Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Potty Training--Help us!!

Well, Sophie turned 3 in December, and I was sure hoping that she'd be completely day-time potty trained by then.  If you have had any experience training stubborn toddlers, please read on and give me your input.  At this point we are out of solutions except to just wait and hope.

We started talking about the potty and practicing sitting on the potty a long time ago, probably last Feb. or March, right after she turned 2.  At first she was TERRIFIED of the potty, and cried if we tried to make her sit on it.  Then we got a potty chair and, voila, problem solved. 

She started going pee in the potty at random times, always prompted by us to go.  She never asked to go on her own and always said no if we asked if she needed to go.

The only times she went #2 in the potty is if she was constipated (a frequent problem back then) and I could tell she needed to go.  I would sit her on there, and she would cry because it hurt and also because she wanted to go in her diaper.  This may be the cause of her not wanting to go #2 in the potty now.

We eliminated the constipation problem long ago.  She now goes about every day, but never at predictable times.  It is always a different time of day.  She always comes to tell us about going and asks for a clean diaper.  We always say, "Sophie, no poo poo in the diaper.  You have to go in the potty."  And then she often repeats it back to us.  But she still always poops in her diaper/panties.  We have been using some of our cloth diapers as substitutes for pull ups.  It is too hard to clean up a #2 mess in panties.  Ugh!  Try getting them off of a toddler without getting it everywhere!

As for #1, I take her to the potty when she gets up, before lunch, after nap, and a couple more times in the evening before bed.  She usually goes every time, and so she stays dry all day.  She, however, ALWAYS resists going to the bathroom to go.  "Sophie, it is time to go to the potty.  Do you need to go peepee?"  "No!  I don't want to go to the potty!"  Sometimes it takes a lot of coaxing and sometimes only a little, but eventually she goes with us.

If left to her own choices, she will just pee in her panties.  She won't go in the potty unless we tell her it is time to go there.  She knows she isn't supposed to.  She just doesn't care.  After she goes on herself, she doesn't like it, and wants to get cleaned up, but she'll just do it again the next time.  So, she is staying dry all day in panties/diapers, but she is not technically potty-trained since she won't go by herself!

We have tried fruit snacks, other candy, sticker chart, rewards of all kinds.  Nothing motivates her.  I am hesitant to discipline her over it because I want to keep the experience positive.  I want her to WANT to do it.

What should we do?

The only strategy I have now is to potty train Sally and hope that seeing sister do it motivates Sophie.  Sally wants to go to the potty but has never actually had success.  She tells me, "I want to go pee pee in the potty." But this is only after she has just gone in her diaper.  We just keep letting her sit on it and hope one day she has some success!

If you can relate to either Sophie or Sally's potty training predicaments, let me know what you tried!

Monday, January 21, 2013

21 Day Whole Living Cleanse Diet

I have never done a "cleanse" diet before.  I am turned off by the idea of eating strange food combinations, taking supplements, or drinking strange concoctions that make you go to the bathroom a lot.  This cleanse is different though, and that is why I agreed to try it with my mom.  I am 1/3 of the way through and I am glad I am doing it!  It is from the Whole Living website, which is a Martha Stewart production.  When my mom asked me if I wanted to do it, I knew that I have been wanting to try reducing the amount of sugar I eat, so I decided it would be a good jump start into that.  The first week was HARD, but I am glad I did it.  It was especially hard to make and serve food for Ryan and the girls that I was supposed to be avoiding.  I think I should get some bonus points for that! 

The whole idea of the cleanse is to rid your body of all the toxins found in processed food and to give your digestive system a break from dairy and gluten consumption.  Here is a breakdown of how it works:

Week 1:
Only eat fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, oils, and seasonings. (I did the 2012 version.  The 2013 version also includes legumes at this stage).

Week 2:
Add back in fish, beans, legumes, and gluten-free grains.

Week 3:
Add back in organic soy and eggs.

So, the entire time, you don't eat sugar, gluten or dairy. You also don't consume caffeine, soda, alcohol, etc. 

Here is how I was feeling during week 1:
Day 1: The first day I felt so hungry.  I ate a LOT of food, but never felt satisfied.  I felt tired a lot too. 
Day 2: The second day I was already feeling better.   Still craving certain foods (sugar, gluten), but I had more energy. 
Days 3-4: These days were the best.  I had lots of energy, was needing less sleep, and my digestive system just felt good.  I feel like my body had adjusted to the new way of eating.  I even thought, "I could just keep eating like this I feel so good!"
Days 5-7:  Still feeling good, but I was about ready to be done with just fruits, veggies, and nuts. 

Yesterday was the first day I introduced beans and fish.  They tasted AWESOME!  I am ready to finish the rest of the cleanse, but I did cheat a little last night and eat some banana bread and a little serving of homemade ice cream.  I know that is breaking the idea of the cleanse, but I just wanted a little something after that first week of eating so stringently.  Plus, desserts in moderation are my end goal anyway, and that is what I accomplished this week! 

I should mention, the plan gives you an eating plan with recipes for every meal of the day.  I have used some of them, and also come up with my own ideas.  I wanted to make things that everyone else would want to eat too.

I will post again after I am completely finished to share how if I am feeling any different/better.  I am curious to see how my body will react when I add back in dairy and gluten.  If you decide to try this, let me know!  I would love to hear how it is going for you!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sally turned 2!

Sally is now 2 years old going on 6!  She is really such a big girl in so many ways.  Here is a little bit about her:
-She is SUPER talkative.  She and Sophie are probably close to the same level of communication abilities, although Sophie's speech is a little easier to understand most of the time.  Both girls are still learning English and Spanish.  They usually default to English when speaking to us, but they have a few sentences they use and tons of everyday vocabulary.  They can, however, understand us completely when we speak to them in Spanish only for instructions or whatever.  We are working on speaking in Spanish only every other day, to hopefully boost their inclination to speak it more often.

-can identify most numbers, colors, and some letters

-She is loving and very compassionate.  When anyone gets hurt, she always wants to kiss and hug them.  Today, every time I cough, Sally asks, "Are you ok, Mommy?"

-In conjunction with the previous one, her love language is physical touch.  She loves to be held and to have her back (or tummy) rubbed.  I was rubbing her back one day and when I stopped, she looked at me and asked, "Wanna touch my shirt again, Mommy?"   She often asks, "Wanna hold my hand?"  She loves to hug and kiss EVERYTHING.  When she discovers something she doesn't know the name for, she asks, "What's that?"  I tell her whatever it is, a clip for the bag of bread, some fuzz on the couch, any random item.  And regardless of what it is, she always says, "Hi ______ !"  and gives it a big kiss.  Lots of times, if you are holding her, she will grab your head with both hands to position your face right in front of hers and give you a big kiss.

- She has some funny little sayings.  She says, "I des it goesn't work." if she is trying to say, "I guess it doesn't work."  She usually omits the "s" at the being of words where the second letter is also a consonent: (s)nowman, (s)nack, (s)tand.  She likes to compliment people's clothing often, saying, "I yike your shirt (uses y sound for l).  All mail is called "mailbox."  She likes to roll up her books into the shape of a newspaper and say, "I made a mailbox! (pronounced, may-yell-box).

-She is very physically adept.  She just has a natural coordination and strength when she throws or kicks a ball.  She can aim well.  She can jump high and run fast.  I think she has inherited at least some of her dad's athletic ability.

-She is and always has been a mama's girl.  If Ryan and I are both here, she often prefers that I hold her or put her in bed.  She does LOVE her daddy too, but I think since she is always around me, I am like her security blanket.  She is very social, but shies away from certain people and immediately runs to mommy for security.  Interestingly, she was a little wary of my sister Amelia over Christmas.  We think maybe it is because Amelia and I look a lot alike, so she was confused about who she was.  Generally, she is comfortable around females and wary of males, including grandparents! 

-Her favorite activities are coloring, swimming, reading, stacking blocks or legos, and CLIMBING on anything and everything. She loves "The Little Engine That Could" and has memorized the first few sentences of the book, just the way we read it to her.  She then tells the rest of the story to herself with the pictures.

 -Lately, if you do something she doesn't like, she very enthusiastically points a finger at you and yells, "You have to go NIGHT NIGHT!!!"    This is not a threat Ryan and I remember giving them, so we aren't sure where she got it.

-We haven't really gotten into potty training much.  She wants to sit on the potty a lot, but has NEVER done anything in it.  There have been times when she gets off the potty only to pee on the floor literally 5 seconds later.  The motivation is there, but maybe the mental readiness is not.  I have tried letting her go all day in underwear so she'd be aware of accidents, but there seemed to be no progress. 

-She is a big and tall girl: 80th percentile for height and 92nd for weight.

-She is just full of joy!  She is really easy-going, and easy to please, loud, curious, mischievous, happy, and boistrous .   Not a day goes by that she doesn't make us laugh out loud.  

Here are some pics and a video of her singing Jesus Loves Me and part of the ABC's (she got a little distracted):

These were some I took one day right before naptime.  The light was pretty and she looked so beautiful.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sophie turned 3!

December 2nd was our sweet girl's birthday.  I can't believe she is 3 already!  She is looking and acting so much older these days.  Here is a little about her at this age.

-She loves loves loves books.  She loves to "read" them on her own or to be read to.  On days when she won't nap, she yells out, "Mommy, I need books!"  I bring her a giant stack, which usually keeps her going for about 45 minutes.  After that, she yells out, "Mommy!  It's all done!  I need some different books please!"  I then exchange her stack for another one which lasts her about the same amount of time.  So, even though she only naps about 3-4 days a week, I still get some time to be child free while Sally naps since Sophie sits contentedly in her room for so long.  Some days, when I tell her she can get out of bed, she doesn't want to.  "No, mommy.  I want to sit right here and read my books."

-She was evaluated for speech one last time to see if she would be eligible for further services.  She has progressed so well though, that they found her to be at an average level for her age!  No more speech therapy for her.

-She is a long and lean girl.  61st percentile for height and 30th percentile for weight.  We recently weighed both girls, and Sally has a 5 pound advantage on Sophie!  Ha!

- She has an independent personality, but can still be clingy in unfamiliar situations.  She likes to snuggle sometimes too, but is not the snuggle bug her sister is.   She will entertain herself (and Sally) for hours with legos, coloring, playing in her kitchen, and reading books.

-She has a good relationship with Sally, although they do sometimes fight over toys, etc.  They enjoy screaming and chasing each other around the house and playing "no more monkeys" on our bed.

- I don't know if it is more her age or personality, but sadly, we have entered a  major whining/crying phase.  If the least little thing goes wrong, it is not unlikely that she will burst into full "freak-out" mode.  For example, if she is trying to make 2 lego pieces go together, but can't make it work, she will scream, kick, cry, and push the two legos together so hard that her hands and whole body shake slightly.  She also just generally whines/cries about things throughout the day instead of asking for them or for some help.  It is not a fun phase.

-She seems to have perfectionistic tendencies.  She doesn't like messes or to get messy.  She doesn't like when any type of food or drink gets on her or her clothes.  She likes things to be "just so" when it comes to her toys.  We were putting some stickers in a book in the car one time.  Each sticker had a corresponding spot where you were supposed to put it.  She tried it a few times, but couldn't get it perfectly in the spot, and so, went into "freak-out" mode.  After that, she wanted to continue with the book, but insisted that I put the stickers in place for her.

-She has an amazing memory.  She remembers people's names after meeting them only a few times.  She memorizes tons of books and songs.  I read a Sandra Boynton book to her several times, and was amazed at how quickly she picked it up and read it to herself just by repeating what she heard me say.  She knows all her letters, numbers, colors.  She has this toy that has the alphabet on it and an animal on each letter.  She has memorized all the sounds these animals make, even though most of them don't really sound like the animal and most of the animals are kind of obscure.  I mean, do you know what sound a sea urchin, newt, yak, dolphin, turtle, porcupine, jellyfish, or turtle make?  I think she has an auditory memory like me, so she can easily remember things she hears, even if they are obscure animal sounds.

-There are too many things to list, but she is always coming up with cute little things to say that we have never heard from her before.  This age is so fun because verbal communication is becoming so much more than what it used to be.  She hears us say something one day, and several days later will use it in some context.  It is just fun to watch!

-She is somewhat potty-trained.  I plan to do a separate post on this.

Here are a few pics from her little birthday party.  We just had family over, and I was glad it was small and simple.  Birthday parties are work!  And at this age, we can get away with doing not very much and her not really caring.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Catching up. . a Christmas recap!

Well, I have clearly fallen behind on my blogging.  That's okay, though.  I am doing it for my own memory preserving more than anything.  I do understand now, though, how one falls behind.  Before, when I was just a blog reader, I would find a blog that interested me, and then get disappointed when they wouldn't post very often.  "How do they NOT have something to blog about?"  But, now I get it.  Other things take precedence :)

There are lots of things I want to post on, but rather than going in chronological order, I want to start out by posting about our Christmas in Tennessee.  It was so fun to be with my whole family again for the first time in a year and a half.  We were there for about a week, and got to do lots of fun things.  As the girls get older, it feels like things get easier and, hence, more fun.  In fact, even though the drive is 16ish hours, I would say the girls did better than expected, especially since we drove straight through.  They read to themselves a lot, ate pretty well, and didn't complain much.  We were so thankful! 

Here are some pictures of the fun we had:

Painting the presents.  Here Sally declares, "I painting the head, Mommy!"

baking cookies with Abuelo


Sally and Aunt Betsy

Eating snowman doughnuts from Krispy Kreme

Amelia and Josh- *Explanation* According to tradition, we all get dressed up in our pj's late at night and make a trip to Krispy Kreme.  The last time we did this, I was too little to notice all the funny looks we got from other customers.  But not this time! Funny and priceless:)

my mom- Abuela

Had to include this pic of Sophie for Amelia.  We always say Sophie looks like Amelia, but here she is holding her tongue just the way Amelia used to.  Isn't that funny, Pea?

more snuggling

The girls watched Winnie the Pooh over and over in Abuelo and Abuela's room.  They have fallen in love with it.

Other than that, we also had a mini birthday party for Sally at a frozen custard place, which included a group performance of the hokey pokey, lots of game nights, cooking lots of yummy food, a shopping day for me, my mom, and my sisters, a golf day for the guys, seeing Les Miserables (so good!), and lots of gift giving.  One funny story about the girls:  While waiting to open presents, we sent them to their play area while we read a Christmas story together as a family.  The girls were visible to us, but kind of far away.  I noticed that they seemed to be having a lot of fun, and so went to check it out.  They were indeed!  They had found a full carton of eggs, and had broken every last one to create their own slip n slide in the middle of the floor.  We pulled out the video camera and got some good clips of them having fun in the mess and telling us about it.  Not something you'd want to happen, but we got some good laughs out of it.  Overall, it was a great Christmas!  I just wish we all lived closer so we could do those kinds of things more often.