two gross-ish tales

Here are two of those “TMI Mommyblogger” stories that Catie will probably hate me for when she’s a teenager.

1.) Catie’s been fully potty-trained since early this year. She’s had zero accidents for… I don’t know, at least six months, I guess? It’s been so long that I’ve stopped bringing extra clothes with me everywhere I take her, because she’s so reliable about always using the potty.

But in the past week, she’s wet the bed not once, but twice. I know she’s stressed out because of my new job and my pregnancy and all of that, but I guess I kind of expected this to start after the baby got here, not before. True, both of those accidents happened on nights when she didn’t go to the bathroom before bedtime, but she’s done that dozens of times in the past and never had accidents, so… ? I don’t get it.

The thing is, if I have to get up at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for work, I do not have the energy for these middle-of-the-night sheet changes. So I’m implementing a new rule: if she doesn’t pee before bed, she’s going to have to wear a Pull-Up. (And no, just sitting on the potty and telling me that she can’t go doesn’t count.) I have a feeling this might be enough to snap her out of this phase, since she’s very entrenched in that “only babies wear diapers” mindset. Or at least it might convince her to just go ahead and pee before bedtime already. Sheesh.

2.) Last night, when it was time to head upstairs for bed, she wanted to bring her stuffed reindeer with her to bed. Fine with me. But suddenly, she threw her reindeer on the ground and burst into tears, saying, “I don’t want my reindeer, he’s got white dirt on him!!”

I picked up the toy to check out what this “white dirt” was all about… and pulled two HUGE boogers off of her reindeer.

Me: Oh, eww. Catie, did you pick your nose and wipe it on the reindeer?

C: No.

Me: Then whose boogers are these?

C: Um… I think they’re Daddy’s?

Nice way to throw your father under the bus, kid. We went to tell Dave goodnight, and I repeated the story to him.

Dave: Catie, I did NOT put boogers on your reindeer!
[Aside: y’all should hear how Dave pronounces the word “boogers” with his British accent. It’s completely adorable and hilarious.]
[Aside #2: File THAT quote – “I didn’t put boogers on your reindeer” – with the other million sentences you never thought you’d say until you had a kid.]

C: *giggles because she knows she’s busted*

Me: So, whose boogers were they?

C: Fairy boogers! *falls over laughing*

If that’s true, Tinkerbell really needs to get herself to an ear-nose-and-throat specialist, fast. Yuck.

P.S. I think calling something “fairy boogers” is going to be my new kid-safe way of saying that something is bullshit. It sounds so much more G-rated that way.

where I've been

I haven’t blogged in a week, which is practically unheard of for me, so y’all will have to indulge me here and let me do one of these recappy things to cover what’s going on here at Chez PooBou.

* Catie hasn’t had a single potty accident since last Friday (as in, April 23rd). That’s 9 days ago. I think, I mean I’m reasonably certain, that this means she’s… potty-trained? Like, we’re done? Quick, somebody knock on some wood for me!

She still wears a Pull-Up to bed, but she wakes up dry every morning, so we could probably ditch that as well. But she asks for the Pull-Up at bedtime, I think it makes her feel more secure. And that’s fine. We made a BIG DEAL out of putting her diaper pail in storage the other day (no more putting stinky poops in here! All your poops go in the potty now, right? Right! YAAYY!), and she was pretty excited about that.

And on the one hand, I feel like, wait, that’s it? We’re all done now? That was too easy! But then I have to slap myself and remember that we started this process a full freaking YEAR ago. So, no. It has not been easy. At all. But I think she’s got it down now. Finally. Praise the lord.

Future's so bright...

Also? She is so proud of herself, y’all. Last night we went to TGI Friday’s for dinner, and she introduced herself to the waitress. “Hi! I’m Catie W[last name]! I poop in the potty!” Dave and I almost died laughing. (And thankfully, the waitress seemed to think it was funny too, she didn’t look horrified.)

* I’ve been exercising like a maniac lately. It’s bizarre because I’ve always hated working out, but now I’m finding that I actually look forward to it. The exercises for my knee that the sports medicine doctor gave me have really helped, and I’ve been able to really push myself to work out hard, which feels great. I’m doing the couch-to-5K (although I’m stuck on week three because no matter how hard I try, I cannot run for longer than 3 minutes without feeling like I’m going to fall over and die; I’ve tried to move up to week 4 on a few different occasions, and nope, sorry, my body cannot run for 5 minutes; hopefully I’ll get there someday?) and I’m doing “The 30-Day Shred” in there on alternate days.

Yesterday, just to mix it up, I did my “Weight Loss Yoga” DVD, which I haven’t done in ages (btw, that’s another “Biggest Loser” by-product, and I do not understand why I’m suckered into buying these things when I don’t actually watch the show!). And it was a great workout, so I definitely need to start working that one in more frequently.

So, yeah. I’m apparently becoming a workout nut. Bizarre. The diet part is trickier. I’ve lost about 5 pounds and I’m holding steady there. I know the foods I need to change in order to amp it up. I’m just having a hard time making myself walk away from the junk food. As usual.

* My job is busy. Trying to balance working full-time along with taking care of the house and the kid and all of that? It’s kind of kicking my butt. I think there are probably a lot of areas in which I’m failing right now – like, say, in the housekeeping division. But hopefully I’m going to be getting some help on that front very soon, because there is just no way I can keep this whole house clean on top of parenting my kid and working 40 hours a week. And Dave works even longer hours than I do. So I think a housekeeper is definitely in our immediate future.

* Spring means getting to hang outside more often, which probably accounts at least partially for my lack of blogging. Catie wants to spend every available moment playing outside with the neighborhood kids. And she’s too little to play outside by herself, so that’s where I am too.

Spring also means the return of Drum Night. The last Friday of every month, we go to see a band called Rhythmicity that plays at an outdoor mall near us. The kids love it.

Catie rocking the tambourine at drum night

Elizabeth boogies down with the belly dancer
(Catie & her cousin Elizabeth both liked the belly dancer, and I have to admit that she was pretty awesome. I admire anyone who can get up in front of a crowd and shake their stuff the way that she did.)

So, yeah. If you don’t hear from me as much on the blog here, don’t worry about me. We’re all good.

t-shirt headdress

In fact, I think we’re better than good.

The most exciting Saturday night I've had in ages

Yesterday, I needed to run to a few different stores, and Catie had said she wanted to go “play wif’ kids” at the drop-in daycare down the street. They’re open on Saturday afternoons/evenings for parents to have date nights, which is pretty cool. I don’t mind shopping with Catie because she’s generally pretty easy, but I have to admit that the idea of shopping alone sounded awesomely self-indulgent. The thought that I might be able to take a few extra minutes to actually try on clothes, instead of my usual “grab/dash/return it later if it doesn’t fit” method? Yeah. That sounded nice.

So I dropped her off and went shopping. I’m a big fan of the Kohl’s Cares for Kids program, and this month they’re doing a Dr. Seuss theme. I bought Catie a copy of “The Lorax” a few weeks ago, and it’s quickly become her favorite book. We read it almost every night. I saw that they also had a Lorax plush doll, and I knew Catie would love it, and for only $5, well, what the heck.

While I was finishing up the rest of my errands, I had a lightbulb go off over my head, and I thought this might be worth a shot.

So I picked Catie up from daycare, and when I got her all situated in the car, and I told her that we needed to have a talk. I told her that I had a surprise for her, but she could only have it if she promised that the next time she needed to poop, she would at least try to sit on the potty.

Catie: No potty. I just poop in Pull-Ups.
Me: Huh. Ok then, I guess I don’t get to give you this surprise then. Too bad, I’ll just have to take it back to the store.
Catie: I see the surprise?
Me: Ok, I’ll show it to you, but you don’t get to hold it until you promise that you’ll at least try to poop on the potty. Deal?
Catie: Deal.

So I showed her the Lorax, and oh man, she flipped. She wanted it so bad. I reminded her that she could only keep it if she tried to poop on the potty, otherwise I’d have to return it to the store. (And no, I’m not that cruel, I wasn’t actually going to take it away from her. But she didn’t know that.)

A few times last night, she asked to sit on the potty to try to poop, but nothing happened. I wasn’t really expecting it, I was just happy that she was at least willing to try.

Then right around bedtime, she said that she needed to try to poop on the potty again. I said ok, helped her up onto the potty, and sat on the floor next to her. She asked me to hug her, so I did. She said she was scared, and I told her that there was nothing to be scared of. I started babbling about how it’s ok if she doesn’t go, I’m proud of her just for trying, because all these things take practice. After all, there once was a time when she couldn’t sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and now she sings it beautifully, because she practiced a lot and she got really good at it.

While I was hugging her and just talking-talking-talking to try to distract her, I suddenly heard a very distinct “plop!” sound.

It is a little embarrassing to admit just how much I flipped out over this. I seriously jumped up and down and clapped and screamed “YAAAAYYYY CATIE!!! WOOOOOO-HOOOOO!!!!!” I think I scared her a little bit with my over-reaction, but she laughed too, and joined in with applauding herself and doing a little happy dance with me.

Then we had to call everybody (my parents, my sister, Cat, everybody) and tell them how she pooped in the potty. She got lots of big reactions on the phone too. I think everybody knows how big a deal it was for both of us.

Then, because this kid has a memory like a steel trap, she said, “I have cupcakes now?” Because I once told her ages ago that if she pooped on the potty, we’d have cupcakes to celebrate. I told her that it was bedtime and I didn’t have any cupcakes right now, but that we’d get some in the morning.

Today, Catie’s friend (and our former neighbor) Morgan and her mom came over for a playdate, and just as I promised, we made cupcakes. They were pretty delicious, if I do say so myself.

Today I’m still riding a weird sort of high. It’s a “wow, I think my kid might actually be potty-trained” high. I can’t even begin to explain how great it feels.

I can get her to smile for the camera, but not look at it

And it only took 39 months. Sigh.

99% Big Girl

Announcement time:
Catie has worn big-girl underpants to daycare every day for the past two weeks. And a direct quote from the source: “I keep my panties dry ALL DAY! And NO acci-nents!!”

Catie in her "two ponytails" (don't call them pigtails to her)
She is quite pleased with herself.

However, when she wants to poop, she goes into the bathroom cabinet, retrieves a Pull-Up, and demands to put it on so she can poop in it. Rather than, you know, just using the damn toilet like a normal person.

I haven’t figured out how I’m going to tackle that one. I’m tempted to wait until I know she’s about to poop, then plop her on the toilet and tell her that she can get up after she’s done. But I know how stubborn she is, and I also know how prone to constipation she is, and I’m kind of scared to force the issue. She’ll figure it out eventually, right? RIGHT?!?!! (Her daycare teacher keeps reassuring me that she will. I’m hoping that’s the truth.)

And for the record, yes I’ve offered bribes. I’ve told her that we’ll have cupcakes when she poops on the potty. I’ll buy her a train table for all of her Thomas trains if she poops on the potty. I’ll do anything. Still no dice.

I’ve also tried telling her that only babies poop in diapers and Pull-Ups, and all the big girls use the potty. She keeps saying she’s a big girl, and I’m all, “Yeah, you will be as soon as you learn to poop in the potty! That’s the only thing left that keeps you from being a big girl!”

I got nothin’.

P.S. A toddler fashion tip:
Besides big-girl panties (which, you know, are all the rage right now), Catie would also like you to know that:
1. “Two ponytails” (NOT pigtails) are the best way to keep your hair out of your face when you’re playing at daycare, and
2. When it’s chilly outside in the morning, throw on your favorite old-lady cardigan, button it up incorrectly, and off you go.

Casual pose on her way to daycare
It’s fashion, darling.

Potty-Training Status Report

I’m scared to blog about this since last time was such a disaster, but potty-training is… going much better than I expected.

Excuse me while I pause to look around and make sure no anvils are about to fall out of the sky and land on my head.

Tuesday night, I got the ball rolling by telling Catie that she was going to start using the potty in the morning. She’s a cautious kid, and I thought she might need some warning time to process it and prepare. I think it helped. I also decided to use Pull-Ups this time instead of just going cold turkey to big-girl panties.

Yesterday (day 1) was very hit-or-miss. She had a couple of successful pees in the potty, but she also peed in her Pull-Ups a lot. But I was happy with the progress that she made, since we were basically starting from scratch. Every time she peed on the potty, I cheered and applauded her, and gave her lots of hugs & kisses, and rewarded her with a York peppermint patty (her favorite treat). (And yes, that means that this morning I gave her chocolate before breakfast. I know, I’m the worst mother ever. Whatever, I was proud of her.)

(Also, for the record, the little training potty? Does not work for her. She hates it. Maybe because she remembers the last potty-training attempt. So we have a Dora potty seat and put it on the regular toilet for her to use. She likes it because it’s the same “big potty” that Mommy uses. And I have to say, I much prefer just flushing & not having to clean out the little pot.)

Today has been a lot better. She’s peed in the potty four times already, and has only had one accident. She’s pooped in her Pull-Up a few times – which, ok yes, the idea is to eventually get her to poop on the potty too, but after her 6-day poop strike that happened last time? I’m just happy that she’s still going & not holding it in. Baby steps, right?

Also, I told her that if she can learn how to pee and poop in the potty, and if she can do it every time without accidents by the time we move into the new house, then when we move, I’ll get her a Thomas the Tank Engine table just like the one at the toy store. And we can put it in her new playroom. I think that motivation might help her a lot. (I’ve seen about 25 train tables for sale on craigslist. I was thinking about getting her one after we move anyway, now I just have a way to use it as a bribe.)

So, yeah. I think we’re getting there. I don’t know how long it’ll take to get her 100% potty-trained, but at least she’s making progress and I can safely say that it’s a thousand times better than last time.

Potty-Training 2: Bathroom Boogaloo

As y’all probably remember, we tried to potty-train Catie back in May. I’d describe that venture as one great big, epic FAIL. She clearly wasn’t ready, and I had no prior potty-training experience so I had no clue how to help her through the transition.

Now, though, it’s three months later. And she seems to be completely potty-trained when she’s at the baby-sitter’s house. Meanwhile, if I ask her to sit on the potty at home, I get a bunch of histrionic wailing and “NO! NO POTTY!!” Hmm.

Clearly, something needs to be done. To be honest, I think I was thoroughly traumatized by that last potty-training attempt, so I just put it out of my head and figured I’d tackle it again… someday. With no concrete idea of when that would be, because I was too freaked out to imagine revisiting that whole debacle.

My sister Tracy and I were chatting online yesterday and she gave me this brilliant idea, and I’ve decided to run with it. Dave and I talk to Catie about the upcoming move a lot, and we’re always trying to reassure her how it’s all going to be great, because we don’t want her to get stressed out about it. So we talk about how it’s a really nice house, and we’ll all be there (Mommy, Daddy, Catie, Beaumont, & Teenie), and Catie’s big-girl bed will be there, and all of her toys, books, and movies will also be there. And oh, the fun we will have in our new house.

BUT (and this is where Tracy’s genius comes in), I told Catie last night, the one thing that our new house doesn’t have? Diapers. There are no diapers in the new house. At the new house, we all use the potty.

Catie is at daycare today, so we’re going to start working on this tomorrow. I think we’ll probably go the Pull-Up route for a day or two before going cold turkey to just big-girl panties, because that was a disaster last time.

Wish me luck. I’m sure I’m going to need it. (Oh, and if you have any potty-training pearls of wisdom, feel free to leave them in the comments for me.)

Constipation Watch '09

I think the worst of the drama is over. Last night Catie clung to me, screaming and crying “Mommy, it hurts!!” And after a few minutes of that, she finally produced a poop the size of a tennis ball. Which, OMG. Poor baby girl.

The other problem we’re having right now is that she was so distressed by the potty-training process and the sensation of pee running down her legs, that she’s now trying to hold her pee as long as possible. Which I suppose is a good thing, since it means that she’s learning how to go a long time in between trips to the bathroom. But she’s not going to the bathroom, we’ve let her go back to wearing diapers, and it seems like she’s afraid to use them. She holds it until she’s in pain, and again we start up with the screaming and the “Mommy help! Poop!” (It’s not poop, but the pressure in her tummy probably feels like it.) It’s awful because I hate seeing my little girl in pain, and there isn’t really anything I can do about it. She just needs to pee, and she’s scared to. So that sucks.

pretty girl with wet hair
Seriously, who could stand to see that face go all sad and miserable?

I think that the one good thing about this failed attempt at potty-training is that it’s at least introduced the idea of using the potty into her mind. Catie has never been the type of child to adapt to something new really quickly. She was on the late side of the normal range when it came to crawling, walking, talking, laughing, and a whole bunch of other things. She is not the kid who’s going to jump into the deep end of the pool on her first try, and that’s totally and completely FINE with me. So we’ve let her know that this is something she needs to do; we often talk about all the big kids she knows who use the potty. She even goes through the list of all the neighborhood kids to check on their potty-usage status. (“Kenzie go potty?” “Yes, sweetie, McKenzie uses the potty.” “Jakey go potty?” “Yes, Jacob uses the potty too.” And so on.) It’s definitely on her mind a lot, but now I’m going to back off and give her some time to mull it over and decide when it’s time to try again. She’s a smart kid, she’ll let me know when she’s ready.

Other than that, the visit from my parents has been good. We went to the Life & Science Museum in Durham, which is so much fun. Catie loves the farm animals and the butterfly house, and although she was most excited to ride on the choo-choo train, she got freaked out when we went through the tunnel and all the kids screamed (at the train conductor’s instruction). But she had a lot of fun overall. We really should get a membership there, it’s such a cool place.

Oh, and my sister gets here tonight, so yay! Dave leaves for his trip to Seattle tomorrow morning – and yes, I am completely jealous that he’s going to Seattle without me, but I get to have my whole family here this weekend, so I guess that’s an ok trade-off.