Friday, January 7, 2011

Funny Kid Stories - Just for Fun!

Kids say the DARNEDEST things!  Here are just a few that you shared with me.  Keep them coming and I'll add them to this post!

Lily (6) began selling Girl Scout Cookies today and I asked David (4) if he was going to buy a box from her.  He promptly responded "Nope, I can't afford it."
While driving in the car one morning, out of the blue, my 4-year old son said “Mom, how do GIRLS pee?”

Another day, he said "Mom, if a Portuguese Man-o-War (type of jellyfish) stung a vampire, would the vampire die?"

I was just telling funny kid stories with my coworkers, and one told me a really good one! When her daughter was 3, their cat died so she and her husband told little Anna that the kitty was in Heaven now. Anna looked at them and said "what would Jesus want with a dead cat?"
I just asked my son what he wanted for Christmas.
Son: "A bird."
Me: "A bird....why a bird?"
Son: "Cuz I've never had a bird before."
Me: "Huh." 
My son Jack had a substitute teacher last week for kindergarten.  Before school that day, I told Jack that his substitute teacher was one of my teachers in high school.  He got to school and told Mrs. G that Amy B… is his mom and she told him that she was my English teacher in high school.  That night, Jack asked me if I spoke Spanish before Dad and I got married.  Why else would I need an English teacher?
Here is the conversation that my son and I had on the home from school.
David: "DANG IT!"
Me: "David, little kids shouldn't say dang it."
David: "I'm really mad cuz I forgot my gloves at school"
Me: "You should say 'Oh,no....or I'm mad' instead of dang it."
David: (after thinking a bit) "Nope, I have to say dang it.....those other words don't sound mad enough."
I have two stories.  The funny thing is that they are not from my own children.  

Nanny Mom (Ruth) and I took my nanny kid (Caitlin) to get her hair cut for the first time.  She had really curly hair so an official cut was not necessary until she was close to three.  She sat through the entire hair cutting appointment silent and smiling as if something amazing was going to happen to her appearance.  I was shocked because she was so opinionated and dramatic about certain things but she completely surprised me on said visit.  After the stylist was done doing her "thing", Caitlin welled up with tears which surprised us all.  When Nanny Mom (Ruth) asked her what was wrong she said, "I wanted my hair cut LONG like Nanny MoMo's!"

I used to care for these kids in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.  One of the kids was a boy named Griffin.  He was the oldest at four years old.  He eventually had a brother named Graham and a sister named Avery.  This story is about Griffin.  The family I babysat for (every weekend) had a lawn like a putting green and a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean.  Dr. Nanny Family was an avid golfer so he made his lawn a place of relaxation.  The eldest son, Griffin, took a liking to golf and spent a lot of time on the lawn paying golf.  When you said the phrase' keep your eye on the ball' he would lean down and put his actual eye on the actual golf ball.  It was complete innocence of instruction.
I just said to Anna, "I'm hungry for breakfast."  Her reply, "I'm not hungry, I'm just beautiful."
My 3-year old came into my room at about 5:47am, asking for macaroni for breakfast.  I told him we eat macaroni for dinner.  There was a 2 second pause and then he asked if we could go downstairs and eat dinner. 

I came home from work and my son had put two of his Thomas Trains in time out.  He slid the chair over to the nook where he serves his timeouts and had made my husband set the timer.

My almost 4-year old ran into the room where I was, and very urgently said "mom, can you help me put my tutu on!!"  I was staring at him stumped (and a little worried) and then he said, "you know, my baseball tutu."

"OH, tattoo!"  I said.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Toddler to Big Kid - Help with Potty Training

A friend recently asked me for advice on potty training.  She said that her 18-month old daughter was showing interest in sitting on the potty.  Here is my reply to her inquiry.

WELL, I'll start by saying (just from experience, not to be annoying,) that all kids show interest around this time, but might not be ready. It is great to respond to the interest by having them sit on the potty, explaining the process of going the bathroom on the potty, etc.  But that doesn’t mean you should or need to complete the potty training process yet.

It can be a very, very rough and long process to potty train so I wouldn't WANT to do it early. It means staying home a lot at first and then taking an extra outfit/portable potty seat everywhere you go for weeks or months.

I do know that there IS a big theory about doing it before your child turns two, and there are books about it. The parenting columnist from the Omaha World-Herald is a BIG proponent of this and writes about it regularly. He also doesn't believe in giving rewards.  If that sounds up your alley, go to the bookstore and research this approach.

OK, with that said, if you want to follow my method, keep reading.  I waited until two months before my son’s third birthday.  I was told to try it for 3-5-7 days and if it didn’t work, wait a few weeks and try again.  The last thing you want is to become neurotic about it which will in turn, paralyze your child (figuratively of course.)

I stayed home with him for 3 days (took a day off of work and then the weekend.) I put a cute towel and a cute, kiddy soap dispenser in our powder room. And then I got a big clear jar with a tight lid and put a HUGE bag of M&M's in it. I waited until it was hot out and put him in a short t-shirt and nothing else.  Side note: I had initially put him in a t-shirt and cute underpants, but he didn’t care, or notice when he wet them.  He just asked for a new pair of super cool underpants!

We went on the potty every 15 minutes ( he is a camel, so this was too often for him, so we upped it to 30-60 minutes) and every time he sat on it, he got an M&M. If he went pee, he got 2, and if he went poo, he got 3. Some moms told me they did 1 for pee, 2 for poo and nothing for sitting, but he wouldn't even sit on it.  I should mention that the M&M approach was done after the sticker method didn’t work.  He didn’t want to sit on the potty just for a sticker.

And then he just stayed half-naked all day (inside and out) and the first day was HELL. He peed all over the wood floor multiple times and I cried.  One of my closest friends who is my voice of reason told me to commit to 3 days and if there was no progress, then wait another month and try again. She said I couldn’t give up after LESS than one day!

It was a little better by day 2 and by day 3, he was great. He did have accidents out and about (he peed in the sculpture garden at our local art museum), but they were few and far between. And then I did pull-ups at night for a couple of months, but he only wet them a handful of times, so I stopped after one box. I was very lucky and still am b/c he hardly ever goes during the night.  I never did Pull-Ups during the day.  I had heard that kids think they are like diapers, and then they regress (or just go ahead and go in the Pull-Ups.)  I was willing to risk a few "in-public" accidents to avoid Pull-Ups.

As for number two, that was harder because he is on Miralax and doesn't notice the feeling sometime! But I trained him to go poo in the potty about 1-2 weeks after we had completed the pee-pee training.  I bought him a big toy and put it out of his reach. I then told him he would get it when he went poo in the toilet. And he actually did it while I was at work - for a babysitter!  And that Doodle Pro is still his favorite toy!!!!  We have bought three total because he wears them down from excessive use.

As you can see, my way takes an older child because there is some reasoning involved. But I think no matter what age, the key is to stay home with her or him for at least a couple of days... And relax during the process.  I am not mentioning the time he went number two at Mom’s Day Out, all over his clothes, or the time he went number two in his glider without even noticing.

The other key is that when she sits and tries, you just let her sit for 1-2 minutes. Don't let her sit and read books, etc.  It shouldn’t be a game, a comfortable hangout or excessively fun.

And just remember, it won’t work if the child isn’t ready.  So don’t stress if the deadline in your head passes.  Just try again a week or a month later.  Don’t worry, have you ever seen an 8-year old in diapers?

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Baby - Baby Milestones for the First Six Months

I found this article in the "new baby" packet that I received from my pediatrician.  I really enjoyed reading it as my son grew from newborn to six months of age.  Don't worry if your baby doesn't hit these marks at the month suggested.  Some babies will be ahead with some milestones and behind in others.  Just talk to your pediatrician if there are many on the list that your baby has not done yet.  And always follow your gut.  If you are worried, it doesn't hurt to check in with the experts.

One Month -Two Months

-Responds to sounds and voices by turning head
-Prefers the human face to all other patterns
-Stares intently at faces
-Makes eye contact
-Keeps hands in tight fists
-Brings hands to mouth
-Grips your finger
-Makes eye contact
-Sees objects 8-12 inches away
-Recognizes mom's voice and scent
-Responds to loud sounds with quiet, crying or acting startled
-Smiles or coos when you talk, smile or play
-Recognizes your voice
-Blows bubbles
-Eyes track objects
-Studies hand movements
-Looks for source of sounds
-Stretches legs and kicks while lying down
-Moves head side to side while lying on tummy
-Can hold head up for a few seconds

Three Months - Four Months

-Understands he can capture your attention
-Smiles at the sound of your voice
-Swipes at dangling objects with his hand
-Starts to babble
-Perceives color differences
-Starts using eyes and hands in coordination
-Stops sucking to listen
-Brings hands together
-Sucks on fingers
-Opens and shuts hands
-Holds head steady
-Lifts head 45 degrees while on tummy
-Turns head towards voices
-Makes sounds in response to you
-Might frown at strangers
-Smacks lips
-Laughs when tickled
-Vocalizes to initiate play
-Tracks moving objects
-Grasps rattle with stronger hand muscles
-Rolls over both ways
-Lifts head 90 degrees while on tummy
-May move arms in a swimming motion while on tummy
-Splashes and kicks in bath

Five Month - Six Months

-Shows positive reaction to different sounds
-Smiles spontaneously
-"Talks" to gain attention
-Explores objects by tasting them
-Imitates your facial expressions
-Mimics sounds and gestures
-Repeats strings of syllables
-Babbles to get attention
-Might be able to hold a bottle with both hands
-Reaches out with one hand to trap an object
-Raises chest with arm while lying on tummy
-Sucks toes
-Cries when parents leave the room
-Feeds himself a cracker
-Objects if you take a toy away
-Responds to his name
-Reaches toward a favorite toy
-Says vowel-consonant combinations
-Discovers himself and talks to himself in the mirror
-Places things into mouth
-Compares two objects
-Pivots and creeps on tummy
-Begins teething by drooling
-Bears some weight on legs when held upright

New Baby Advice - Diapers and Wipes

When choosing a diaper for my baby boy, I had been told to go with Pampers Swaddlers and not even bother trying anything else. So, I did, and I was very happy. You can start with one small pack of size N for Newborn and then see what size baby you have. You might be able to move up to size 1 pretty quickly.  I have friends that used other brands and were satisfied some of the time.  But I never wanted to spend the money on "experiementing" with different brands!

As baby grows out of Swaddlers, the choices for Pampers are Baby Dry and Cruisers. The Baby Dry seem to be a bit cheaper, but the Cruisers are better once baby gets active. I went with Baby Dry's to save money and have had a few times where he has wet his clothes, but they hold poo in really well.

And if baby starts suddenly wetting their PJ's at about 7 or 8 months, go for Huggies Overnights. These are incredibly absorbent.

For wipes, again, don't bother trying anything else. Go straight for the Pampers Sensitive wipes. I started with these but for messy poos, it was kind of hard to get baby's butt clean. I had heard that Huggies wipes were a little tougher material and worked better on messes. I bought a huge economy box of them and baby got a terrible diaper rash. They are still sitting in my closet. I thought maybe I could use them some day, but another friend said her child continued to get a rash from them because of his sensitive skin. Obviously they work for some people or they wouldn't be on the market, but if your baby has sensitive skin, skip them.  If you use Pampers Sensitive wipes and need something more heavy duty, just use a washcloth, warm water and gentle soap.

As I type this, Pampers is having a terrific promotion. Each packet of wipes or box of diapers has what they call Pampers Points. You can set up an account on their web site and collect your points for fun prizes like Legos and children's books. And they might even send you a coupon or two.

Other places to get coupons:
Occasionally, the Pampers parent company, Proctor & Gamble, puts one in the newspaper in the P&G Saver. Target also puts out diapers coupons as does Babies R Us. I also bought a "LOT" of 10 Pampers coupons on eBay.

If you have any feedback about other brands of diapers and wipes, please let me know and I will add it to this blog!