Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Potty Training

So I've pretty much decided (barring any illness cropping up etc) that Thursday (it just happens to be Riley's Birthday) we're going to start potty training.

We'll be using the 3-Day Potty Training guidelines and I have 3 or 4 online friends who've done it in the past couple of months with their littles, and their toddlers truely were PT in 3 days!!! The author of this method apparently had 6 boys all potty trained in 3 days

I feel kinda silly that we're starting on her 2nd Birthday, it really isn't because she's 2. It's more because 1) Ryan has 4 straight days off and he can help me with the process. 2) because shes so ready... Not in "readiness" sort of way (I don't really agree with "ready" idea- kids are born potty trained, it's just a matter of getting connected and watching their cues- you can start at a very young age- or you can wait but either way you have to learn their cues and YOU'LL be trained to help them...ANYWAY, I've just never been brave enough to try ECing with a young baby. Either way figuring out the cues can take longer for some parent/child couples than others but it WILL happen with enough persistance on the parents part).

Riley has hated almost every single diaper change since before Amity's birth, she makes them so hard! She HATES it. As playful and silly as I can get there are still almost always a bit of tears and a definite battle involved. I think (and I hate to use this word) it will help her feel empowered to be able to use the potty. Bottom line, I think she's honeslty a bit embarressed about diaper changes and possibly even finds them a little humiliating and thats why she fights them and hates them so much.

So what's involved...
First you throw out the diapers (or in our case you put them away for the baby only)and give them big kid underwear (NOT training pants but underwaer).
Seconldly KEEP THEM CLOSE. 3 days of keeping your toddler closer than close- you do not leave the house and you do not leave their side the entire three days.
They get lots of extra special attention, you can give a reward every time they use the potty- you make it FUN!
Also, you do not EVER ask "do you need to use the potty?". You give the control to the child, "Be sure to tell Mommy when you need to go potty." ..."Tell Mommy if you need to go, okay?" you just remind them to TELL YOU, over and over and over.
that is the ONLY thing you say, even when they have an accident "Uhoh, lets remember to tell mommy you need to go, okay?"
I REALLY love this method because it's about connectedness and tuning in with your child. I was feeling kind of bad that we'd have to start the process on RJ's BIRTHDAY, but the more I thought about it the more I realize she'll LOVE it...She'll get tons of extra cuddle time and time in than she usually does, and that will be a great gift for her. She'll also be getting a little WOODEN rocker from my Mom (it's adorable) so she'll have some thing new and special to sit on while she's learning the potty (that isn't cushiony stainable furnature)- this will help if she has an accident. She's also getting new toys so that will be stuff for us to play with her. AND the method also calls that you give them lots and lots of special things to drink so they pee more than usual (get more practice)...So she'll be getting lots of juice and I'm getting her an Elmo sippie for the day so that will be even more fun! I think our reward will be Chocolate Chips or M&M's....And I'm going to run to the $1 store and pick up some stickers as rewards as well.

I'm excited to dive in. But at the same time I am SO SO SO SO sad. This is some thing I've been talking about for months, and now that I'm faced with it I want to cry. I think it's also because she's turning two. I'm trying to wrap my brain around it. How did that happen? Where did the last two years go? We made a big bed out of the sofa pillows yesterday and we were snuggling and reading together and she climbed up on top of me and she stretches so far down my body it's unreal. Did this little person really come out of me? That teeny tiny baby I brought home from the hospital who when nursed laying down barely went past my belly button (because she was all curled up). How did my baby turn into this rambuncious little girl?!

So there is more but I'm quickly running out of time to work out...The girls'll be up soon and I really need to get this in before they are!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Review on Grace Based Parenting

this post is going to take a few days, feel free to watch it evolve and leave your input. :0)

Now I don't have to tell "my readers" this, but I am no expert. Actually lately, I am finding I know absolutely nothing about being a parent. I am daily faced with my humanity and the responsability before me. It is overwhelming some times. I know there are quite a few books out there, and even several reviews on this book. But I wanted to share what I got from Grace Based Parenting by Dr Tim Kimmel.

Now to many the Title Grace Based Parenting can be a big "no thank you". It could sound right of the bat like, "here is a book on how to let your kids walk all over every body and every boundry". It's not.

This isn't actually a book on "How to discipline". He doesn't have any "if your child does this, than you should do this" scenerios. His book focuses more on, when your children leave your home, at any age, but specifically when they head off on their own- what do you want them to be equipped with?

This book has challenged me in so many ways. It has not only impacted how I view my job as a parent. But also my job as a child of God. I am seeing little traces of it in how I interact with people, how I handle hurtful and hard situations. It has not only taught me about what Grace means as a parent. But what Grace means before God, as his child. As a wife, towards my husband (and before my husband). As a daughter, a sister, a friend, a driver out on the road.

In his book Dr. Kimmel discusses the deepest roots and needs of every human being.

1. A need for security- A SECURE LOVE
2. A need for significant - A SIGNIFICANT PURPOSE
3. A Need for strength - A STRONG HOPE

More later.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I think it is the weight of responsability that is wearing me out. I am NEVER gaurenteed time to myself unless I leave on my own. During the week days I can HOPE for 20-30 minutes of free time a few days a week -when the girls nap longer than I do. I can HOPE for 30 minutes to run on the elipticle in the mornings-but that's NEVER unitertupted. I usually have to hop down a few times to redirect a certain toddler...Or put the fussing baby on my back so I can finish the work out scream free.

I love my kids, but it gets to a point where I feel like I spend 90% of the time trying to find time for myself becuase I'm so burnt out (because any time that they are entertained else wehre on teh weekends I have to catch up on some house stuff I can't do with them in tow- or things that take 10 times as long wiht them around). When if I could get an hour or two with unterupted time all for me every week I could give them that 90% to them and keep 10% of stolen time for me.

I'm feeling like a burnt out and bad Mom, hiding on my laptop, ignoring their whining and crying and constant climbing on me nad touching and requests because they are DRIVING ME INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's been a rough few weeks. My bank is EMPTY- way over drawn and it's making me grumpy. And my husbadn wants to be with me and all I can do is snap and complain at him too. He's amazing, but I"m so tired of working my butt off only to turn around and see that a whorde of people has come through and undone it and left a bigger mess than there was before.

I'm tired. I'm jsut TIRED. And Amity is screaming in her jumperoo, need to get off and calm her down. She's not feeling well poor baby.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mothering...And the Introverted Mom

I've been thinking about the balancing act of an introverted APing Mom. Try to follow me here, this post goes all over the place!

I've found since Amity was born, that I don't have it in me to be parent the way I did when it was just Riley. I suppose that's normal, I have more people in my life who it is my responsability to take care of. Amity cannot hang on me all day long,.She gets set down a lot, much more than Riley ever did. But then again Amity likes (with in reason) to sit and play with a toy on her own- or watch Riley and Barnabas play together.

And another thing, I don't enjoy a ton of skin to skin contact. I feel guilty for saying it, but I honestly don't like skin to skin contact and I limit it. Even right after birth...I held Amity skin-to-skin for her first 10 minutes or so. But after that I'd had enough. I wanted a hot shower to wash off the last 4 hours of crazy transition, breathing and pushing in that warm August evening. I LOVE to snuggle, but give me a comfy t-shirt and some sweatpants (and after giving birth a giant ice pack and some numbing spray ;0)- I'll snuggle for hours!
But I can't handle the skin. After "times" with the hubby- I want my clothes (or at least a shirt) on immediately after we're done. I guess that's a sensory thing for me. It is a HUGE treat (for him) and a very rare thing for me to snuggle skin to skin with my husband. I just get extremely cranky after a few short minutes. Nothing makes me feel more touched out! It wasn't so bad before we had kids. But when Riley came the snuggling skin-to-skin with Ryan stopped. For one thing breastfeeding means milk and it's really not comfy to snuggle in a puddle of milk because the skin to skin is causing let down (yes that's how sensitive I am to being touched). I rarely hold my babies skin to skin, maybe 3 or 4 times in RJ's life (but then again she's like me and would get ultra over stimulated being held that way), and more with Amity because it seems to calm her down.

Oh and I'm defining "skin to skin" contact as my shirt off and baby in just a diaper. Obviously nursing gives a lot of "skin to skin" but when I think "skin to skin" I think of the shirtless full body kangaroo care image- I think it seems beautiful - but in reality I can only take VERY short increments of it- I wonder why that is?

Which leads to my next thought, with all the little hands and needs touching and pulling on me all day long I find myself touched out way faster than I ever did in in RJ's early months. I feel kind of bad for Amity because she's getting parented so differently than Riley did- I mean I guess that's just the plight of the subsequent sibling. They never get it as good as the first.

I wonder what it would be like if I was a different personality. I am an introvert and I'm realizing I'm a lot happier when I get a good 20 minutes a day completley alone. How I charish those times! And how seldomly it happens when you have two littles under two.

So I wonder what it would be like to be an extrovert- would I have more fun with my kids? Some days I just want them to leave me alone! :0/

Oh and the difference between introver and extrovert as I see it is not about social needs.

I am an introvert that loves people (okay I love some people- the older I get the less I like all people ;0).
I am very socially inclined (or was before I had kids sucking me dry literally and figuratively).
I love a good laugh and just BEING with people. However I do not do well with people who aren't good at just being they drain the heck out of me. I love sitting back in group situations and watching my friends, listening to them, just letting life flow around me...I enjoy good conversation, but too much talking drains and makes me cranky. And if I am trapped in a situation where I have to be with people with no where to find a quiet place and privacy to recoup; I get very anxious, cranky, and down right bitchy. Ask any friend who I have ever been to camp, on retreats, or on roadtrips with- not pretty. I am NOT any fun to be around- add sleep deprivation into that and watch out. Looking back it's by God's grace alone I survived (and my class mates as well) my DTS outreach.

Anyway that was a big rabbit trail: introverts and extroverts aren't about socialability (is that a word?). It's about how you process life and what "drains your battery".

Introverts: process life inwardly. They have to work things out inside of themselves with time alone before they can share it with others. Some need to share and process outwardly after a time as well, but that depends on if they are a verbal person or not. Introverts can be VERY social or VERY antisocial- the need varies from person to person, or even on how much is going on in their life. If a lot of stuff is happening, they may tend towards skipping social situations and getting alone so they can process (all those poeple I alienated when my Dad died...). Bottom line: introverts recharge by being alone.

Extroverts: process life with other people. Many have to talk out and get feed back to process any thing...Some thing they are learning, some thing they have learned, or things that have happened. Very extroverted people can even be known for having the exact same conversation with the same people over and over and over again as they process new levels of some thing that they are trying to work through or understand (*cough* my dear husband *cough*). The amount of time and social interaction needed can very widely for extroverts. But bottom line, they recharge by being with people.

What does this mean as a mother? I don't know. All I can say is that I'm glad God is so selective in sending us the kids that are best for us. And Amity is making noises...Must run and nurse her down again....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Teaching Children Respect

You hear "model the behavior you want" but this puts it very clearly and I found it very interesting.

Teaching Children Respect Article

Along this line I'm worrying about Riley a little bit. She is very very sensitive and she has started to get embarressed when around a lot of adults and they laugh at some thing cute she does. I need to think through more of what I'm trying to say here...But it niggles at me. She is really really cute and does things that crack us up.

Example: last weekend my brother was over and Riley got all shy and turned and went to smash her face into the couch cushion but instead smashed it into her "laptop"which was sitting on the couch. SHe got som embarressed nad I felt bad, but had a hard time not laughing. Maybe I'm dragging my own issues into this? My Mom and oldest brother were the ones who were always laughing the hardest at things they thought I did that were funny, but that was very hurtful to me. Maybe I should teach her to speak up when some thing hurts her? "I feel embarressed, please don't laugh at me?!?" Hmm...

More on this later, I need to think about it more. Now, I have chores and then Riley asked to play starfall or "nax" so that's waht we're going to do.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Why I Get Discouraged Sometimes...

I came down to the kitchen this morning and saw this:

All dirty filthy dishes.
After and 1.5 of work later I got it to this:

The sink is still full of stuff soaking and stuff on the left half for SAM to wash (becuase they are his and I'm not cleaning for him- I'm done with that).

This is a bit of a vent post (obviously). I have been doing SO well with keeping up with the house work. Saturday I had the kitchen caught up- a couple of plates and sippies soaking in the basin.
I took yesterday off and THAT (see pic one and two) is what happens . It is so discouraging. I am so thankful to be living with my Mom, it's wonderful on a lot of levels. But it is also so frustrating- she makes messes I would NOT. We have very different ways of doing things.
For example: she cooked 3 dishes (I helped with one, peeled 8 apples for a german apple cake) for a church potluck last night. the 3 meals used several differnt things for cookware- all but one (she did wash a frying pan) were left to ME to clean up. Where as in my stage of life, raising little babies I would have made a croc pot meal: ONE thing to get messy ONE thing to clean up.
But since it was her way and not mine, it made more work for me...A LOT of work. What usually takes 15-25 minutes to do my kitchen work in the morning took me an hour and a half.
And the other frustrating thing about living with family: people who aren't the soul parenting person don't think about things. Today I found her ipod, scissors, and windex on the dinning room table... 1) expensive and breakable 2) dangerious 3) deadly
There is more but Amity is really wanting to nurse and she won't do it unless I lay down with her, she's in a picky and distractable stage. More venting later.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Article By Dr Sears

I was tempted to post this on Facebook, not because I am trying to prove some thing (to certain ppl). but because I have a few first-time Mom's on Facebook (seriously a baby boom! I have 3 friends who've had their first baby! And I can't even count how many have recently had their 2nd or 3rd!)- Christian Mom's in very mainstream surroundings...But I'm scared of the back lash. I have a few babywise mom's who would be extremely offended at this article. I don't feel like drama

Should I...?

Eh, I'll post it here and sit on it for a few days. Maybe some one will find it...

Train Up A Child In The Way He Should Go...By Dr Sears

It's from his Christian Parenting book- I'd read it before, it is obviously very against "Prepared For Parenting" classes (the ezzo classes many churches have). It is not at all a "balanced" view, but I honeslty feel it speaks the truth, it says no family is a cookie cutter and you can't go wrong with that. Maybe I'll post it on FB with that as the preface: this is great! Talks about how no family is cookie cutter and God's plan for every family differs, but His basic call is the same: follow your gut!

????? Hmm. Again, think I'll sit on it a few days.