Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Two Years!

Refusing to cooperate for a birthday photo

Oh, how I've changed in just two short years. A few months ago, I received a flyer in the mail for a medical education conferencce in San Diego. It offered 22.5 credit, almost a quarter of what is required of me over a two year period and was only $350.  It was to be held from Friday to Sunday morning, so I would only need to take one day off from work, and with such a quick flight I  could leave early Friday morning and still be back in time to shop and meal prep on Sunday. I decided I couldn't pass on such an opportunity to prudently use my CME funds. Oh, and did I mention that I'd have two whole nights to myself for the first time since Kate was born? As some of you may remember, I had recently spent my first time away from her, but it was with my parents. I was looking forward to sitting by the pool without a chaperone. Preferably while sipping an adult beverage and reading a book. 

Yet, as it goes with so many things, the fantasy in my mind was much better than the reality. The conference itself was great, but while the Easy Bay was suffering an oppressive heat wave, San Diego was grey, overcast and barely 65 degrees. So much for sitting by the pool. I used to really enjoy conferences for the opportunity to meet other clinicians and explore a new city. I'd often seek someone else who was attending the conference by herself and invite her to join me for dinner at some local and popular restaurant. As I had been up since 4 AM to catch my early flight, I was so tired and I felt that I couldn't make the effort to engage with anyone else. I ended up needing to cut my trip short as my cousin was somewhat unexpectedly in town, so I changed my flight and left Saturday afternoon. What surprised me is how relieved I was to be going back home. How much I missed home. As an only child, I always thought I'd mourn the loss of my alone time after marriage and motherhood. Yet here I was, all alone, and I was lonely. I missed Husband, Kate and Tyler kitty. I shivered my way though a nice meal at the hotel's waterfront restaurant and went back to my room, changed into my bed clothes and watched The Rock on TNT, which is one of those movies that we've seen over a dozen times, but always have to watch whenever we find that it is being shown. It all felt very anticlimactic for my big night all to myself. Maybe it would have been different it had been bright and sunny and I could have had my time by the pool.

Likes: Showers! Thanks to everyone who chimed in on how to help our situation with the bath. A few days later she walked into the bathroom when I was about to get into the shower and just stripped down and announced that she wanted to join. Problem solved! She loves the shower and it's more convenient for us. The only issue we've had is that she likes it too much and will demand, "I want shau-wer" a few times during the day. We've been trying to explain the situation with the drought and that we only shower once a day, unless we get dirty, which apparently was an invitation for her to draw all over herself with markers so she could score a second shower. 

"Giggle" As I've previously written, I've been trying to avoid any iphone time with her, but I finally caved. She had been refusing any attempts at cutting her nails and one day she scratched me with one of her talons. I turned on the iPad to the sign language videos that I had downloaded for our flight home from London. (in hindsight, it wasn't a good idea to use a sign language video while I was trying to cut her nails, but it worked.) Too well. After we were done, she started demanding (and using the 'more' sign) "more giggle." (I have no idea where she came up with the term 'giggle') "MORE GIGGLE!" "GIGGGGGLEEE"  and cue major meltdown. I was and yet wasn't surprised how she could become so hooked after that brief encounter. She was still requesting "giggle" for the next few days and if she spots my phone, she identifies it as "giggle". We did give in an get a phone for her. Sort of. I was passing an table of clearance items at a baby supply store and found a toy mobile phone that teaches numbers in English and Spanish. One day when her nap was out of sync with my swim practice and gave her the toy phone and some snacks as she sat in her stroller parked by the pool. I've worked out how often I need to get out and check in on her if she's awake during swim practice. A cup of milk will give me about 500 yards. If it's a repeating set, I'll get out after each interval to give her a new food item, but on this day, she didn't fuss at all and I stayed in the pool the entire time. My coach noted that she seemed to be talking with herself on her phone. I was so happy to see that she was starting to use her imagination to entertain herself. 

Her Vacuum. I'm trying to establish that we don't get a new toy everytime we go to a store, but on a recent trip to another baby supply store, she was able to keep herself distracted by pushing around the display model of a Dyson vacuum (it seriously looks like the real thing). I had a 20% off coupon that was about to expire, so I thought it would be a good use for it and bought one for her. She seriously loves it and will vacuum along side me. I'm thinking any toy that encourages cleaning is a good investment. (Random note about vacuums: we used to be total Dyson snobs, especially as one of my University flatmates was somehow related to the famed inventor, and we beleived that they were worth the high price. However after we went through three models within seven years, Husband decided to do some further research and went with the Hoover for pet hair. So much better and one third of the price of Dyson. 

She's become obsessed with my glasses. 

Dislikes: Getting dressed and staying dressed. We've entered into the 'clothing optional' phase, where she wants to run around naked. We're trying not to make too much of a big deal as a). we're hoping it's just a phase. b). it's been really, really hot lately. and c). we've had to revert back to doing some naked potty training. She does seem to be interested in picking out her clothes (and once went out her her jammies as she could only open the drawer for night wear) so I've moved all her clothes to the bottom drawer and I let her pariticipate in selecting what she wants to wear. 

She also doesn't like Pandora ads and will freak out demanding "More Music!" She also does not like it if I join in singing or dancing with her. I've been told "No, Mommy." 

Diapers: So, by the time I took my week off to work on potty training after Memorial Day, she was pretty much completely using the potty for #1 at home. My goals were to get her to poop on the potty and to manage outings. Our first trip out was an EPIC FAIL. We went to Buy Buy Baby and as soon as we entered the store, I told her it was time to put her pee-pee in the potty and she went on the toilet. So far, so good. Perhaps too good and I was probably feeling more smug than I should have been. We barely stepped outside the bathroom and she pooped. Back to the restroom to change. A few minutes later, I was looking for a larger sized sleep sack. Kate had wandered off, but was still in my peripheral vision. I heard someone say, "Is this your child? He or she is peeing.." Ugh! Back to the bathroom again! BBB has a fenced play area for children, so I dropped Kate off and ran two aisles down to pick up a pack of wipes. I couldn't have been gone more than twenty seconds. When I came back she was wet. Face palm. It was a good thing I was purchasing some more training pants and we went through all the ones I brought with us. I figured that she has to have accidents in order to learn. Plus, I reckon that many other babies have had their share of accidents in Buy Buy Baby. 

She did get much better as the week progressed. When ever we would arrive at a store or restaurant, our first stop is to locate the bathroom, so we can put pee-pee in the potty. She did well with prompting, but I would discover that when she annouces "pee-pee" in a store; it means 'I need to go NOW' or 'I am going NOW!' At home, she can take her sweet time, pick up a toy or book along the way, and still make it, but not when we're in public. After having a few misses because we didn't make it in time, I changed out our diaper bag to The Potty Backpack. A backpack is much easier to wear than the over the shoulder diaper bag and I can be ready to spring into action at barely a moment's notice. The Potette travel potty is the best thing since sliced bread. It can be used as a seat reducer (although Kate doesn't like it and will use a 'big girl potty' in public) or you can put a bag over the seat and it stands on retractable legs to be a potty placed on the ground. Twice, we've copped a squat in Safeway to quickly catch a pee. (Fortunately, no one else was in the aisle) 

There are some other essential items to carry in your diaper/potty bag that I wish I had seen written down somewhere before we started venturing out of the house: It was recommended in my potty training book to carry a wet bag and some dry pants, undies and socks. Maybe it's just not applicable since it's been so warm and we're not wearing socks, but I found I needed to carry an extra pair of shoes. Sometimes two pairs, as when kids have an accident; it goes right into the shoes. Eww. Gross. I have to give a shout out for Crocks. While I'm not too fond of them for adults, they are great for kids for this reason. You just throw them in the wash with the rest of the wet clothes. I also discovered having some old washclothes on hand is very useful, although wipes are still essential, they're not absorbant enough to clean up a major accident. Something else that would have been handy to know ahead of time; you don't need to be super sterile and bleach the kiddie potty every time she pees, just using regular baby wipes will suffice. I noticed a fine rash on the back of Kate's thighs and concluded it was from the Chlor.ox bleach wipes I was using. Cue Mom Guilt. 

We did hit a small set back (interestingly, it was while I was making final edits to my potty training post). She would be willing to sit on the potty in public when prompted, but wouldn't go. (Recently she voiced that a toilet in Tar.get was "dirty" -it was stained on the bottom, but the seat was clean- She didn't pee on the potty and had a miss right as were were walking out of the bathroom. When we were at home, she would announce "pee-pee", we would do our 'run, run to the potty', but she would stop abruptly in the hallway and then walk back to where she was playing. I tried prompting her by bringing her to the bathroom and I got the full on, crying, screaming, meltdown of refusal. Oh shit. I was partially blaming the regression on the fact that Husband was away (he was away during the week I took off and was away for part of the following week and again for another week) but I was determined to stay the course and to push through. I fed her more fluids as she played in the kitchen and when I could tell she needed to pee, I slipped the potty under her and scored two catches before her bed time. The next day she was back to not only using the potty, but having the same sense of satisfaction, "I DIDIT" and was wanting to flush and clean the potty with me. I'm finding now that she is wanting a bit more independence. We were out in public and she tried to push me out of the stall, so I had to wait outside. At home, I hang out by the bathroom door and just ask if she needed help wiping and washing her hands. I remind myself that the potty training learning curve is not linear on a daily basis. She'll do really well and pee when prompted and tell me she needs to go in public; then come home and have a total miss. Sigh. It will all come together. Eventually. 

Clothes: I came to pick up Kate from Day Care one day, and I discovered that she had grabbed a pair of Pepp.a Pig underwear from someone else's cubby and was trying to put it on. While I was impressed with her initive, I had to explain that we don't wear other people's underwear. The next day we went shopping for undies. I was noticing that she would pee a little bit into her training pants on the way to the potty. She was getting most of the pee into the potty, but the pants were wet enough that they would need to be changed. Every time. My book suggested that the training pants are sometimes thick enough to feel like diapers, so putting the undies on under the training pants can help. We also switched from the one piece pajamas to separates to make it easier to go potty in the morning. I wasn't as emotional about parting with the onesie PJs and they were a pain in the ass. Plus these new PJs look so comfy, I wish they came in my size. 

Sleep: We've had no wake ups before 6 AM since my last update! Yay! Actually she's been sleeping later in the mornings as we have been pushing her bed time out a little bit. It used to be that we'd start to get her ready at 7, be finished with milk and stories by 7:20. I would leave the room at 7:25 and she would usually be asleep by 7:30. Lately we've been starting the process closer to 7:45. Some of this is due to the fact that I'm trying to wait for her to pee one last time, but also because it's still very light out as we just hit the longest day of the year. While I really like it when she sleeps passed 7 on a weekend morning, I'm a litte annoyed with the later bedtime, as it is cutting into my evening time.  However,  I'm finding that our cuddle time on the glidder is starting to feel awkward as she's getting too big to sit on my lap. As a result, it's getting shorter and shorter and I think she finds herself uncomfortable and starts pointing to her crib. She's now started requesting to take Baby and Kitty to bed with her. I do have to go back in and remove Baby from her crib, as the doll 'cries' if you squeeze her, so if Kate rolls over on the doll, it will cry and a few times, I've been woken up by the doll's cry.

Eating: A month or so ago, when she was at the start of the horrific GI virus and didn't feel like eating; I gave her some diluted Nak.ed brand blended juice in order to get some calories in her. Now she's hooked on "soup". Like "giggle", I have no idea where she came up with this term as we've never served her any soup and rarely have any ourselves. She's also hooked on "coco [coconut] water". Oh, and remember when I was that mom who insisted on preparing all of her child's food herself? Yeah, those days went out the window when I discovered these:

Now packing her snack bag is a snap! Just drop one of these bad boys and you're done. I also picked up a maze tray (pictured below) from the same Babies R'Us clearance table as the learning numbers baby mobile phone. (I love it when impluse buys turn out to be great investments). She seems to be eating better since using this tray. Incidently, while Tyler has stopped batting his paws on the shutters in the middle of the night, he now starts meowing incessently between 4 and 5 AM. I'll get up to check that he has dry food and if his bowl is full, I'll let him meow-it-out. Just like CIO, it works for cats too as his meowing time has dropped from over an hour to 10-15 minutes. Still it's enough to wake me and sometimes I can't fall back asleep, so it prompted another 'Help! My cat is being an asshole!' email to the vet and she suggested getting him a food puzzle bowl, so he'll be more stimulated and won't meow out of boredom. I just think it's so interesting that similar tactics work for pets and kids. 

Milestones: I think she must be working on manners at Day Care, because it seems like overnight she started saying 'please' and 'thank-you' all the time without any prompting; but I also wonder if it was merely a matter of time. I think back to two month ago when we were in LA and the other mother was admonishing Kate over her lack of manners and I want to flip her off. She also recognises that you are supposed to acknowlege when someone sneezes (or coughs, as she can't quite distinguish) and she'll say "Achoo". I had a coughing fit one morning and she kept repeating "Achoo. Mommy" "Achoo, Mommy." It is so adorable, I don't want to correct her. She's also become very good at saying sorry, and in particular if done something like stepping on your foot, she'll rub it as well.

My pediatrician wanted her to know at least three colours by her second birthday, and I'm pleased to report she knows the full rainbow, plus a few new colours. Although she knows the proper name and sign for 'orange', anything orange coloured is "Lylah" after Tyler. An orange toy airplane is a "Lylah plane". The Indian food truck that is tikka masala coloured, it's a "Lylah truck." Her other new colour is "bluazul". I've been working the Spanish, but apparently I confused her into thinking it's one word. While she doesn't speak too many Spanish words, she does recognise the words. We'll look at her big book of Spanish words and if I ask "Donde esta el perro?" she can point to the picture of the dog. 
She's also started singing a few songs. She doesn't yet know all the words, but she can keep up with the cadence. Much like an adult singing along to the radio. She knows "Ba-Baa Black Sheep" "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" "Twinkle, Twinkle" and the Alphabet Song. She also started saying "I love you" to me and Husband, as she learned the phrase after singing "The Wheels on the Bus". That annoying song proved to be good for something. 

Health Issues: I just realized that she hasn't needed to make any visits to her pediatrician since her last well baby visit at 18 months. I thought we were going to break that streak when she had a fever over 4th of July weekend, but it was quickly resolved. I had stopped trying to put on those stupid toe splints to help her overlapping toes and I just couldn't bear the battle every night. Eventually, they became misplaced and Husband ordered some more online. Not only did she cooperate with letting us put them on, she didn't want us to take them off in the morning. (Crying is sometimes involved) Now she actually reminds us that we need to put them on at night, and even tries to put them on herself. Who is this child and what has she done with my daughter? 

Activities: We finally started soccer! Last year, I learned about a soccer class for two year olds that is held on Tuesday mornings, very close to our house. I've been stalking their schedule all year long, waiting until we could finally register for their summer programme. Kate apparently does not share my enthusiasm, as she is just not getting into soccer. She doesn't want to participate in any of the games (except when they play 'Red Light/Green Light) and would rather dive over the inflatably bumpers that define the soccer space, or vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv (Kate just jumped on my lap to give her input) she'll want to walk along the the stone wall. As a former gymnast, I'm starting to recognise that she has an apt for gymnastics. A few weeks ago, I found her placing herself in a sort of downward dog position, and I started teaching her how to do a forward roll. I think I'll start looking into gymnastic classes after this soccer session ends. While I loved my experience in gymnastics, I'd rather see her participate in soccer, [field] hockey, swimming or tennis. 

Looking Forward to... This is really silly, but it will be nice and simple to merely say "I have a two year old". I've struggled with telling people her age after she turned one year. I know people without kids especially become annoyed when you report your kids age in months or fractions, so I had to say "she's  a little over a year... she's a year and a half (yes, I said half -deal with it).. she's almost two years..." While brings me to what I'm going to do with these updates. I told myself that I would switch to reporting on a quarterly basis, but as you can read... they've become quite addictive to me... so you may be subjected to Kate 2.125 and 2.375... Sorry. 


  1. I love reading your updates because it helps me teach Bowen things and know what to expect in the coming months. She is getting so big!!

  2. Hahaha, I love the story of Kate drawing on herself with markers to get a shower. iPhones are weirdly addictive alright: all we watch is the occasional YouTube video but how fast it becomes an tantrum causing obsession if not strictly rationed. Potty backpack sounds kind of intriguing. I am still refusing to become a potty training expert andl hoping things will happen naturally without much effort on my part. Still a bit puzzled by how to deal with time away from home as AJ needs to get used to the idea of different toilets. I don't know if I want to carry a potty around but I'll entertain the idea. Anyway, enjoy 2 years old, it's a ton of fun, I'm loving it.

    1. Agree with the iPhone video. For a good two months a promise of a video was the only way to get Izzy out of bed in the morning but after that phase, she forgot about videos. Now she will ask to see one maybe once a month but we never offer, so it's not part of her life.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the update! I've been missing my blog time, both reading and writing, but I've been without a computer and I finally got one over the weekend!

    I LOVE that you whipped out the potty seat in the middle of Safeway.
    Brilliant! Potty training is so full of ups and downs. Rylee's been trained 1.5 years now and Ayden almost a full year, and they both still have occasional accidents. It's frustrating. I'm still carrying around the stupid "diaper" bag. It's just so convenient for packing stuff around! I need to get a backpack...

    The picture of Kate with your glasses on is super adorable!!!

  4. LOL. Love this update. Maybe Giggle means Google? :-)

    Izzy liked soccer the first winter we did it...but the second winter was not a big fan. We will wait a few more years to try to do it again. She is LOVING swimming though so we will start back in the winter as it is a great way to tire her out too!