Sunday, January 31, 2010

random tidbits

Annika's Yogurt

Annika loves going grocery shopping with me because I usually let her get one small yoplait yogurt with sugar instead of our normal unsweetened plain kind. Unfortunately she's gotten so accustomed to it, she will go around the entire store yelling, even shrieking, "YOGURT!! YOGURT MOMMY!" If she is very naughty about it, we don't buy one, or sometimes she doesn't get to eat it. And sometimes, she actually forgets about it by the time we get home.

Annika also loves having yogurt, granola and milk for breakfast. That's yogurt at the bottom of the bowl, topped with granola, and then filled with milk. Very odd, but she insists on milk too.

Saben's Rockets

Saben still builds rockets all the time from things he finds around the house. Friday he found a plastic firework nose cone on the sidewalk and within 15 minutes of getting home, he had grabbed a toilet paper tube and turned it into a rocket. That part is all nice & fine, the problems arise because he really, really wants to launch his homemade rockets.

We have talked so many times about why you can't just light a homemade rocket on fire and expect it to go into the air. I explained the concept of gun powder and then had to explain why I was not going to buy my almost five year old a supply of it to experiment with. When he found the nose cone outside he kept saying "I think there is just a little gun powder in it mommy!" and he even made his rocket complete with a purple paper fuse to light.

That night, he was anxious to light his rocket, and I had to repeatedly explain that if we lit it on fire, it would just burn and melt. Finally it sank in and he started crying "I just want to build a rocket that flies mommy!" Heartbreaking sobs....So I blurted out "maybe tomorrow we can go buy you a new model rocket". Whoops.

When we got to the store, he didn't want the packaged ones, he wanted the tubes, nose cones, etc, all separate so he could design it himself. Sigh. We talked him into a kit, but when they went to build it, it is just so hard for him to do any of it. Straight lines? Cement glue? Measurements? Everything perfectly aligned? He does much better with packing tape & toilet paper rolls.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January Recap

Wow, it feels like it took most of January to catch up on the things we let "slide" during December while we were busy being festive. And December was super busy too. We drove all over Puget Sound for Christmas, then a week later, we hosted a New Years party, drove down to Seattle for our nephew's first birthday and then hosted a 30 year old birthday party, all in three days.

Part of January we just laid low and tried to get a better routine to handle Annika's 2 1/2 year old case of the crazies. It seems to be working, she has less bladder anxiety unless she is in the pool or tub when the urge hits. She is still waking up at night a lot, but generally it only takes me 5 minutes to get her back to sleep. Can't really figure out how often she needs naps, but skipping them now & then seems to work best.

Tonite I played soccer and Saben was there watching with his friend Simon. "Watching" is a bit generous, actually they were scurrying around doing boy things like searching for aliens & finding treasures. Probably some shooting was involved too. Its an indoor field and at the end of the game, Saben ran out with Simon to kick the ball around. I couldn't stop grinning, he was so adorable, little legs going as fast as they could, hair bouncing around. (he really needs it cut).

I was struck by how old and young he is at the same time. He's seemed so old lately when we are doing our normal day to day things. He's helpful, articulate, curious and constantly talking. CONSTANTLY. He has made a good friend at preschool. Unfortunately this friend loves to use "potty language" and has really enforced Saben's love of words like "underwear" and honed his ability to make realistic body function noises with his mouth. ("mom, when I make this sound, it is like a log coming out of my mouth!" Sorry Grandmas.)

Its hard when your kids start laughing and loving things that you don't think are remotely funny or interesting. It is so tempting to sneer at him when he makes yet another plllllbbbbb noise, hoping that his audience's stony silence will convince him its not actually a funny thing to do. But then I start to feel bad, like I am not supporting my son. Who wants a mom who constantly sneers at the things he thinks are funny? Is the message I'm sending more like "mom doesn't like me"? So I'm working on finding that balance.

Anyways, my point was that he seems so old. Then I see him running across the gigantic soccer field and he's just a little nugget again, so cute that I want to go grab him. He still has a bit of the baby fat left in his face and it will soon be gone. Five years old looms in just a couple months.

And Annika. 2 1/2 has been a trial, but maybe it always is. I keep thinking that we only have 6 more months of having a baby in the family and I try to savor it. The last bits of teaching language, numbers, colors....days of constant time outs, whining, screaming fits. Pretty soon that will all be over. HA! But still, a phase is definitely nearing its end. 3 and 5 are SO OLD.

Its been fun watching Annika start to interact with her friends. She has started to really engage younger cousins & Ayda. (all around a year old) We found some friends who have a daughter that is very similar to Annika in age and temperment and they have just started to truly play together. Secretly when they get in fights, we just want to stand back and see who wins...because they are both so crazy like that. But last night they were both playing with dolls and making them talk and it was the most adorable thing ever. (until I discovered the dolls were also disassembling our humidifier...but I digress)

At our new years eve party (or was it the birthday party?) the girls were sitting at the table and one sort of yelled or screamed. Then the other one yelled and they kept going back and forth, louder and louder till they were both just screaming. Her parents & Kyle & I were laughing hysterically, and couldn't even bring ourselves to intervene. But for some reason all the other guests looked panicky.... MAKE THEM STOP!

Hopefully I'll have the energy to get some pictures up this week. We've got some great ones of annika & saben dressed in princess dresses, but saben combines his with dress-up SWAT gear and swords and calls himself a guard. Soooo funny.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Things have calmed down this week. Annika no longer cries when she pees, but still immediately asks to be changed. She keeps having "phantom poo" - she claims she's poo'd, but alas, there is but an empty diaper. We have asked over and over if it hurts when she pees and she keeps saying no...but I have seriously considered taking her to the doctor anyways, just because things have been so odd.

For now, we are praising each an every bowel movement and not pushing potty training at all. It seems to be working, if by "working" you mean returning back to normal. We will return to the "potty training" story in approximately 4-5 months, so for now you are off the hook. Unless Annika initiates it sooner....

The funniest thing happened to me today. I was standing at the park with two other moms when this little girl I've never seen before (4? 5?) comes up and taps my leg to get my attention. I look down and she solemnly informs me "I have a bladder infection". I have never worked harder to stifle laughter in my life. I couldn't even respond for about 30 seconds. Thank goodness the other moms didn't actually hear what she said, because I would have definitely laughed in her face if they had started giggling.

"oh, that's too bad" I managed to say. "Did the doctor give you medicine for it?" The girl never even cracked a smile. She nodded seriously and explained something about the pills she was taking and then walked off. I felt lightheaded from laughter containment.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

It's official, it appears that Annika is now scared to pee. On the toilet, in her diaper, anywhere.

Tonight before her bath she says "I stopped it!" all proud of herself. I told her to go ahead and go, but she refused & hopped in the tub. One minute later she was hopping back out screaming for a diaper. Refused adamantly to sit on the toilet. Put the diaper on and she still didn't go, finally got back in the tub. REPEAT TWICE before finally filling her diaper to the brim - she must have been holding it for hours.

Two other times today she suddenly freaked out - crying, and even running away - for no apparent reason. I am pretty sure now that she peed each of those times.

I'm also pretty sure she's waking at night whenever she pees?? Still no idea about the hives, they did go away temporarily this evening with Benadryl though. (they vaguely reappeared when she started freaking out before her bath)


My little enigma

So potty trainnig. Yikes.

I think I need to document this because people always ask for potty training assistance and I've got a weird one this time. I don't want to forget the details later, especially because she broke out in hives today and I'm trying to figure out if its from the stress of potty training....But seriously, BORING potty training post, please don't read it unless you are neck deep in it yourself.

Day 1 (Monday)
  • Annika is dry for hours in her underwear at home and kept going while we were out in public & she's wearing a diaper. Finally in the evening she goes a teeny bit, stops it and then we put her on the potty and she goes. BUT, she is sort of crying & whimpering the whole time, definitely anxious about the whole thing. All of us cheer, make a fuss, give her a few m&ms and then continue with our evening.

Day 2 (Tuesday)

  • Same thing, Annika keeps going in her diaper when we put it on to take Saben to preschool, pick him up, etc. She wears underwear at home, stays dry and practices sitting on the potty. Starts saying she doesn't want to go pee on the potty.
  • In the evening, same thing as the day before, we put the underwear on and finally after 3+ hours, after dinner, she starts, stops, sits on the potty and goes. Once again, she is in tears, whining and not really very happy about it. We cheer, give her & Saben chocolate cookies and web chat with grandma & grandpa to share the news. Everytime we mention it, she hides down in chair, like she is embarrassed.
  • That night annika doesn't fall asleep until after 9pm. She is very restless and I decide to skip her nap the next day. She wakes up at 3 am for the first time in 5 days, but goes back down easily.

Day 3 (Wednesday)

  • Decide to not have Annika sit on the potty constantly today because the last two times she went, she initiated it herself. Sitting needlessly on the potty seemed to sort of stress her out because she couldn't go.
  • Plan to stay home most of the day & practice more. Watch Potty Elmo in the morning. Keep telling Annika to stay upstairs (off of the new carpet) while in her underwear, but at some point she follows Saben down while I am busy and she pees all over our new carpet. (within two minutes of going down, no warning at all this time) I am super frustrated that she disobeyed and went downstairs and probably let some anger show. Try to get her to sit on the potty while I clean it up, but she refuses, I get even more frustrated. Still, only a couple harsher statements, primarily related to her refusal to do what I ask.
  • Two hours later, Annika pees & poops in her underwear with no warning. Handle it well this time, but once again she refuses to sit on the potty while I get it cleaned up. Still, not a huge deal, clean, try to be encouraging to her. Decide letting her initiate sitting on the toilet may not be the best strategy after all. Puzzled by her lack of awareness that she seemed to have the previous to days.
  • From now on Anika doesn't want to sit on the potty, says she doesn't want to pee in it. We practice sitting on it when I am pretty sure she doesn't have to go and she is fine if we read stories or do something fun.
  • Go out in a pull-up, when she pees, she starts crying and looks scared - just like when she was on the potty. She seems to think it is going to "fall out" like when she has underwear on.
  • Skip Annika's nap and she begs for a nap at 3:30pm. (this has only happened once or twice before) I let her go to sleep, she crashes and sleeps till 4:30pm. Wake her up and carry her upstairs, she falls asleep in my arms for another 20 minutes. She is very tired, even though she's gotten very good sleep for the last 4 days other than being awake late the night before.
  • Wears a pull-up the rest of the night & we don't push going in the potty
  • Annika wakes up TWICE in the night. She hasn't done this for over a week and never did it before this December.

Day 4

  • Annika wakes up with HIVES all over her body. She has never ever had hives before. They stick around most of the morning, disappear and then reappear when she gets upset. She hasn't eaten anything new or had new lotions...nothing.

WHAT ON EARTH???? Is it related to her anxiety over potty training? Is the night waking related? Why did I even think to potty train her now when she had just gotten over the sleep issues from a couple weeks ago? Is it better to quit or just keep pushing? Does it even have anything to do with potty training, or are the sleeping & hives related to something else? Could she be sick? Is it my fault???? Ha ha. ha.


Monday, January 04, 2010

Annika's first pee

This evening, Annika peed in her potty for the first time. Hurray!

Her pattern whenever we try is this: Runs around in underwear for an hour or more, suddenly gets super worried and asks to put a diaper on - this lets me know she needs to go. Sits on potty for 20 minutes with me, I finally give up and let her run around again. Annika pees on the floor withing 3-5 minutes.

Tonite I held out forever - like 30 minutes after I could tell she needed to go. We read stories, sang, played barbie computer games, played "stick your hand in a cup of warm water" and drank ice water. Finally, with some M&M bribing, she went. Even Saben was excited and cheered her on.

Wish us luck tomorrow, we will probably try to spend most of the day w/o a diaper. Yikes!