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Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Traditions

He's making a list, checking it twice. Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.  Santa Claus is coming to town!

I can hear the bells on Santa's sleigh already! He'll be here before we know it!  For the first year, Addie will really understand what's going on in the morning.  I must say, Christmas as a parent is almost more fun than Christmas as a kid.  We've had Addie's gifts from Santa tucked away for weeks just itching to hand them out early, but we're resisted!

As a kid growing up, Santa always brought us the biggest, coolest gift of all of them. It would be set up in front of the tree just waiting to be played with the minute we walked into the living room on Christmas morning. I really love how my parents did this, but apparently it's not the most common way to experience Santa. Apparently for most kids, he wraps his presents, and apparently brings them a lot more than he ever brought me! See, Santa only brought us one gift on Christmas morning.  It was always our "big gift" of the year.  For example, our trampoline was from Santa.  Our bikes growing up were from Santa.  Everything else was from our parents, wrapped under the tree for weeks.

I plan to continue this tradition with Addie.  There was just something more magical to me about getting the toys directly from the workshop. Santa even had it completely put together for me so I wouldn't have to wait to play with it.  He is so thoughtful.

Tonight, we'll be putting together a new kitchen for Addie, complete with food, dishes, cook-ware, and even an apron (made by me!).  I can't wait to see the look on her face when she comes into the living room and sees it.  I wonder if we'll even get her to open everything else!

So, does Santa visit your kids? How does he display the gifts? Wrapped in Santa wrapping paper? Or set up and ready for action?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Potty Training Success! (Parents Only!)

Warning: If you're not a parent you probably don't want to read this post, as it talks about topics most adults don't normally discuss.

As you know from my previous post, we have successfully potty trained Addie!

We started about 2 weeks ago, letting her run naked at home.  I had a few days where I knew we'd be home with no plans and Willie would be at work (he stresses about naked time) so I decided to go for it.  Why not, right? She hates being wet or dirty and always tells me with plenty of advance when she needs to poop. She knows what the potty is used for and even would occasionally ask to sit on it, we just never had any potty action on the toilet which was the only thing discouraging me.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try for a few days and see what happens though. If the first couple of days weren't a success, we could always just put a diaper back on her and try again later.

I had everything in place.  I made a sticker chart and had a stack of sticker sheets at the ready.  3 stickers equaled 1 piece of candy or a prize, so I had plenty of rub-on tattoos and some left-over halloween candy at the ready. I had a potty seat in the living room and one in the common bathroom (we'd had so little luck with the toilet so I thought maybe this would help). I had 3 sippy cups filled with water to encourage her to drink more. We were ready to give it a try.

The first part of the day was....very discouraging to say the least.  She wouldn't drink the water.  Any of it. I think she had maybe half a sippy cup of water all day! At random intervals throughout the day I'd ask her if she was thirsty and she'd take a small sip and put it down.  Just not interested in water. She wouldn't sit on the potty, and would just stand there with pee running down her legs saying "uh oh!" when she was standing right next to the potty peeing. It was very frustrating.  I would pick her up and toss her on the potty only to have her immediately stop in transit and refuse to finish on the potty. I tried having her help me clean up the wet spot and I tried having her practice running to the potty after she peed (all the while continuing to act like it was no big deal that she just peed all over the floor because hey, accidents happen). Nothing doing.  What I needed was to get her to pee-even just a tiny drop-in her potty so she could see how exciting it was.  I began to sort of hover that afternoon so I could toss her quickly onto the potty.  Early that first evening, we finally had a teensy bit of success! I was able to grab her quickly and sit her on her potty mid-stream and she got 3 tiny drops in the potty.  Who cares.  I made a huge deal out of it, we made up a dance and she got her very first sticker for her chart! I was still pretty discouraged though, and at that point had decided we'd probably give potty training a break for a few more weeks before we tried again.

Then, as a total last minute decision, I asked Addie before bed if she wanted to try to sit on the potty and maybe earn another sticker.  A very excited Addie ran over to the potty and lo and behold...peed! Peed like she hadn't peed all day!! Very encouraging if I do say so myself.  Those few minutes changed my mind and I decided to give it another try the next day.

Monday morning, we woke up and just didn't put on a new diaper.  I made the mistake of eagerly asking her often if she wanted to use the potty-which she refused every time.  Heaven forbid she make me happy, right? She continued for the most part to just pee on the floor and ask for diapers, but she did manage to go on the potty again that night.  Again, I was encouraged and decided to give it another day.

That's sort of when things slowed down for a bit. We all ended up with a stomach bug that had us laying on the couch for 2 days. Everyone was miserable and not even caring about potty training.  Addie asked for a diaper and I put one on her just because it was easier. She stayed in a diaper the whole day, and most of Wednesday.  Needless to say, we were a bit worried about not having a diaper on her if she had a stomach bug! That was not a mess I wanted to worry about cleaning on a queasy stomach.

Thursday, though, we got right back to it, and had a bit more success.  I had decided to take the advice of a fellow mom and stop asking her if she needed to go potty. The logic behind it was that she's be more able to focus on her bodily signals if she wasn't being nagged by me all day.  We just went about our daily business all day and suddenly, I hear "Pee pee potty, momma!" as she runs to the potty and pees...completely by herself!  This happened 2 more times throughout the day.  Finally! Some success! On top of that, she got her first piece of candy!

On Saturday, something seemed to have clicked.  She woke up that morning telling me she had to potty, and continued to tell me and run to the potty all day long! 7 stickers!!! Only 2 "accidents" all day long! In less than a week, Addie was potty trained to the point that I was only changing a diaper in the morning and at nap time, and not dealing with pee on the floor.  1 week, and that included 2 sick days in a diaper.

Ever since that Saturday, Addie has gone regularly in the potty with fewer and fewer accidents.  In fact, we'd gone almost a week without an accident at all until yesterday! We've started putting her in pull ups all day now so that she's not just potty trained while naked, and we can even bring her out in public and she'll still tell us she has to go. In fact, most days this week we've had errands to run, and they've all been successful! The only time she has an issue is when she's really distracted (like yesterday) and has friends over all day. Who has time to pee when you're defending your territory and making sure another toddler doesn't walk off with your Thomas toy?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

You heard me right.  I plan to get back in the blogging saddle.

I've missed blogging.  I thought my first post back on the blog should be a bit of an update for you.  The last few months have just gone by in a blur. To be truthful, I'm kind of wondering what happened to summer?

So let's see.  You all know I started my own business last November.  Starting this past spring, it really began to take off, and this summer, I began participating as a vendor in the local crafts market.

It's been a fun ride, but a fast one. Once I started in June, it's basically all I could think about until about a month ago.  I'm now on a break, but I'm still trying to really bulk up my selections for next year which will hopefully start slowly in March and build steam until the summer.  I don't plan to do as much during the holiday season though. Surprisingly, that was the worst for me! I've been offering more and more adult selections, although if you look at my shop, I still don't have many listed. That will be changing soon! In the meantime, you can check my fan page and see some of my custom pieces, or just email me and ask if I can make something if you have an idea of what you'd like in mind!

I did also start a CUTEure Blog but wow. If you think this blog has been abandoned, just go check out that one! I'm still trying to figure out what people want from that blog. Free patterns? Crochet tips and tricks? Shop updates? Articles on how to sell on etsy vs craft shows? No idea. I have a hard time considering myself informed in any field so writing informative posts has always been hard for me! If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see on that blog, feel free to tell me!

In my personal life, things have been going well.  We've switched Addie over to a toddler bed (which was a hard transition!) and this past week we began potty training her (which has been as easy as the toddler bed was hard).  Within a week she has almost no accidents! I will write a detailed post about how we did it this week.

We also bought a bus! So far, it hasn't been much fun .  We bought it with the intention of using it for my last couple of shows last season (the last of which would have been a ton easier if  I could have camped out there.  Unfortunately, as these things go, it has required a lot more work than we were forewarned about.  We've already put several hundred dollars and a few weeks worth of solid work into it, only to have it drive around the block once and then throw a rod in the engine! For those of you that know as much about engines as I do, that's not a good thing.  The engine is now going to require a total rebuild (we think) which could cost more than we paid for it in the first place! What a bummer.  We're going to try and just look for a re-built engine that we can put in it for now so we can enjoy the bus, and then Willie can slowly focus on re-building the one we have now for a back up.

Otherwise, there is not much going on.  I've been in a writing slump. As much as I've wanted to get on here and write a post, I just couldn't muster the motivation and time to do it. Hopefully, this time I can get more regular.  I'm still learning to manage my time and commitments with the semi-new business and family life.  I've deserted half of my friends, and poor Addie went through a few weeks of lock down due to me just forgetting that we needed a life!

I think that's about it for an update.  I mean it's a "quick-get-you-up-to-date" sort of update and not a long drawn out story about the last few months that would take a super long time to read and write, but hey, I wrote a blog post.  I'm proud of myself!