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Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Final Chapter

As Canadians, we are lucky to be able to spend the first year of our children's lives as a stay at home parent. Of course our unemployment benefits could always use some improvement but often, time is worth more than money. So as Riley's first birthday approaches, my time as a stay at home mom is coming to an end. And what a journey's it's been.

Over the last two years my life has changed so much. With two children you really learn to slow down and enjoy the moment. Even simple tasks like washing dishes may not get done all at once. With one child pulling at your legs and the other asking you to help build his train track, chores are no longer the priority. Somewhere along the road of life your focus shifts from doing things that make you happy to what "needs" to be done. Albeit not everything in life is miserable but when was the last time you pulled out a box of crayons and just scribbled? My kids love to get messy with crayons, paint, food and dirt and as long as they're safe doing it, why not?

So as my last few weeks of maternity leave are approaching, I'm sad to think that I won't be here for them all day, every day. I will have to take on the roll of a working mom like so many others have done. Daycare will be a new chapter for our family, and although I'm completely happy with the home daycare we chose, I have to admit that it makes me a little weepy. Mornings together will be short and the little time I have before putting my children to bed will be cherished. The days of working volentary overtime are over. No one can pay me enough to give that up.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Potty Training

About 3 weeks after Pauly turned two I decided it was time for me to give potty training a try. I had read up on it a little and was quite confident that the little man was ready. I only had doubts about myself.

It would be a new experience for the both of us but I wanted to be sure I wouldn't set the little guy up for failure. I decided to ditch the pull ups (for now) and go straight for the briefs. So here's how it went:

DAY ONE - Put on his undies with an excited voice explaining he was a big boy now and we'd be ditching the diapers. I made sure to buy ones that had prints on them so he would want to wear them. Success! And he wore nothing else that day so he could actually see and feel what was going on. Then every 5-10 minutes I tried to convince him to sit on either the little potty, or on the big potty which had a child seat on it. He would happily come with me most of the time, and we did get a few "catches" but I spent the majority of the day cleaning up after him. Which was OK because I had placed towels over every rug in the house in anticipation. When it was nap time I wrestled with the idea of a diaper but decided against it. For me it was all or nothing. I just ended up placing a towel under him for easy clean up.

DAY TWO - Exactly like day one with a little tweak. I thought I'd add a treat every time Pauly got on the potty, in hopes that he'd start asking to go. So if we got to the potty without any hesitation, he got one Reese's Pieces for trying. If we got a pee in the potty, he got two Reese's Pieces. If we got a poo in the potty, he got three Reese's Pieces.

DAY THREE - Surprisingly there were only half as many accidents. I was still asking Pauly if he had to go every 20 minutes or so but it was sooooo much easier than the day before.

DAY FOUR - There was only 2 or 3 accidents this day. I really couldn't believe how well this was going. And now Pauly was asking to use the potty. It just seemed to good to be true.

DAY FIVE - I figured Pauly was now ready for pants. So he was fully dressed 5 days into his training. I had to work a little quicker to get him to the potty on time but there was no doubt he was getting the hang of things. I decided it was time to go for a ride. So I took a 30 minute car ride to my mom's, hoping he would arrive without incident. Success again!

DAY SIX - Fully dressed and making great progress, Pauly seemed to be having no problem with peeing in the potty. But we had hit a bump in the road. His only struggle was having a bowel movement. He would only have one every 2 or 3 days, which made things a little difficult when the time finally arrived. I knew I had to act quickly because the last thing I wanted for him was to be in pain when he pooped.

So a couple days later, after seeking some advice, I started giving Pauly a small amount of stool softener. It worked wonders. In the begining he was still only going every other day but it was no longer difficult. As time went by, he got more comfortable with pooping and stopped holding it in.

Now (2 months later), Pauly is officially day time potty trained. I no longer have to use a stool softener and he is asking to go #1 and #2. Nap time is always dry and there aren't any wet pants after a car ride. Next up - night time training.