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Saturday, March 27, 2010

My House is Being Taken Over By Toys!

As I desperately tried to cram Princess's beanie babies, teddy bears, and other stuffed animals into the medium sized bin I'd long ago allocated for stuffed animals, a thought crossed my mind-I needed to go shopping for bigger storage containers. The stuffed animals were overflowing into the doll bin which was overflowing into the box of board books which was overflowing onto the toys shelves which were overflowing onto the floor of my living room. You get the picture.

How did we get so many toys? It's my personal theory that toys secretly procreate in the dark of night, multiplying their numbers so sneakily that you don't even notice it happening until one day you realize that your whole house has been turned into a giant playroom. Of course, the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even I am guilty of keeping Princess entertained with an endless supply of new toys to play with. My big pitfall is thrift store and garage sale shopping. My experience usually goes something like this:
"Look at the practically brand new, adorable toy that reminds me of my own childhood and gives me warm, fuzzy feelings inside! And look, it's only 50 cents!! I must buy it for my own child so she too can experience childhood to its fullest!"
I get home and hold my breath as I hand the latest acqusition over to Princess, anticipating shrieks of joy. She takes it from me, examines it briefly, and drops it to the floor so she can play with the the empty lotion bottle I forgot to throw away earlier.

As I contemplated what type of storage bins I could find that would contain the evergrowing population of Princess's toys, the solution hit me. The answer was to make the toys fit into the space we already had. I grabbed a garbage bag and started digging through the stuffed animals. I still haven't figured out why stuffed animals are such a popular gift to give children when I don't know a single child who actually plays with them. Occasionally, Princess will go through the bin and look at each one before wandering off to play with something else, but that is the extent of her interaction with her stuffed animals. So, it was relatively easy to downsize those. Then I started in on the rest of her toys. That was a little more difficult because I didn't want to get rid of toys that were gifts from relatives, but I managed to fill the garbage bag and off it went to Goodwill.

My new worry is that I'm due to have our second child next month and it's a boy. Which means a whole new set of toys geared for boys. I'm not one of those people who insist on toys being gender specific, but I don't think my little farm boy is going to want to play with dolls and other girly stuff ALL the time. He's probably going to want tractors and cars and the relatives will be more than happy to supply him with plenty of those. Another child also means twice as many birthday and Christmas presents for me to find space for. I'm hoping to convince relatives that, instead of giving a bunch of smaller stuff to each child, they can give one bigger gift to both the kids. But we'll see...

Unsolicited Advice: I recently remembered one of my favorite things to play with when I was a kid and decided to recreate it for Princess. When my parents moved back to Minnesota from Florida, my mom filled a cake pan with white sand from the beach. She didn't take it out very often so it was a special treat to get to play with it and it was perfect for when we were stuck inside all winter. Not having access to beach sand, I decided to use white rice to fill my cake pan. You could also use dry beans, oatmeal, gravel, etc.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Third Trimester Joys

Let me just take a moment here to whine. Actually, let's be realistic. Let me just take an hour here to whine.

My stomach hurts from Baby Boy kicking and squirming so much and so hard. My hips hurt and feel like they're falling out of their sockets every time I move. My legs hurt from having to carry all that extra weight around. My feet hurt because I've been wearing non-supportive, slip-on shoes to avoid having to bend over to tie tennis shoes. I've got killer heartburn 79% of the time. It takes me 84 minutes to turn over in bed or get up off the couch. I'm ready for bed around the same time I put Louise to bed. No matter what position I try sitting or laying in, two and half minutes later, I'm uncomfortable again. Judging from my symptoms, it sounds like I might be in my third trimester of pregnancy.

But to be honest, despite the nausea, discomfort, exhaustion, and outright painfulness of pregnancy, I actually do enjoy being pregnant. For a while I can wear clothes without worrying about whether they make me look fat or not, because let's face it, I passed that point around the third month of pregnancy. I like how people are so much nicer to pregnant women, and how just seeing a pregnant woman can seem to cheer some people up. And I love, love, love that there's a tiny baby growing inside of me. Because of my severe asthma messing with basically every part of my life, I somehow assumed that my body wouldn't work right when it came to making another human being. So I was a bit surprised when I found out I was pregnant with Princess, especially since it only took seven months of trying NOT to get pregnant for it to happen. Then I managed to actually carry her to full term (and beyond!) and deliver a healthy beautiful baby girl. Now I'm pregnant again and this time, it took exactly one "oops" moment to conceive. Apparently getting pregnant is not an issue for me.

Unsolicited Advice:
When possible, borrow maternity clothes from a friend or relative or buy them at thrift stores. They're not cheap and you only wear them for a short time really (even if it feels like forever some days) so why spend an arm and a leg on them?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And the Potty Training Stalls

A random observation that I made the other day...when Princess is standing right in front of me hanging onto my legs, I can no longer see her. I also can no longer tell if my socks match unless I'm sitting down. If they don't match, I really don't even care because it was so much work to put them on that there's no way I'm taking them back off again.

It's been two months since we started potty training. Two verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry long months. Every single day I have to rinse poopy underwear out in the toilet. Every day. That strikes me as ironic since that is the very reason I chose not to use cloth diapers.

The reason potty training is still going on is because Princess has yet to achieve the final step. She knows exactly what to do on the potty chair and can usually squeeze at least a few drops out to earn her chocolate chip. But she can't tell when she needs to go potty or poop! Kinda a big thing. When we started potty training, she would tell me as she was peeing her pants and would be pretty upset about getting Elmo wet (her underwear of choice). Now, the only way I catch accidents is if I feel a wet spot on her pants or happen to take her to the bathroom at which time I notice that Elmo is not dry.  Princess  will put on a sad face when I tell her that Elmo is wet, but as soon as I put her in clean underwear, she's all happy and smiles again as she declares "Elmo dry!" The only reason Princess doesn't have more accidents is because I know about when she's going to have to go and can usually take her before she goes in her pants. However, while I can tell she's going to need to go potty again soon because it's been a while, poop just kind of comes whenever so I very rarely catch it before I notice green fumes rising from Princess's backside. How in the world do I get her to realize when she has to go so I'm not taking ALL the responsibility for her body functions?!?!? Any advice on this would be GREATLY appreciated!

When we started potty training (and I use the term "we" loosely because, while Hubby was gungho about training her and still is, I'm the one doing all the actual work), Princess used a potty seat that fit over the regular toilet seat. Pretty nifty since I didn't have to rinse out a potty chair. This worked great until I realized that everytime I took her to the bathroom, I would suddenly have an urge to go as well. For a while I would "dance" around the toilet and beg her to hurry up and do her business so I could have a turn. Then I realized that I did have a potty chair stashed in the closet. Duh. Now we both go in there and get our own toilets.Princess  is thrilled because she gets to go potty with mama and I'm thrilled because I no longer have to worry about peeing my pants while I wait for my two year old to use the toilet. However, this has led her to believe that everytime I use the bathroom, she should be welcomed in the bathroom as well even if she isn't using her potty chair. If I dare to close the door, I have to listen to pounding on the door and plaintive cries of "mama, mama, mama." Recently, Princess has decided to be independent when it comes to going potty and if I try to follow her into the bathroom to give her a hand, she slams the door in my face and tells me, "Go away, mama!" How is this fair? My two year old gets more privacy in the bathroom than I do!
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