Today marks exactly two weeks of no diapers in our house. Zip. Zero. Zilch. That’s right, even at night time. NONE. For six and a half years we’ve needed diapers, but no more. WOO HOO!! No, that doesn’t mean we’re perfect; we still have an accident here and there, but we often goes days (and nights) without one. Our boy stepped up to the plate and knocked that diaper out of the park way earlier (and easier!) than I dreamed he would have.
It was all initiated by him, and when he kept going in his diaper, taking it off and then sitting on the potty I decided it was time to teach him the correct order of things. That was a couple weeks ago, and then we went back to diapers. I wasn’t trying to train him, just teach him the basics so he could then mull it over in his head. And then he kept telling us anytime he went in his diaper, and he would want to wear undies, so I figured, heck, why not? Might as well give it a shot. And sure enough, just like his siblings, it just took one day and he had it. It took a couple days for him to get comfortable with pooping there, but that worked itself out quicker than I thought it would. We haven’t had to use many public potties (only twice), but we’ll get there. Unlike the other two, I’m not stressed over it. We just travel with our potty and I’ve learned that he has a bladder of steel. That means that even when we went to the zoo, I didn’t need to bring the potty in. I knew he could hold it. Or use the big potty. And if he didn’t? No biggie. I had extra clothes.
A couple small details. It’s starting to fade, but when he uses the potty he then does what can only be described as a fist pump and excitedly says, “POTTY!” Super adorable. Also, just like his siblings, he prefers the little potty. So I would try to time it correctly when he was done and left to quick empty it into the big potty without him watching. My husband did not see the need to do the same, so now Andersen loves to empty the little potty into the big one. Isn’t that just so lovely?! He also loves to flush it and then to wash his hands, mainly because of the soap. Oh, and it’s also funny because he pretty much drops his drawers whenever he decides he needs to go and then waddles his way to the potty.
My boy is growing up SO fast!! He’s talking so much more, he’s riding his scooter (yes, we got him his own blue one; in the picture he’s riding April’s), and he’s wearing big boy undies. What a little man he is. A couple quick things I forgot in his two year post: 1.) The boy loves books. After spending the first 16 or more months of his life refusing anything to do with them, he now drags me by the hand over to the couch to sit and read piles and piles of books to him. This often happens even when the TV is on. 2.) Before this little man, all of our games had their pieces and our puzzles weren’t scattered throughout the house. I know I have others I keep forgetting; I’ll add them here when I remember them…
Well, little Miss is 4 years old and that sassy, silly, sweet, sensitive, stubborn girl is acting every single day of it.
[ASIDE: Her hairstyle above is our new favorite. I finally learned how to French braid; I had just about given up, convinced I just couldn't get it when I realized how frustrated I'd be if my kids just gave up learning something new. If we do two braids, like here, April says her hair is like Anna's and if we do just one, then it's like Elsa's -the two princesses from the movie Frozen.]
SASSY: People often are surprised to learn that she has a “wild” side; it’s not in-your-face wild, but it’s there! Well, okay, maybe wild isn’t quite the write word… sass really does sum it up best. For example, we have some close friends in the neighborhood that we see quite often, and saying goodbye is almost always full of drama. Nothing surprising here. But what’s hilarious is that it isn’t uncommon for her to put her hands on her hips, stick her nose WAY up in the air, and declare, “I’m never ever leaving! I’m going to stay right here forever!” Her forever declarations and the stereo-typical snobby way that she sticks her nose in the air, with hands on her hips, oh my!! It’s been more than once that she’s told me, “I’m never ever going to play with you again!” Again, nose straight up. Sadly, she has also put her best friends in tears with those same words. So we’re learning first hand about kind words and how being mean makes one feel, because words really can hurt. Being four isn’t easy, on anyone apparently.
The girl truly is blossoming. She’s such a nut!
SILLY: I love all the quirky things she likes to do, like give a thumbs-up if all is well, with her food for example or if I picked the right clothes. The goofy look she gives with it is pretty fun too (it’s different than the look she has in the thumbs-up picture below further down). You can see from the pictures above that she LOVES to dress up and can be quite theatrical when she chooses to. She loves to sing (especially the Frozen songs) and to make up her own songs. At bedtime she’ll often ask me to sing a certain song that I’ve never heard of. When I ask her what song it is, she makes it up, and then wants me to repeat what she just sang, which is pretty much impossible to do. She’s been inventing her night time dreams lately too.
Left: At her school Thanksgiving meal. Her class sang a couple songs for the program, but she just stood there with a scowl on her face the whole time. I have a video which is hilarious because she doesn’t move an inch during the whole thing. Middle: We dressed her as an angel for her Christmas pancake breakfast. Of course, she refused to wear the costume the day of, but at least she got up and sang and did the motions. Total winner! Right: Grandma Glenda and I took them to see the movie Frozen. We LOVED it! The songs get sung daily around the house and we can’t wait for the DVD to be released.
SWEET: If you’ve met her, nothing more really needs to be said on this. She just has a quiet, sweet way about her. She defines the word. Her nickname, Sweet Pea, truly does fit her perfectly. And I love all the random “Mommy, I love you”s that I get. She melts my heart multiple times every day. And when she gets in trouble and is being dramatic and I’ve just HAD IT with the 4-year-oldness, her cry, “Mommy, will you wipe my tears?” melts me and wins the battle every.single.time.
Left: “Mommy, I LOVE my new scooter!” Said right before she fell over. Middle: Out on a Dessert with Mommy date. About 10 minutes later she was puking due to a stomach bug. Right: At their school-wide Pancake Breakfast. Mike and I run the photo booth.
SENSITIVE: She can be quite funny, but often without meaning to. And the kicker is she HATES it when you laugh. (Unless she’s trying to make you laugh, but that isn’t very often.) You know those sweet but silly or incorrect things that kids say that just make you smile because you are simply enjoying how their brain thinks at this age? For example, yesterday she noticed the veins on her wrists and asked about them. So I gave a brief explanation how we have veins all throughout our body and that’s how our heart pumps blood into our fingers and toes, etc. Later, when she was asking about what else we have in our body and re-explaining to me about the heart, she said, “…the heart blasts blood…” It’s so HARD to stifle the automatic grin or chuckle that comes to my lips. I try, I really do, but I just enjoy her so much that I usually don’t even think about it. I’m not laughing at her; I’m enjoying her. But since she can’t see that distinction I do my best to stifle it. I know how I hate that feeling of someone laughing at me and I don’t want her to feel that way, especially from us when she’s trying to process this big crazy world we live in.
On her birthday, after gift opening, we invited our good friends over to join our family celebration.
STUBBORN: She’s good. You have to give her that. She’s very good. It’s her quiet selective hearing and subtly that makes her such a master. The girl can just simply outlast me. “April, get dressed please.” 10 minutes later. “April, you aren’t dressed yet. I asked you to please get dressed.” 10 minutes later. “April, we have to leave soon! Get dressed please. I’ve asked you twice already.” 5 minutes later. “April! Will you please get dressed! NOW!” “I’m just going to quick read this book…” “No, NOW!” 2 minutes later. I drag her into the room and help her get dressed because we need to leave, and not too kindly. Grumps, tears, drama. And me upset because I still ended up having to dress her. (Oh, and by the way, the rule is that if I have to get her dressed I get to pick her clothes. So if she does get dressed on her own, I don’t fight too hard if the outfit is ridiculous. Don’t judge me on my 4 year old’s outfits.) Yes, I realize we need to come up with a solution for these things, but mornings can be crazy and she just seems to know how busy I am with everything else that she can get away with it. Even at the table, she can just out last us. “Can I get down?” “You need to eat two more bites of chicken and three bites of broccoli.” 2 minutes pass. “Now can I get down?” “Did you eat two bites of chicken and three bites of broccoli?” “Yes.” I look at her plate. It doesn’t look like it, but I have no clue because I didn’t take the time to count. “I don’t think you did. Here, eat these three bites.” 5 minutes later. “Can I get down?” “No, you still have two bites left.” This goes on for the rest of the meal and I just get so TIRED of it. Picking up toys? Total fight that ends in punishment to get it accomplished. All this to say, we definitely need to work on obedience. Me putting that in to writing I’m hoping will kick it into action. I keep coming up with these plans and rules but then don’t take the time, energy and initiative to enforce what I’ve come up with. I’m kinda waiting to get my new reward chart that my friend Christal is inventing; I think that will work perfect for her.
The crazy girl is just the perfect one for us. She melts and charms and sasses with the best of them. She’s smart and cute and funny; she’s my baby girl, my love. Sometimes is just hurts so much to really breathe in all that she is, and then to realize that I’m not a perfect mother to her. So glad she’s so forgiving and loving, and so blessed and thankful to be her Momma.
I am so behind on blogging. For the most part this isn’t my fault. Our computer kicked the bucket in November and we didn’t get the new one set up until January. Now we have a new computer, but the operating system (Linux) and all the software are entirely new to me. Then we had website issues which may or may not be resolved. So, here I am now super behind since so much happened from November through January that I’d love to record. Hopefully I’ll get around to it at least a little bit. But past experience has taught me to first start with NOW, otherwise I will get so far behind I will never catch up.
So, the “now” I’m choosing to begin on is my Little Dude’s second birthday, because these are the things I’ll forget if I don’t record them. And these are the things I’ll regret the most if I do forget them.
I wish I could count the times I’ve thought, “My other two never did that…” Like when he got mad because Abe wouldn’t let him take some of the apple he was eating and chucked his Corelle plate from the table. (Mike: “So THIS is what people meant when they talked about the terrible twos.”) Or when he calmly climbed into the pantry, got a cookie, brought it to the table, and started eating it. And then got it back off the island after it had been taken away, back to the table to calmly eat it again. Or today when he was having a tough nap time, so I walked in and he was completely naked. Oh, and my “favorite” was when he reached into his diaper to point himself upward and then pee. Notice how he is wearing a birthday shirt while opening gifts (above) but is in pajamas for his cookie (below)? Yep, that’s why.
And while we are on the diaper note, he has been removing it recently, after the fact. Enough so that on Monday we had just a brief time of undies. I am not trying to potty train really; more just to introduce him to the concept. We haven’t had any potty successes since he was 20 months and then I think we only had two. No worries. I’m not in any real rush. I am just hoping he decides to do it on his own before I have to be. My other two were so easy. I think logic forces me to conclude that he won’t be? Time will tell.
I believe the last time I updated he was still in his crib in a sleep sack with the bottom cinched. As promised, we rode that train as long as we could and eventually his will overcame our resources. Finally on December 3rd I admitted defeat and we had to make the switch to the toddler bed. Overall it wasn’t as horrible as it could have been. We started pretty easy and would lay down with him until he fell asleep. Grandma Mim got him an early birthday gift and he now loves his sweet Twilight Turtle. He didn’t attached to it immediately, but it started a nice, comfortable routine that helped make things easier for the ultimate transition of sleeping on his own. He started waking too easily if I tried to leave and would usually wake once during the night too, resulting in another extended stay in his bed with him. Once we discovered a knob protector that he couldn’t tear off, we busted out the sleep training. As always, it was one of the best decisions ever and we are now all happily sleeping. He lays down nicely for both bed and nap and we often find his turtle on when we check on him before we go to bed. (It has a 45 minute shut off, so we know that means he woke, turned it on, and then when back to sleep. So sweet.)
He loves to help around the house. Of course at this age not much of it is actually helping, but we’re getting there. He likes to clear the dishes from the table and bring them to me. He really enjoys doing laundry and will throw a fit if I don’t let him load/unload the clothes. He also will run with excitement to put them away and he is often the reason they get put away more promptly than they otherwise would have. He really can be quite helpful at picking up toys. (Over the holidays I started a new storage system for our toys that seems to help keep things much more organized and out of the way; basically 90% of them are sorted into individual bins that come out only for playing and then put back when done. It’s helped tremendously to cut down the overwhelming mass of toys out everywhere and so scattered that playing with them was difficult.)
My favorite thing that he does is fairly recent – he bounces. Not just on our trampoline, which he attacks, or our bed or our couch, but even just running and walking. He’ll pause, squat just a bit like he’s a spring loading, and then jump. It’s super hilarious! I call him my little jumping bean when he does this. I have a video, but it isn’t good enough to upload and convert.
What else, what else… Timeouts are very regular these days, usually for hitting, biting, or taking a toy. I often catch myself saying, “I love you but…” you’re driving me crazy, you can’t do that, that hurts, why are you screaming, that’s not okay, etc. Dinner is his least favorite meal and I have no idea why; it doesn’t seem to matter what we eat, so it must be the timing of it. Strange. He’s quite ticklish and everyone loves to make him giggle, which isn’t tough to do. He still loves to cuddle, jabbers a lot – some of which we can understand, and is a super big cheesy ham – very expressive and silly. My special Little Dude, you’re such a nut! How boring life would be without you. We love you more than you will ever know, no ‘buts’ about it!!