Saturday, June 29, 2013

ABC's, A Quick Update, and Two Commercials

Eli recognizes all of his ABC's. He has even taken to looking in his books to,point out his fav letters. However, he still does not know all of the "ABC" song.

This is what we have been hearing:

     ABC! ELMO P. WXYZ. WXYZ. Now I know my E G J's!! Yay!

Eli is growing and changing so fast. His opinions are even more definite, and he loves to pick out clothes that he likes in the store (anything with certain superheroes - Batman, Superman, Spider-Man; trains (Thomas); Pororo; cars - Mater). You get the idea. Cargo shorts are another love....because of the pockets.

Eli is even learning how to do certain new chores. He loves to help wash plastic dishes in the sink and to run the electric sweeper (it is one of those little 1 pound, battery operated ones) after dinner (with a LOT of help!). He is still helping feed the dogs, and has become very good at it. He is great about putting his toys and shoes away in the evening, putting his clothes in the hamper, and he will throw away his "night pants".... glorified pull-ups....in the morning.  He is nowhere near ready to potty train at night, but he is fully trained during the day. A lot of what he does is response to our routine, but we are proud of him anyway : ).

As long as I am updating, I have to include a couple of product reviews. I know, it is not usually my style, but I have special reasons. I have not been paid by either company or anything, these are just two items we love.


First, we have a LadyBug toy that projects stars onto the ceiling. It's basically a nightlight of a few constellations. It has multiple colors and a 45 minute timer. It has been an absolutely wonderful thing to have. It was a gift to us from a dear friend (thanks, Carol P!) before Eli came home. Eli finds the stars very comforting, and especially loves the green ones. The device is simple enough for him to turn on if he wakes during the night, too. We placed it on a shelf next to Eli's bed so that he can reach it easily when he wants it. We love that it is on a timer, too, so that it goes off without me having to do anything. He has actually worn out some of the LED lights in it, after a year of hard and frequent use,  so we will probably need to replace it soon.

The other product is one that we just found, and are so excited about. Eli remains highly interested in musical instruments, and knows several of them by sight and sound. He is getting more consistent with getting sound out of a trumpet or trombone, he loves my dulcimer, and loves his toy guitar and
saxophone.He has been most recently fascinated by the piano. We have one, but it is not really in
working condition. Today, while out and about, we found a keyboard that interacts directly with an app on Apple devices. Using the app and the keyboard together creates some truly engaging and fun games, and it really helps kids learn the basics of a keyboard. Love, love, love it...and it was $20 (with a free app).

So, while I apologize for the commercials, these two items are worth the mention.
 : ).

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Potty Training Update...the Dirty Details

So, most of you know, we have been potty training.  Eli has had a lot of good success at home, with few accidents (though the ones he had were because of distractions). We have been daytime diaper free for quite a while, though. However, because of the policies of Eli's school, he has had to wear pull ups there until he was accident free for two weeks. Yesterday marked the first day Eli was allowed to  wear underwear at school - and he was successful!  No accidents! My friend, whose un-potty trained child is a year older than Eli, is drooling with envy.

Because we started when Eli was so little, the process, from start to where we are now, was probably longer than it would have been had we started when he was a little older, but the time we've taken feels worthwhile. Eli was ready to start and very interested in the potty at 19 months or so. From that time, until just after Eli turned two, we had Eli sit on his potty whenever we went to the bathroom, and celebrated every success with a high five. When we noticed that Eli needed to use the bathroom, from his posture or his facial expressions,  we would immediately take him and pull off his diaper or pull up, and put him on the potty. Our emphasis was on HOW to use the potty, but we did not pressure Eli to use it every time. I just wanted to make sure that when it came time for Eli to use the potty instead of a diaper that he understood how to do it. This method did, however, save us a lot of, um, "messy" diaper changes. At school, he joined the group of potty trainers last fall, where his teachers, a few times a day, have the children go to the bathroom, practice removing pants and pull ups, sit on the potty, etc. The teacher would give the children stickers on a chart for every time they completed the potty routine, whether they actually "went" or not. Again, with kids so little, the goal was to teach them "how" in a no pressure, but rewarding, format.

Around the beginning of April, we noticed that Eli was really ready to move toward using underwear.    So, a few hours a day, we let Eli strut around in underwear to try them out. EPIC FAIL.

Eli thought the underwear were just really cool diapers. Egad! After going through all of his underwear quicker than my carpet cleaner would like to remember, we put him back in pull ups. But, Eli knew very well how to potty, and had the ability to recognize when he needed to go. So, Patrick and I decided to try the 3 day method with Eli, starting Memorial Day weekend.

We had fabulous results. The method we used suggested that Eli wear nothing below the waist for several days, receive a small reward for using the potty (we used chocolate chips) and that he participate in cleaning up accidents. This meant we were definitely at home for a while. We even got Eli a new potty seat for the occasion (it fits the regular toilet) and he liked it much better than the toddler potty he had previously used.  The first day was riddled with accidents, and I was almost ready to give up. But, after hearing what some other bloggers have said, I decided to press on. The second day was not much different than the first. Sometime during the third day, something clicked in Eli's mind. He had only two minor accidents that day. He only had two more accidents that week, and both were in new situations. I do owe a large volume chain store a sincere apology for the puddle on the floor. And, for all of our sakes, I declined to post the picture of said puddle that my husband snapped on his cell phone while laughing hysterically.

Success!

I am glad that I keep wipes and a wet bag, with a change of clothes in the car, (just in case), but I am very proud of Eli. He has figured out that when we are out and about, restrooms are everywhere, so training outside the home was a snap.  We still have certain times Eli must try to potty....when he first gets up in the morning, before/after meals, before/after nap, etc. We did learn the hard way to make Eli stop and potty every hour and a half that we are out at a playground. Luckily, the other parents thought our son's waterworks were quite funny. But other than that, we try to let him tell us. We do realize that if it has been more than two hours or so, that he probably should go,  but he has been pretty good about either asking us for help or taking himself potty.

As a result, I redesigned some parts of our hall bathroom to be more accessible to Eli. Eli got a new step for the adult potty, along with the new Elmo potty seat. He also got a new step to help him reach the sink on his own. We laid out all of his things-hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc, on the counter, well within his reach. Eli even picked out a new decorative towel....one designed with the characters of the new monster movie. He had a tough choice between that and a B@tman towel. B@tman is really big around here these days. We still do help (and supervise) Eli in the bathroom .. But mostly for safety reasons...and because I would really rather Eli not have his personal water park in there!

Eli is very, very proud of himself. I was really concerned about using chocolate chips to teach him to go potty. I was afraid that he would always want a reward for something that I knew he would soon master. However, after the first few days, Eli said that he needed to potty, and that he didn't want a chocolate chip. He asked for a chocolate chip for going potty last week, which I did give him, but he rarely thinks about the external reward. He is more focused on the fact that we call him a "big boy" for using the potty. He loves that title, and does not hesitate to correct anyone who accidentally calls him a baby...he squares himself up to his full 2 ft 9 inch height, puts his hands on his hips, and declares " I A BIG BOY".

Lol....heaven help us with our "big boy".... I think we will need it : )!



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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Washy, washy, washy!

Okay, so imagine Eli, covered in shampoo, in the middle of Wal-Mart, shouting "Washy, washy, washy!!"

How DID this happen???

Allow me a quick detour in this tale of woe...

It's no secret that we've been potty training, and we decided a little more than a week ago that diapers and training pants were done for daytime (though we break the rules for nighttime, Eli isn't ready for nighttime potty training).  Eli is now absolutely fascinated with everything potty right now.  He even used his allowance to buy a kid's potty training book at a yard sale.

How are the two connected?  Stay with me a moment...

One of the pages in the book says to make sure to "washy, washy" after going "potty, potty".  Eli loves to wash his hands.  It's one of his favorite pages in the book.

We bought shampoo at Wal-Mart tonight. It was riding innocently enough in the cart, and I was mildy distracted, looking at a book, and I heard Eli say "Washy, washy, washy!".  Knowing he was safely beside me, and having heard him say this so much lately, it did not immediately occur to me that something was not quite right.

Then, I heard a squeal of joy, and "Washy, Washy, WASHY!!".  I looked over at my now-sudsy, slippery toddler, who was delighted with himself.

A passing Wal-Mart employee looked at us with extreme pity, and directed us to the nearest restroom. I was able to hose the baby off in the sink, which he thought was a great fun. When I returned to find Patrick, he was shaking with hysterical laughter two aisles over; he didn't see the action, but he heard the whole thing : ).

Hilarity abounds : ).  And having a very slippery sudsy toddler trying to hug me in the middle of Wal-Mart, hollering " I LUV YOU OMA!!  HUG, OMA!!"....well, I do love it.  At least we don't embarrass easily : ).

And at least he didn't do it in the middle of the night - like I did to my mom years ago...