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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What is That On the Wall?!?!

It's Friday and so far, the week has been...interesting. Monday morning started out okay since Louise decided to sleep in a little. After that though, things went downhill fast. I'm in the process of rearranging and organizing Princess's room which involves moving a lot of furniture. I was moving a plastic set of portable drawers filled with my abundant amounts of scrapbooking supplies which I really should use, but don't because I'm too lazy and would rather throw all my pictures and keepsakes in a box out. Lo and behold, but what should I find behind said plastic drawers? Lots of lovely grayish, greenish, creeping mold spreading across the wall behind it. Being dangerously allergic to mold, I grabbed Princess who was pulling the last few books of her bookshelves and ran screaming from the room, slamming the door behind me. Ok, I didn't actually run screaming. But I was quite horrified to say the least, especially when I realized that my precious little angel had been sleeping and playing in that mold infested bedroom. That evening, I called my father-in-law, a farmer, carpenter, and jack of all trades to come and fix it for me. As it was already past 10 pm, he promised to be there the next day.

At work the next day, I was bemoaning the discovery of mold in my house to a coworker, who asked me a question that immediately sent floods of guilt flowing through me.
"Does Princess get sick often?" he queried.
As I nodded, the realization that we may have found the cause for Princess's monthly bouts of colds and that I, as her mother, should have discovered the mold earlier and saved my child from countless runny noses and attacks of wheezing, hit me. If only I had motivated myself to rearranging Princess's room earlier! If only I had used my mother's intuition to "see" the mold growing behind the set of drawers. If only I had realized that running the vaporizer almost constantly in her room at nights because she was sick so often could encourage the spread of that mold. But I didn't. And in all reality, there really wasn't a way for me to have known. But I was still berating myself for my inattention when I left work to pick up Princess from my sister's house.

My father-in-law came to my house that afternoon, armed with a cleaning product that he said would kill mold. As Hubby and I stood around and watched helplessly, occasionally chasing Princess from the room although she wanted to play with Grandpa, Hubby's dad scrubbed the wall and the evil mold was removed. He cautioned us to keep the air circulating in Princess's room with the ceiling fan and to watch closely for signs that the mold was growing back which would indicate that it was not merely on the surface of the wall, but inside as well, which would require the removal of the drywall to remedy. It's Friday and although I scrutinize the wall with a flashlight several times a day, I haven't seen anything yet. Princess spent several nights in our room in her pack n' play while her room aired out. She slept great; Hubby and I were awakened by the constant kicking, turning over, scratching at the sides of the pack n' play and general tossing and turning of an active 19 month old.

Another wonderful thing occurred on Monday. My internet, which I rely on more than I should perhaps, went down. The landlady's modem had gone out and since we were getting wireless from her internet connection, our internet was sadly absent. As I write this, I am at home pecking away at the keyboard on my laptop as she installed a new modem today. But for the last four days, I have had to satisfy my appetite for Facebook, email, and all the other pointless things I waste my time on the computer with, at the public library. That wasn't exactly the best of situations. My mom is the head librarian at the library and I work as a substitute with 2 regular days a week (I know, I know. That screams nepotism, but truthfully, my mom didn't have much to do with me getting a job there), so Princess is quite familiar with the library. One would think that as the granddaughter of the librarian and the daughter of the library substitute, Princess would have the proper respect for the public library. Nope. Everytime, we go there, I try to teach her to stay in the children's area and play quietly while I accomplish what I came there to do, but when I am constantly chasing her down and leading her back into the children's area, it really cuts down on the quantity and quality of time I can spend on the internet. And of course, when she starts crying because I won't let her run wild, I can't just ignore her like I can at home when she is throwing a tantrum. The other library patrons start giving me dirty looks when Princess starts her whining and crying spiel for the fourth time in as many minutes and at that point, I usually beat a hasty retreat out the door, leaving my Facebook status midsentence.

I guess other than that, the week hasn't been too bad. The mold threw me for a loop and the not-working internet was an inconvenience. Besides those two things, the week's been pretty normal except for when Princess's favorite outdoor ball was discovered Wednesday afternoon lying beneath her slide. It had been the victim of a vicious deflating by a deranged raccoon or some other wild animal. She took it in stride however, and attempted to bounce it on the deck anyways, looking slighly puzzled when it just plopped on the ground looking like it had melted. But it is replaceable and I think we will recover easily from that last trauma.

Unsolicited Advice:
Uddercovers.com is having a promotional sale on nursing covers. Use the code charming2 at checkout and you get the nursing cover for the cost of shipping and handling which I believe, runs around $8.00. Pretty good deal for a $35 nursing cover!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Update On the Potty Training

A few posts ago, I wrote that we are beginning to potty train Princess. Here's an update on the process.

We are taking the relaxed approach to potty training since Princess is still so young. Periodically, I put her on the toilet and if she goes, she gets a few M&Ms. She prefers using a potty seat on the toilet to using the really cool potty chair I got her, but I'm okay with that because that means we don't have to carry a potty chair with us everywhere. 6 days after we started potty training, a lightbulb went on in her head and she realized that she could actually make herself go potty when she was on the toilet. This is great and means that she's aware of what she's supposed to be doing. Just last week, she also realized that going potty meant she got M&Ms. I had gotten her up from bed and she still had her pacifier in her mouth when I put her on the toilet. She peed in the toilet, handed me her pacifier and opened her mouth expectantly.

The next thing she needs to master in the potty training adventure is learning how to tell when she has to go and holding it until she can get to the toilet. No luck with this yet, but eventually I think it will just click and she'll figure it out. Several people told me that the reason she hadn't picked up on this yet was because I still had her in diapers instead of putting her in regular underwear. So I found some training underwear (training underwear is more expensive than MY underwear! Talk about ridiculous!) and made a big deal of showing them to her and telling her that she was a big girl because she could wear them instead of diapers. She seized the flowered underwear from my hand and vigorously smelled the flowers. I wrestled the underwear out of her hand and explained to her that yes, we do smell flowers, but we don't smell underwear. After ceremoniously tossing the diaper she was wearing while emphasizing that diapers are for babies, I put her in the underwear and let her loose to play. Princess played happily at the kitchen table while I washed dishes. Perhaps running water wasn't the best background noise. Before long, she came over to me asking if she could wash her hands as she always does when I have the water running. I picked her up and was rewarded with a wet shirt. She gave me a blank look as I told her how disappointed I was that she had gone potty in her big girl underwear. She didn't notice the wet underwear at all and wasn't fazed to be walking around that way. I figured that the first time wasn't that big of a deal and she'd get it. A day and 4 accidents later, I switched her back to diapers. She obviously didn't care if she was wet or not and I would usually realize she was wet only when I picked her up.

So for now, I will keep doing what I have been doing, but I don't have unrealistic expectations. We're laying the groundwork for the serious potty training which will probably occur after she turns two. If nothing else, I'm saving a few diapers this way.

Unsolicited Advice:
When starting potty training, it can be hard to convince your active child to stay put on the potty chair long enough for the potty training to work. I solved this problem by keeping a small basket in the bathroom stocked with special books and toys that Louise only gets to play with when she's sitting on the toilet.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Procrastinators of America, Unite!

It's been over a week since I've written anything and I'm feeling vaguely guilty so here goes. I really shouldn't be on my computer at all right now. My laundry, while clean, is spread all over the house in various states of foldedness. My dishwasher is full of clean dishes that really should be put away in cupboards before we have to resort to using them directly from the dishwasher. My bills are accruing late fees as I write (I really should be writing checks, not a blog.) Princess is looking a little tanner than usual and could probably use a bath. The groceries I bought last Friday are covering my counters and kitchen table, but don't worry, I did find the motivation to put at least the perishables away. Toys are stashed and strewn from one end of the house to the other which means that I occasionally find a forlorn baby doll stuffed into my bedroom slipper or climb into bed to discover that I'm sharing it with a stack of board books. But yet here I am at my computer, trying desperately to ignore the chaos that surrounds me. It's getting to the point where I linger at my sister's house when picking up Princess after work, hoping that maybe my sister will either invite me to stay at her house indefinitely or spontaneously offer to come clean my house for me. Neither has happened yet and my nights are filled with dreams of housekeepers.
Just for the record, my house did not get so messy because I am lazy, although I definitely fit into that category. The last several weeks have been crazy busy. One weekend, we drove 6 hours one way to a nephew's birthday party, the next weekend, we took a day trip to my niece's birthday party. I had barely unpacked the suitcases from the first weekend away when we drove another 6 hours in the other direction for a visit with family. In between those crazy weekends, I was busy with extra hours at work and helped with Vacation Bible School at my church. By the way, keeping seven 1-3 year olds entertained and under control for 2 hours is a job I do not plan to volunteer for again next year. I also planned and threw a party for my dad's 50th birthday and started potty training Princess. On top of all that, I am encouraging and helping my sister organize and clean out her house (her hubby is a packrat) so that she and I can open a daycare there.
I just realized that I, the Queen of Procrastination, haven't fed my own child supper yet and the clock is steadily ticking towards 7:00 pm. While Princess is quite happy playing with her baby dolls right now, I should probably be a good mother and feed her.

Unsolicited Advice:
Don't bite off more than you can chew!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Do You Have to go Potty?

As of Monday, August 3rd, we are officially potty training Princess. She is 18 months old and obviously aware of her bodily functions. So, I've swallowed my apprehension and let my landlady know that I will be using the washing machine a little more frequently for a while.

When Princess was still a tiny baby, my sister-in-law told me that she started putting her son on the potty chair before he was six months old and by the time he was two and a half, he was completely potty trained. Without realizing that this particular technique required a parent to potty train their child for at least two years before claiming success, I trotted on over to Babies R' Us and purchased a Baby Bjorn infant potty chair. When I got home, I stripped Princess down to her onesie and set her on the potty chair. She thought it was great fun and obliged me by peeing in her potty chair. I was thrilled and began imagining not having diapers on my grocery bill in a few short months. Then reality set in. My sister wasn't quite as enthusiastic as I was and, although she promised to put Princess on the potty chair throughout the day while I was at work, I knew she would forget. Before long, I was tired of having to unsnap onesies, remove diapers, and hold Princess on the potty chair countless times a day, especially when it became clear that when she peed in the potty chair the first time I put her on it, she had done it to give me a false sense of security. So I put the Baby Bjorn in the closet and reminded myself how much I loved changing diapers.

Now at 18 months of age, it's time to begin potty training Princess again. I'm not going to stress about it though; if she's not getting the idea after a few weeks, we'll take a break and try it again when she gets older. When she woke up on Monday morning, I put Princess on her potty chair and she let loose with a stream of you-know-what. I praised her as if she had just been elected President of the United States and rewarded her with a blue M&M. Then I took her off the potty chair to show her her accomplishment. She was very proud of herself and decided to celebrate by swishing her hands in her handiwork. I decided that that would be a good time to show her how to wash her hands. After that, we ceremoniously flushed the contents of the potty chair down the toilet.

Because disposable diapers are so absorbent (which is a quality I've always appreciated about them), I borrowed some cloth diapers from my sister to use during the early days (or weeks or months) of potty training so that Princess can actually feel when she is wet and hopefully develop an aversion to that sensation. I still plan on using disposables during naptime and bedtime. I'm not quite ready to tackle nighttime training yet. On that subject however, I was pleasantly surprised when I woke Princess this morning. I took her diaper off and found it completely dry. This has happened before and I'm aware that, unless she had a lot to drink shortly before bed, she doesn't fill her diaper until the morning hours. I'm hoping that this is an indication that nighttime potty training will be a breeze.

My plan for potty training is that Princess will be completely potty trained in a few weeks (cue snickers of disbelief from more experienced parents). She hasn't said anything about it yet, but I have a feeling that Princess may not have the same plan. I'm hoping we can compromise and come up with a workable solution.

Unsolicited Advice:
I know I should probably give some advice about potty training since it would go well with this post, but I'd rather receive advice about that subject at this point.
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