. But Colt was well behaved so I can’t complain. 

Friday was more visits with the aunts and grandma at our house. We kept it pretty low key, since we would all be up early Saturday morning. 

Saturday was our big family outing to the Detroit Zoo.  And of course it was the hottest day, with the most humidity, and of course rain. But most of the family headed out any way. It was great to spend time with my sisters, and my cousins Amber, Kelly and Valerie. As well as my Uncle Wayne, Aunt Jan, and Uncle Mike. Along with my cousin Tyler’s kids; Kenzie and CJ. It was a lot of fun and I hope that we can spend more time together soon. And thanks to a gift of a membership from my aunts, my family will be able to enjoy the zoo many more times. 

Sunday was a day of rest, in that I tried to rest as much as possible while also wrangling Colt. He’s really a lot of fun, but he seems to suck all the energy right out of you. It’s exhausting just looking at him some times. While I can’t say it was the best vacation, it was definitely memorable. 

Maybe next year we can all head out to Boston! 

18 Months!

In January, Colt made the transition from the Infant B classroom to Toddler A classroom at daycare. He had already grown s0 much over the last year, I couldn’t imagine what he would learn in the next short 6 months with his new teachers. “What developments can I expect to see?” I asked Ms. Megan. Her answer amazed me.

My little baby, who’s size 12 pants were still baggy, and sleeves too long, now fits just right in 18 month clothes. His tiny feet have outgrown his first shoes, and his second pair of shoes, and now has a whole collection of little sneakers. While he doesn’t seem to have actually grown a single inch, he looks at least 4 inches taller, and at least 5 pounds heavier. We’ll know exactly how much he’s grown at his pediatrician’s appointment next Monday.

Colt’s tiny steps have turned into marches, kicks, and stomps! He climbs, slides, scootches, and crawls around the playground! And just the other day, he used a box of diapers to try and climb on the cabinet in the living room. He can reach and stretch for things he wants on the countertops. And lay on his belly to get toys from under his crib.

Colt speaks! He says a number of words, most often it’s “dada”, “bye bye”, “shoes” and “dog” but I have heard “rabbit”, “cat”, “duck”. He asks for “waffles” for breakfast. And he knows cows say “moo”, and sheep say “baa”. And while being verbal is still hard, he routinely uses sign language to ask for “more”, “water”, and “milk”. He even says “please”. Our bedtime routine includes signs for “bath” and “brush teeth”. And when he’s finished, he says “all done”.

Our daily routine is getting simpler. Though Colt likes to play and pretend to sleep when I wake him up in the morning. Colt is very good at sitting at the table and eating his breakfast while Mike and I get ready for work. Then we get dressed, and he helps me put on his shoes. It’s not always easy getting him into his car seat, but once he’s buckled in , he reads to me his Hello magazine or tells me all kinds of stories I can’t wait to understand. Once at school, he and I practice holding hands and walking together into the building.

Colt is so good for his teachers, Ms. Emily, Ms. Megan, & Ms. Shannon. I am impressed daily with all the activities they do with the kids. His daily sheets are now categorized with subjects like; Art & Sensory, Language, Music/Movement, Fine Motor/Math, Focus Activity, and Physical Fitness. He’s taught manners, and how to clean up. He can tell me where his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, hair, feet and belly button is. He can match colors, seems to understand there is an order to his rings, and knows that his car is for driving. You can ask him to bring you a number of his stuffed animals by their name. And books are still his favorite.

Colt was on bit of a toddler hunger strike for a little while. Things he used to eat were now nearly tossed aside. He’s eating fruit better now, and anything crunchy. I am working vegetables into his diet. His favorites are still mac’n’cheese, and now chicken nuggets. He’ll eat hotdogs, and devour mandarin oranges. Strawberries, bananas, waffles and yogurt are key breakfast items. He eats well with his classmates for snack and lunch. I’ve found that if I just hand him his plate and continue on making my food without really paying attention to him, he’s more adventurous and will try things on his plate. Trying to encourage him only makes him turn his head away or offer it to you in return.

Colt has finally cut one full molar on the bottom right, and the upper right, and lower lefts are peeking out while the upper left is trying to make an appearance. We’ve worked brushing our teeth into our routine. He sits on the counter and “brushes” his teeth, while I brush mine. And then we’ll trade toothbrushes and he “brushes” my teeth while I brush his. Still, putting our tooth brush away at the end tends to lead to a noodle baby tantrum.

I have to be grateful, Colt hasn’t thrown and real in public tantrums just yet. He did fuss quite a bit when he wanted to walk down the path in the park on his own, but wouldn’t offer right of way to the passing bicyclists. He’s usually too busy people watching to throw much of a fit about anything. Our usual arguments are related to “chairs are for sitting, not standing”. Overall he’s a pretty well behaved kid who’s generally happy.

Most of the time I amaze myself at how well I can deal with Colt. I can read the same story with just as much excitement and emphasis the 100th time as I do the first time. Most of the time I am fairly patient with Colt, and can gently say, “no no” or tell him he may get hurt (while also signing the word “hurt”). But there are other times I do still lose my patience. And then I feel guilty. And it’s usually when Mike steps in at just the wrong moment, when I could have used him a second or so earlier. I have found that he knows when I am not paying attention to him. He doesn’t seem to mind if Dada comes in the room and reads a magazine, but if I try to catch up on a news article on my phone, Colt will come over to me and throw himself on my lap and try to bite me. He thinks it’s a fun game. I have told him no, told him it hurts, “cried”, moved him off me, sat him in his chair for a “timeout”, and left the room. Of course all it really does is make me feel guilty that maybe I am not spending the quality time with him that he wants.

Overall, Colt is smart, funny, adventurous, independent, and happy. I am still so proud of him and so grateful I get to be his mom.