Point It Down! (Potty Training Our Son)

Maximus Potty TimeWell, the day finally came.   It was time to face the dreaded monster that all toddlers meet at some point in their toddlerhood.

That’s right.  It was time to potty train our son.

My husband suggested we start months ago, so I waited until his two week vacation to begin.  (Since he thought it was a grand idea, I didn’t want him to miss out on all of the fun.)

We decided to do the 3 Day Potty Training Method.  With this program, you throw away all of the diapers, wear big boy undies and watch for ques of when it is time to go.  You cancel all of your plans for those three days and are warned in advance to expect accidents.

We pumped up Maximus about potty training and even went to the store to buy stickers and let him select his reward.  Guess what he wanted?  Flags! A pack of four was less than three dollars.

DAY ONE: Bright and early on Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. we heard Maximus waking up.  We rushed in, excited more than ever, and told him TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!  He got all of his diapers out of of the diaper holder.  He and dad walked to the garbage (multiple trips) and threw them away.  I’ll admit, I walked behind them once they left and took the diapers out of the garbage in case this three day method didn’t work.  (A’int nobody got time for throwing away perfectly new diapers you may use again.)

We took a field trip to his bathroom and the new potty.  We talked about how we would no longer use diapers and would be a big boy and use the potty.  All he wore was his undies, socks and a shirt. Surely our pep talk would work right away.

He peed on the floor.

Several times.

Pretty much all day.

Each time was not too long after we asked him to let us know if he needed to go. He earned a couple of stickers for one drop of urine entering the toilet (as we ran as quickly as we could to get him there) and we made as big a deal of it as possible.

After day one, I was pretty confident he wasn’t ready yet.

DAY TWO: My husband and I woke up again excited to conquer the world of pottying. We were ready to help Maximus earn more stickers, which he seems interested in.  He really wanted a flag which we were using as a grand prize for a full incident.

Luckily, day 2 consisted of a couple of pee pees on the potty.  We all did the “Pee Pee on the Potty” dance. We called Aunt Sharon.   Big things were happening.  Maximus was excited because he earned his flag.  We were excited because there was a slither of hope.  Could the pee gods be listening to us?  Was a miracle getting ready to happen?

DAY THREE: I’m not really sure what Maximus dreamed about overnight, but he woke up with very little interest in using the potty.  Let me change that. He woke up with no interest in the potty.  He didn’t want to be close to the bathroom.  Our dance was no longer exciting.  The words ‘pee’ and ‘potty’ just made him turn up his nose. He looked at us like we were crazy.

I was pretty sure that those diapers I hid in the closet would be coming out again really soon. I went to bed feeling like we lost the battle.

DAY FOUR: Instead of giving up, we decided to give potty training one more chance. The morning started off the same. Instead of asking him to tell us when he needed to go to the bathroom, we took him every 30 minutes to try.  Mid afternoon, my husband had a man-to-man talk with him.  I’m not sure what happened at that talk, but miraculously Maximus used the bathroom.

And he kept using the the bathroom for the rest of the day.

And throughout the weekend.

Talk about alleluia moments!  Yes, Lord!

*Now, it’d be great it that was the end of the story and everyone lived happily ever after.  Unfortunately, the journey of pee-hood isn’t that easy.  We have had both good and bad moments with remembering to use the bathroom.  I also learned that my son is a boy.

We went to an outlet mall and stopped for food on the way back.  I sat him on the toilet at Burger King, I stand up to breath for 1 millisecond and he sprays urine all over the bathroom stall door.  I look wide eyed at the door and can’t believe what I just saw.

“Point down! Point down!” I yell.  But, of course, by then it was too late.

So, not only are we dealing with encouraging him to use the bathroom. Once there, the direction in which he points makes all the difference!

Also, pooing on the toilet is not happening. Not sure why to him it feels better to poo in his big boy undies, but it does.  And once it stinks, he let’s us know.  Or, he let’s us find a poo in his bed. Can you say happy, happy, joy, joy?

We are glad that we are over the first hump of Maximus knowing how to use the potty. We never got the diapers back out. We are hoping in the near future that he’ll let us know when he needs to go (versus us asking him) and he’ll be able to do #1 and #2 on the john like a champ.

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Oh No He Didn’t!

I knew it would happen.

I just didn’t know when.

I just didn’t know how.

I took two years and four months.

That’s right! Maximus finally climbed out of the bed.

At first I thought he was scared of climbing out and it would never happen.  The first couple of times he tried, he’d climb on the top edge and just sit there. I think he got nervous, so he’d climb back down the rail into his bed and go back to sleep.

After several days of building up his upper body strength, I think he did some research on my phone.  That has to be the way he came up with his genius idea. Because no longer was he afraid to climb over the crib rail.  Now, he found a way to climb onto the changing table that sat connected.

Imagine to my surprise walking into his room to see him sitting, and smiling, upon the changing table.  That little rascal!  He thought he was the smartest thing ever.  And I guess for that brief minute he was. I immediately gave him the speech about how he could get hurt, he needed to stay in his crib….. I’m sure in his world, all he heard was, “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….”

I immediately called my husband to tell him about our son’s latest feat.  Hubby said that it’s finally time for the big boy bed.  I’ve been dreading this big boy bed because I feel he will no longer be contained.  Gone will be the days where I know no wrong doing can happen late at night in his bed.  I wasn’t ready just yet.  I needed more time.

Fast forward ahead about a week later.  I laid Maximus down for his nap.  As usual, I walk out of his room, close the door, walk right across the hall to my bedroom and close my bedroom door.  But this time was different.  Before I could walk seven steps to our recliner, I heard a door in the hallway open.  It was an unfamiliar sound.  I wondered if my husband had come home early from work.

I open my bedroom door, and standing there before me is Mr. Maximus with the widest smile in the world.  Not only had he climbed out of bed.  But he safely landed and was so excited to boast about it that he opened in door and started walking toward mine.

Needless to say, the big boy bed will be installed A.S.A.P.!!!!

Overcoming Obstacles

MyGymBallsI think everyone overcomes many obstacles in life.  Some are larger than others and many of them make us stronger as a person.  Today I was able to watch my son Maximus overcome one of his.  All summer we have been attending My Gym Louisville.  It’s a cool gym for kids. Maximus is in the Waddler group and he’s able to run, jump, climb, slide and swing.  We love it!

They change the set up of the room around every week. Today they had a walking plank that led into a huge pit of plastic balls.  Although Maximus loves the balls, he’s always scared to jump into them.  Usually I’ll say, “1, 2, 3” and throw him in and he has the brightest smile.  Today started like a normal day with the balls.  He loves to walk across the plank, but as he gets closer to the end with the balls, he walks closer to me and holds on tight to my shirt.  You can tell he’s scared.  He would gradually push his toe over the edge and then step in in slow motion.

Next, he tries to climb out of the balls back onto the plank so I push his booty in the air to help him. He gets back up and once again walks to the edge. He scoots closer to me and then falls in.  It takes him about four times to realize jumping into the balls are pretty fun and touching mom isn’t necessary for it to be successful.  So the next time he gets on the plank, he walks to end, stands there and jumps right in.  I become one proud parent!  I watch him do it several more times and each time he’s more confident. In less than 20 minutes I was able to watch my son overcome his fears.  I think toward the end I was smiling more than he was. I’m so excited to watch him continue to grow. I’m glad that he still thinks I can solve all of his world’s problem, but I’m also glad that he’s willing to try to solve his own!

Oh What a Difference a Year Makes

 

After 10 weeks of bed rest, it was a blessing to welcome Maximus to the world June 3 of last year. With a troubled pregnancy, it was good to have him just ‘slide out’.  And ever since our eyes locked, it has been instant love!

 


There have been plenty of hours of little to no sleep.  For awhile I thought waking up at 12:30, 3:30 and 5:30am were normal. I am now a champion diaper changer, but know that explosive diapers out in public are never good. 

I’ve learned that the smile of a baby can go along way and the fact that my son goes to me to make everything better means I am the queen of his world. I hate feeling helpless when he has a fever or after his shots.

I know that da-da slides off his tongue easier that ma-ma and that when you drop something intentionally on the ground you say, “Uh Oh!” The Mickey Mouse Club House song is the best song in the world, with a close second being the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

People in church think when Maximus tries to sing random sounds out loud in service that it’s cute.  I think he might hold the world record for producing the most slobber.

Maximus crawled and then walked at nine months and is officially into any and everything that isn’t a toy.  He’ll blow you a kiss and clap if you sing.  

 

We don’t leave home without his binky and the car is the perfect place for a nap. He loves when dad comes room and runs to the door every time.

 

 He has six teeth and loves to read books.  His smile and eyes can light up a room, but his stranger danger is real.  I’m proud to have breast fed him for an entire year.

I’ve relented to the fact that everyone thinks our son looks like my husband and I know that the two of them traveling solo by airplane is a major disaster.

But most of all, I’ve experiences the unconditional love that many other mothers and fathers have described. It’s hard to believe that we produce such precious souls. I’ve loved reading about everyone’s kids graduating from elementary, middle and high school recently.  When you’ve said times goes by fast, you’re not joking.

I wanted to thank each of you for the stories you’ve told me and advice that you’ve given.  I’m a better parent because of you.

One Small Step

There is nothing more precious than a cute, snuggly baby.  You know, the kind that just loves to be held. The kind that if you leave him in one spot, you leave, come back to that spot and he is still there.  Aren’t those just the most special times?

There is something else equally as special.  I’ll give you a hint: the word starts with a “s”.  No, it’s not shopping or sex or sippy cups or sports.  It’s SLEEP!  You know that thing that most single people without kids do without thought?! I think I’ve forgotten how it feels to sleep through the entire night.

Well, three weeks ago, both of those glorious things (sleep and stationary) disappeared forever.  It was 5:30am on a Saturday morning.  I was dreaming of sleeping and I heard the sound that interrupts all of my dreams.  It starts out as an innocent whimper and turns into a loud shriek.  My sweet son Maximus was up and ready to roll. He didn’t care or know that it was Saturday.  Or that it was 5:30am. Since it was the weekend, I had no problem nudging Milton to wake up and go get him.  So now the entire family was up bright and early (scratch that, it wasn’t bright – only early).   We set Maximus on the ground and for the first time he started crawling across the room.   Like a bull heading toward a target, he was on the move. And he hasn’t stopped.

Our house is a whole new world for him.  Suddenly Maximus has access to things he never knew existed.  The phone chord now calls his name.  Drawers are the most fantastic inventions.  And don’t get us started on the blinds!  All the toys spread out in the family room are now invisible.  Anything that makes mom raise an eyebrow becomes his newest obsession.  He loves life and want to see any and everything in it.

And then last week happened.  We were all playing on the floor in our bathroom and once again Maximus acted like it was showtime.  He was standing up holding onto his daddy when he decided to take a couple of steps toward mom before diving head first the rest of the way.  Milton and I jumped up and down as if we hit a game winning shot. Maximus just looked at us wondering what all the hype and hoopla was about.

So, if you notice more grey hairs on my head, not only am I getting older, but I’m chasing around a curiously inquisitive boy. He’s just 10 months old and is already growing so fast.  With two bottom teeth and two top teeth, he knows how to gnaw on one of the most sensitive parts of my body (yes, still breastfeeding). But, I wouldn’t exchange him for anything!  When those bright eyes light up as you walk into the room – you know the love is unconditional!

How’s that Cute Baby?!

 How’s that cute baby?

That is the number one question I am asked these days.  Nobody really cares how I am or how my husband is (although we are both doing well).  But, everyone wants to know how Maximus is doing.  And the answer is: he is a baby, a bundle of boy!

Can you believe that Maximus is already 8 months old?! You all were correct when you said that they grow up really fast.  It’s been about two weeks since our first two teeth appeared.  After drooling like a teenage boy on the beach, those suckers finally surfaced.  At first I was so excited to see them – that is until it was time to breastfeed.  Biting + breastfeeding are not a good combination.  (YES, I’m still breastfeeding after 8 months!)

Maximus can roll over in both direction and sit up on his own for an extended period of time.  However, he has little to no interest in crawling.  If you lay him on his stomach in a crawling position, he will quickly roll over on his back. If you roll him back on his stomach and get on all fours to demonstrate how to crawl, he’ll just look at you like you’re crazy and still roll back over on his back.

However, he loves to stand up! He can pull himself up to a standing position.  We have a walker that looks like a baby sized plastic lawn mower and he can push it in a room and walk with it. He is very observant and upon walking into new surroundings he will stare and take everything in before feeling comfortable.

He loves to talk, blow raspberries and mumble – especially in church.  We haven’t said mama or dada yet, but it often sounds like he says “I love you”.  His face lights up at the opening words to The Mickey Mouse Club (“Hey everybody, it’s me. Mickey Mouse…) His face also lights up whenever my husband walks in the room after a day at work or talks with him on Facetime through the Iphone (thank you Steve Jobs).

Maximus went on a bottle strike for at least a month and a half and recently went to a daycare that he hated.  Plus, he had the flu. Even with the flu shot. It’s hard to be a parent of a sick kid, especially one that is too young to know what’s going on.  I still don’t fully know what it means to sleep through the night and did not get the sleep model baby that takes extensive naps during the day.

He’s a mama’s boy that always knows where I am in a room.  His favorite spot is in my arms and his big brown eyes will melt anyone’s heart!  Maximus can care less about battery operated stuffed animals that sing and move, instead he likes objects that he can bang and throw around the room. In my husband’s words – he is our miracle baby and we are so blessed to be called his parents!