Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Potty Post (well, at least for now)

Norah continues to rock the pee world. She goes consistently and remains accident-free. She holds it a little longer than I would like and I have to remind (and sometimes bribe) her to go frequently. Wednesday was a big day because I had an appointment at the heart center and so Norah spent about 2 hours hanging out at Ruby's house. No accidents, one sit on the potty, but no pee. Apparently, Ruby wanted to try too and the two of them got a good laugh looking at each others "tushies." (She also told me later that night that she has a little tushy and I have a gigantic tushy. Thanks, kid.) I went to pick her up and had her try and go before we left, and sure enough, a nice big pee.

I was taking her with me to my regular OB appointment and I broke the rules and put her in a pull up. I was concerned because 1) it was a bit of a drive, and 2) if I was in the middle of my appointment and she said she had to go we were screwed. She let me do it but then complained in the car the entire time that she was a big girl and she didn't want a pull up. She was great at my appointment and was really into listening to Funkhouser's heart beat. She cried when we had to leave because she wanted the doctor to check her out too.

We got home to a totally dry pull up and a request to sit on the potty, so I know she totally gets it. Underwear for nap and then a delightful afternoon of organizing baby stuff and cleaning out closets. She rediscovered a fancy dress and newborn hat.

She also figured out how to climb in an emptied out armoire.

She stretched out on the shelf and then demanded that I pound on the shelf above her (you know, to be Santa and the reindeer).

I am not ready to even think about putting her to bed in underwear, even though this morning she woke up dry and immediately sat on the potty. We'll see how the next couple of weeks go.

Today was even more monumental because we had big plans to go see Tangled with Ruby and her mom and it was going to be our first real public outing. All morning we talked about and looked at her "outside the house" potty ring and even tried it out a couple of times.

In the elevator on the way to the theater:

She and Ruby were much happier to see each other than this photo reflects. They had big hugs and then walked through the theater holding hands.

We had a successful potty trip before the movie started (yes, I took a picture), and then settled down in our seats in a shockingly crowded theater. Ruby's mom got the girls some popcorn which was thrilling. The movie was cute, despite being a bit age inappropriate (a mean old woman kidnaps the infant Rapunzel and raises her as her own child. Which was confusing because I knew the old woman would meet an unfortunate demise by the end, but Rapunzel called her mother, etc. and two and a half is a little young to understand such a sophisticated concept. Norah kept asking me, 'is that her mommy?' and at one point I said, 'that's her pretend mommy.' Which was dumb because Norah just kept saying, 'but she can TALK.' We have talked ad nauseum about the story since we left the movie and we now refer to her as 'the mean old woman who pretended to be Rapunzel's mommy but really wasn't.')

Anyway, I tried to get her to go potty about 900 times during the movie (I am sure I was so annoying to anyone in ear shot), and finally about 3/4ths of the way through she agreed to go and had another successful trip.

After the movie we let the girls burn off some steam and put them in the photo booth. How cute are they??? (Thanks, M for figuring out how to download the pics.)

The true test will be if we can maintain her current success and actually get her to poop (she hasn't gone since Tuesday). I am a bit apprehensive of what will happen when I go back to work on Monday, but she's in great hands with Ruby and Pamma and I have every expectation she will continue to do great.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

No More Diapers: Day Three (Tuesday)

We successfully completed the "3 day potty training method" and I am confident in calling it a success. Norah continued to pee on the potty all day today with no accidents. Ruby and Caleb came over to keep her company this morning, and even though she was excited and distracted by them, the lure of m&m's convinced her to keep at it. She took another good, long nap in underwear and woke up completely dry.

I had a moment of panic post nap when I realized that today was the day I was supposed to take dinner to a new mom from my local mother's club and I had completely forgotten about it. Thankfully, we had BVZ's homemade chicken tortilla soup (just think at this time 3 years ago, his only specialty was chicken nugget salad) that I packed up with all the fixings. But, I needed bread and dessert, so although it was against the rules Norah and I made a run to the grocery store and then dropped off dinner.

As an aside, Norah loves taking dinner to new moms because she gets to see the babies. In fact, the promise of a baby is the only thing that gets her to agree to come with me. Unfortunately, the house had a weird gate and so instead of going up to the door, the dad just came out to pick up the food. Norah said 'hi' and asked what the baby's name was (Chloe) and then we left. As soon as we got in the car she burst into tears because she wanted to see the baby so badly.

Poop still eluded us, though. As soon as we got home, she had a 10 ounce cup full of pear juice (well, about 25% of it was juice, the rest water). Sure enough, within about 10 minutes of finishing her drink she got the 'look' on her face and made a beeline for the bathroom. She then proceeded to poop the biggest poop I have ever seen in my life (yes, I took a picture, and no, I promise not to post it-I did however immediately email it to my sisters and BVZ). She immediately exclaimed, "my tummy doesn't hurt anymore and I get TWO m&m's!"

We had a great dinner and a fun time with BVZ once he got home. I was ready to pronounce her the perfect potty trainer when it happened. She and I were sitting on the couch playing Jessie/Buzz/Woody and out of no where she started yelling, "Mom, oh no! Oh, no Mom! Moooooooom!" and then proceeded to pee the contents of her 10 ounce cup right onto the couch. She asked BVZ to take her to the bathroom and then sat on the potty and peed a ton more.

She wanted to help clean it up but accepted my assurances that it was no big deal and she was still doing great. I am really proud of her. The true test in my mind, though, starts tomorrow when we finally get to LEAVE THE HOUSE. Wish us luck.

(Tonight after Norah went to bed and BVZ and I settled onto the (now pee free) couch with dinner and a movie, I managed to knock my iphone completely into my glass of water. ARRGGGHHHH. That means, I am without an ability to make calls, text, download cute pictures from today, or play words with friends. That sucks so bad.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

No More Diapers: Day Two (Monday)

I am knocking on every piece of wood I can find, because Operation Potty Train is going better than I ever could have expected. Norah consistently peed on the potty all day today of her own accord and did not have a single accident. I was a little concerned about nap time because she refused my offer of a pull up, and I would have bet $100 that I would have had a load of gross laundry this afternoon. But, she went potty right before she went to bed and woke up completely dry. I was stoked.

She asked me to go with her to the bathroom almost every time she went and then wanted me to pee as well. Luckily, Funkhouser makes it so I have to go about every 15 seconds, so we were a good pair. We both enjoyed an m&m each time. I am really proud of her.

No pooping again today, but no stomach ache. That's the next hurdle.

I feel really good about where she's at, but would be lying if I didn't say that I am totally paranoid about our first venture out of the house. We are not used to spending so much time at home (the recommendation is not even to go to the park during the first 3 days), and are getting a bit of cabin fever. Thankfully, we have playdate reinforcements coming over tomorrow, which will be a welcome relief.

We did a lot of water coloring.

Log building (apparently this is "a submarine on my computer")

and finger painting.

We also watched a movie and 2 episodes of Curious George. There are a lot of hours to fill in a day at home!

No More Diapers: Day One (Sunday)

We've been dabbling (no pun intended) in potty training for months now. Norah has gone through periods of being really interested....and then loses interest just as quickly. We haven't pushed it because 1) I want to wait until she's really ready, and 2) well, um. Diapers are REALLY convenient. But with Funkhouser's arrival less than two months away (yikes), I figured we needed to get on it. It isn't that I am necessarily opposed to having two kids in diapers, but I have zero interest in potty training a toddler with a newborn around and I have even less interest in buying diapers for two.

For months now she has regularly peed on the potty first thing in the morning and right before bath. Her sticker chart is completely full. But, we haven't been all that consistent and she's been in a diaper every time we leave the house. I knew we had crossed the point of no return when we were in Austin a few weeks ago and at the dinner table Norah announced "Mom, I have to go to the potty!" and I told her "it's okay, you are wearing a diaper." Aunt Stephanie shamed and humiliated me and I promised to let her be the big girl she obviously wants to be.

I have this week off of work and so it's game on. Sunday morning we threw out all the remaining diapers (which I rescued from the trash as soon as she wasn't looking-hey, those things are expensive!) and she's been in underwear the entire time. We haven't left the house and probably won't until at least Tuesday (according to the 3-day potty training method, that's the way it goes). She peed on the potty 7 times yesterday and acted as though she'd been doing it all her life. No accidents. I did put her in a pull-up for nap (which was very wet when she woke up). After dinner she complained of a stomach-ache (groaning and clutching her tummy-it clearly was very uncomfortable), and she tried 3 or 4 times to sit on the potty to poop, but no dice. I think she's just used to squatting in a certain way that you can't do on a potty-either the little one or the big one. She was in a ton of pain and asked for a pull-up, so I let her have one even though it is against the "rules" of the 3-day method. She tried to go, but couldn't. We put her in a pull-up for night-time and this morning it was wet and poopy. SO GROSS.

Anyone have tips on the poop situation, I would love to hear them. She isn't adverse to going on the potty, she just can't seem to get the kind of leverage she needs.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Wrap-Up

We had a very different Christmas this year. Usually, we either go to Texas or host family here. But, we couldn't really make definitive plans this time around because we weren't sure when Reid would arrive and/or if I would be up for traveling/hosting. Reid came a bit earlier than expected and we couldn't resist seeing him right away. So, we ended up being home for the holidays while everyone else made other plans. We missed everyone terribly, but at the same time it was pretty awesome just to be able to focus solely on Norah. This was the first year she understood the concept of Santa/Christmas/giving to others, and it was so fun to experience the holidays through her eyes.

I had been wanting to get Norah an outdoor playhouse for a while, but geez, those things are expensive (like $400+). I scoured Craigslist and my local mom's club for weeks and at the beginning of the month found a total score. BVZ picked it up in a borrowed truck in the freezing cold rain a few weeks ago and we've been hiding it out in the backyard (thankfully, the weather has sucked all month and we haven't spent much time out there). BVZ then spent about 3 hours on Christmas Eve afternoon setting up and cleaning the house. He's a good dad.

We traveled across the bay on Christmas Eve afternoon to celebrate with Grandpa Gene, Miss Mary, Mary's daughter Linda, and (Great) Uncles Dick and Alan. Norah wanted to wear her red ballerina dress and had no interest in letting me take a pretty photo of her.

This is what I got when I told her to be a 'Christmas Angel.' HA. She could totally be on Toddler and Tiaras. (By the way, if you haven't seen that show at least once we can't be friends. Really.)

Norah thinks it's hilarious to ask 'are we there yet?' as soon as she gets into the car. It is funny the first time. Not so much the 87th time.

Grandpa Gene, Mary, and Linda completely outdid themselves with dinner-it was an amazing feast. We ate, chatted, and then exchanged gifts. Norah got a duck pillow pet from Grandpa Gene and Mary (she was in heaven), and an amazing Nutcracker music box from Dick and Alan.

We were very remiss about taking pictures, but we did get a few cute ones of Norah and Grandpa Gene.

and Uncle Alan. I keep saying 'next time I will be better about getting good shots' but this time I mean it.

We got home and set out treats for Santa that Norah and I made earlier that day.

Santa got cookies and a glass of milk.

(Doesn't the tree look nice!)

And the reindeer got some carrots.

One last plea to Santa to "please, please, please bring me a drum and 2 drumsticks."

She went right to sleep and Santa enjoyed his treat. He left her a nice note, a full stocking, and believe it our not, a drum with 2 drumsticks.

We are finally getting some karmic payback from the first 18 months of her life, because the kid regularly sleeps in until at least 8:00 am almost every morning. When she woke up she made a beeline for the 'snack table' and almost lost it when she saw that the milk hadn't been touched (whoops). She made a quick turn around when she saw that the cookies and carrots were gone and a drum was in its place.

If only it could be this easy to always make them this happy.

She was thrilled to find stuff in her stocking and was beside herself to see The Aristocats.

And some watercolor paints.

Everything had to stop while she did some painting, specifically on Santa's note.

This is the best picture I got of everyone in their matching holiday pj pants.

Jessie doll from mom.

Christmas breakfast with Jessie.

Lincoln Logs from dad.

It was a lazy and wonderful morning and we took our time opening the loot so she could appreciate and enjoy each thing (she was very spoiled by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins). In fact, she still has about 5 things left to open. I tried to convince her to take a nap but she insisted that it was Christmas and she would just "rest and watch Beauty and the Beast" (thanks, Bubby).

At this point, you might be wondering how she liked the playhouse. Well, she didn't actually see it on Christmas. Why? Because ALL day it looked like this.

I knew we wouldn't be able to show it to her and keep her away, so we decided it would be better left as a day after Christmas surprise. Which of course meant it was no longer a Santa gift but a mom and dad gift. Which was okay with BVZ, I think. He worked hard on that thing.

Norah didn't take a nap, but bear did and she read to him from my new cookbook while he got settled in.

And spent some quality time with her new loot.

About 4:00 we headed over to the L-J house for Christmas dinner and general merriment. I am embarrassed to say I didn't take one single picture (as an aside, our family gift to each other this year was a DSLR camera I have been coveting for months. We still have yet to take it out of the box. Sigh.) It was a fabulous evening. They outdid themselves with a prime rib-we don't ever cook red meat here, so it was a serious treat and BVZ was literally beside himself with joy. In fact, he hasn't stopped talking about it for over 2 days. Food was great, company was better, and we had a really, really good time. In fact, we may just be back next year....

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Hearth

I like Christmas decorations, but we have a small house and I already feel totally overwhelmed by how much stuff is in it. Our holiday decor tends to be minimal because 1) I am too cheap to buy stuff that will only be used a few weeks a year, and 2) what we do put out already makes me feel like we are on the verge of being on an episode of Hoarders. So, our Christmas decorations consist primarily of a tree, a snowman in the window, a gingerbread house in the other window, a small, lit decorative tree on the front walkway, and the wreath we get every year from our realtor. Oh, and the hearth. We have a nice fireplace with a mantle that I love, so that's where our prized Christmas items go-the ceramic angels made by my Grandma Mary and the stockings made by Bubby.

I have had this handmade stocking for as long as I can remember and it rocks a seriously cool 70's vibe. My mom made each of the sisters a stocking and they were a huge part of our Christmas mornings (filled to the brim with chapsticks, bubble bath, oranges, and candy-I would sneak out of my room at like 3 am to switch the flavors I got for the ones my sisters got...but that's a whole different story). I loved my stocking so much that I didn't even mind that mine was green and everyone else's was red, or that mine turned left and everyone else's turned right (way to stick it to the one girl out of four who didn't get thick and gorgeous blonde hair, but whatever...)

Anyway, once the next generation started showing up Bubby made sure each of them got a special stocking too. This year is Norah's stocking's debut (why, yes your math is correct and this is her 3rd Christmas), but we feel pretty lucky because I think Trevor had 5 before he got his. If Reid or Funkhouser get a stocking before they can drive, they will be doing okay (just kidding Bubby).

The cat used to have a stocking, but I couldn't find it this year, and really, I don't like her much anyway.

Norah's stocking up close. She loves it.

My other favorite part of holiday decor is the door from to the kitchen to the garage, which displays all of the cards we receive. I love photo cards and I especially love cheesy 'what we've been up to this year' letters. Keep 'em coming.


There are a handful of houses in our neighborhood that have really gone all out in terms of holiday lights. Norah has 3 favorites-the "blinking light and music house," "the Santa hammock house", and "the Rudolph house." She requests to visit each of her favorite houses after dinner every night and we have happily obliged. Because she loves the lights so much, last night we decided to drive to a neighborhood about 10 minutes away that has the reputation for hard core holiday cheer.

We got ready to go and Norah told me to "take a picture of me kissing my cousins." When asked who her cousins are she says, "Megan and Trevor who are so big, and Reid is really pretty little."

I knew this particular street was pretty popular, but we were totally unprepared for what we were about to find. I thought we would stay in the car the whole time, but Norah begged to get out and walk, so we carefully navigated the crowds trying to find a parking spot. We got lucky in front of a house that had giant blow up airplanes and Santas on trains. Thankfully, I thought to throw Norah's coat in the car as an afterthought. She was warm. BVZ and I froze.

We started at the end of the block, with a handful of tastefully decorated homes. In any other neighborhood, this would be the star of the show.

As we walked, the displays got more and more elaborate.

Until we encountered this. It was a giant, sprawling house that was literally covered every inch in lights. The homeowners had a big FAQ sign, and according to that, there were over 70,000 lights on the house, completely powered by solar energy (obviously the number one question everyone has is 'how much is your electric bill?' According to this-nothing).

There was a huge crowd/line in front of the house and we just assumed it was to see the displays. Oh no. These people trucked in a ramp, ice, and snow, and set up a sledding station for all the kids. They had toboggans and one after another thrilled kid went sailing down.

It was definitely the focal point of the block, but there were many more spectacular houses.

This was one of my favorites. It is kind of hard to see from the picture, but the whole house is decked out in ornaments.

This is a real tree in someone's front yard.

It was one giant block party. Most of the residents had fire pits in their driveways and tables full of adult beverages and snacks. We couldn't tell if it was supposed to be a free for all, or if it was more like tail-gating (ie, invited guests only). We figured it was probably the latter since there didn't seem to be too many people partaking in the treats.

Norah was beside herself with joy. Of course, after walking around for over an hour, as soon as we got home she demanded to walk to her special 3 houses. I think she is finally starting to forgive us for Halloween being over (her all time favorite time of the year), and embrace the Christmas spirit instead.