Saturday, June 27, 2009

You Win, Karcyn

Our week of me attempting to potty train Karcyn is now coming to an end and I'm not sure we're any better off than when we started. *sigh*

Monday she had about 4 or 5 accidents, but I expected that. Tuesday was much better, she not only stayed dry but did her business in the potty twice! Wednesday she woke up wet and was not only refusing to sit on the potty, but didn't even want her treat for staying dry every 30-60 minutes. Fine then. I was to the point of tears by that afternoon and after Jared emerged from sick bay later in the day, I told him I needed to "get out" for a little bit. It was enough just to go to Freddy's alone to get my friend a birthday gift.

Thursday morning, Karcyn crawled onto our bed around 6am. I discovered she was dry and still asleep, so I put her back in her bed where the pad was in case she had an accident. I got ready to go to the office for a few hours and when I came out of my room, I noticed she was on Jake's bunk. I cringed, thinking he wouldn't be happy to have to wash his little sister's pee out of his bedding. But Karcyn woke up right then and was very chipper. I got her off the bunk and found her still dry! I asked if she wanted to sit on the potty. She said she did. I gave her 5 M&Ms for being dry all night. As she was eating those, she filled that little potty cup about 1/3 full. Which was even more exciting. I really needed that! And she got 5 more candies.

Jared had some errands to run while I was at the office. He was apprehensive about taking Karcyn along, rightfully so, but she did fine. Of course, once at home, she was back to refusing to sit on the potty. (I don't get her!)

Friday morning, when Jared left early for work, I heard Calvin stirring so I quickly jumped in the shower before the kids got up for good. I came out of the bathroom less than 10 minutes later to find Karcyn in my bed, under the covers. She was soaking. ARGH! After cleaning up and getting dressed and getting Karcyn in some dry undies and a top, I went to gather her wet bedding. Only it wasn't wet! She woke up DRY--AGAIN!! But because I wasn't there to greet her and get her on the potty, it all ended up on my bed. Stupid me. (I'm still kicking myself for that one). Later that morning, I geared myself up for our 2 hours of errands, but amazingly, Karcyn got through all of it, completely dry and mess-free. What a blessing! But she didn't want to sit on the potty at home any more than she'd like to get stung by a bee (which did happen Thursday evening).

I had the fleeting thought at one point this week to make Karcyn clean up her messes. My mom suggested that as well so I just started making her do that. Of course, I'm not sure how effective that's going to be. She thinks cleaning is fun!

People have suggested that I use the book "Toilet Training in a Day." Though I'm grateful for the thoughtfulness, there are a few problems with that idea. #1) It's not available at the library. #2) Even if it were, anybody who knows me knows I'm the slowest reader on the planet. It would take me 2 weeks to read something, I need to know right now. #3) Though people SWEAR by it, I'm not convinced that every child on this planet can toilet train in one day, just like you can't parent your own children the same way. They're all different.

So...Karcyn wins.
I didn't give up.
I just lost.
As of today, Karcyn remains un-potty trained but transitionally so because we can't surrender back to diapers. Which means (*groan*) more work for me. (Yes, I'm lazy.) I am marginally relieved that I finally found a couple of plastic covers for her underwear yesterday at a second-hand store. I can put those on her for extra protection when we go to church or run errands outside the house. Hopefully those will contain the puddles and problems for others until we can tend to her. I just can't believe a child who can control her bladder 10-12 hours through the NIGHT for crying out loud, can't sit on the potty a few times during the day to empty it.

Oh well, this too shall pass. (hee hee hee)

3 Wishes

On Thursdays, among other things, the boys have some journaling to do as part of their summer structure...which I have yet to blog about. For Jake, he's to write in his journal. Cooper is to finish the prompt I give him. This week's prompt was: If you could have any three wishes in the world, what would they be?

I was expecting a scooter for one wish. Cooper just made it known he really wants a scooter for his birthday. I half expected a Nintendo DS to be listed. But this is what was on his mind instead...

1. a dog
(Okay...I get that. Doesn't every little boy want a dog sooner or later?)

2. a cat
(What? We have a cat. Got her just three months ago. What does he that he doesn't have to feed or clean up after?)

and finally:

3. 'a nuw bruther'

When Jared saw Cooper's three wishes he most assuredly inquired about #3.

Jared: You want a new brother??
Cooper: Yes.
Jared: You already have 2 brothers.
Cooper: I know. I want a new one.
Jared: You have a new one. What's wrong with him?
Cooper: Nothing, I just want another one.
Jared: But you fight with the brothers you have.
Cooper (laughing): I know. I just want another brother.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Future with Scripps?

Jake's been bitten by the bug...the spelling bug that is. We love to watch the Scripps National Spelling Bee. But this year, it was on ABC a month ago. I haven't blogged about this yet, but Jared and I were in San Diego during the Bee AND...because we have DISH Network, we weren't getting ABC until just recently. However, a few days after the fact, Jared caught a repeat of the final 11 spellers on ESPN and DVRed it for us.

The boys and I finally got around to watching part of it last night. I suggested they might want to get a piece of paper and try writing down the words to see how they do at spelling them before the word is displayed on the screen.

I was surprised by how close they BOTH came at spelling some of these words, off by only one letter! Obviously, Cooper was going pure phonetically, which works with a select few of the words chosen for the Bee. Without studying the etymology of words (the language of origin), Jake was thinking hard about what he knows about words to spell them. It paid off.

I have no idea what these definitions are, let alone how to pronounce them and even still how to spell them.

ophelimity was given--Jake spelled it: opheilimity
simnel was given--Jake spelled it first: simnal, then symnal. Cooper spelled it: simnol
goombay was given--Jake spelled it: goumbay; Cooper spelled it: gombay
byssinosis was given--Jake spelled it: byssonosis

Being only one letter off isn't good enough to be at Scripps or any spelling bee for that matter. But for not having studied, I thought those were pretty darn good guesses!

Jared was bitten by the bug as well. The 2-bucket flu bug that is. He started horking his intestines out around 5am, waking me up. He threw up for at least 5 minutes straight. Eewwww.
And then again at 6am. And 8am. And 11am. It's 12:30 now. I think he just got out of the shower. I can't remember the last time Jared succumbed to a bug. He's pretty resistant. I think it was back in 2007 and that's iffy. That episode could have been the result of food poisoning...not my cooking, though! Hopefully the bug has stopped ravaging his insides and will leave our family alone. Only spelling bugs allowed here!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

House Arrest

No, this isn't the reason why I've been away from the blogging world for the past month. Life gets to take the blame for that. And there are more postings to come.

This confinement is actually self-imposed and began Sunday after church. It's also called...potty training. Or, as I refer to it...the "dreaded" training. I am not the happy mommy who thinks this milestone is "soooo fun." But it must be done. What's frustrating to me is that I've been trying to work with Karcyn (yes, Karcyn not Calvin) the past 11 months when she started showing interest. She was pooping and peeing in both her potty and the big potty last July. And then she up and stopped. I admit, having a newborn at the time, it wasn't the top priority in my life. However, in my defense, she stopped making it an issue too.

Both Jake and Coop trained themselves and they weren't much older than when Karcyn started last summer. Until now, my school of thought has been to just let the child decide when to do it. It proved successful with my boys. Both of them poop-trained first even. That's why I haven't been pushing the issue since last summer. She clearly wasn't ready. As a gentle reminder, I would ask her every once in a while if she wanted to go on the potty. 99% of the time it was a vehement, "NO!" So I backed off even more.

I think it was January when I thought we could give it the old college try again, knowing if I waited until she was ready, attending public school might be out of the question for her. We put the potty on some towels on the family room floor, pumped the DVD player with all her favorite movies and gave her treats and snacks. She sat on that thing for over 5 hours and went pee in it throughout the duration. Each time was a joyous moment. We celebrated. We danced. We hugged and gave each other high-fives. But it didn't last. And worse...she was afraid of pooping on the potty. It scared her. (Grreeat.)

A few months went by, including her 3rd birthday and I felt maybe it was worth a shot to try again. No luck. Even MORE frustrating is when, more recently and frequently, she stops what she's doing, poops in her diaper (refusing to go near the bathroom) and then announces loud enough for the entire house to hear, "I pooped!"

I feel like the time has come to more aggressively take this stubborn bull (child?) by its horns but I humbly recognize I'm still not completely in control. Yet I'm all out of ideas and approaches. I've tried everything every mom and friend could tell me. It doesn't make any difference, I've realized, because like everything else, every kid is different, even in potty training. Mentally tapped and pretty discouraged, I did the only other thing I could think of. I fasted. The way I see it, Heavenly Father knows Karcyn better than I do and if this is the right time for her to be potty training, he'll help me to help her make it happen.

I fasted a couple weeks ago. What I haven't had in the past year is ONE week of NOTHING on my schedule. The only thing I have to do this week is go to Jake's two baseball games (which is a miracle in and of itself). He had one last night and has another one tomorrow night. I figured we'll be outside for his games, so if Karcyn has an accident, it's not really going to hurt the grass. That's how the week of June 22, 2009 became the WINNER for the week-of-virtually-nothing contest and put me on house arrest so that we could say good-bye to diapers for Karcyn and put her in underwear without the stress of going anywhere.

After changing her clothes on Sunday, I put a large waterproof pad on top of Karcyn's bottom sheet so that she could sleep on top of that. I also let her pick which of the 9 pair of underwear she wanted to sleep in. I limited her liquid intake to nothing within the hour of bedtime and laid her down.

She woke up crying at 12:30AM. She had peed at her door, but not in bed. I was actually motivated by that. I helped her get into clean underwear and put her back in bed. She woke up one other time but was dry.

She had an accident outside my bathroom door when I was getting cleaned up Monday morning. I figured it was going to be one of many and told myself not get my own panties in a bunch over it. A couple months ago, my mom got Karcyn a pink "potty watch" that has an alarm. It goes off in 30, 60 or 90 minute increments. I chose every 30 minutes to give her as much potty awareness as possible and I wore the watch. I need the reminding more than she does! I've also come to realize that my life, in 30 minute snippets, is pretty boring and unproductive!

All told, from 7:30 to 3:30 Karcyn had 3 wet accidents and one super accident (pee and poop). My goal was to have her sit on the potty every time we went in, but it was clear after the fourth time she didn't want to do that. An impression came to me to just celebrate the fact that she's dry. So we went into the bathroom to get an M&M for an "I'm still dry" reward. If she wanted to sit on the potty, then that's what we'd do. She fell asleep around 3:30 for an unexpected late nap and I inwardly groaned at my inevitable task. What kid doesn't wake up wet from a nap? I roused her at 5:30 when we were heading out to Jake's baseball game and amazingly enough...she was dry! I slipped some pants on her (one of 4 pairs that I had packed) and put her in the van. We were at Jake's game until 8:45 and she only had one super accident and it was outside.

Because I'm on house confinement, I decided to go grocery shopping after the game, instead of this morning, like I usually do during the school year. Instead of passing the store on our way home, unloading the kids, putting them to bed and then turning around and going back to the store, Jared met me at Winco and we did a swap. He took the kids home, I went shopping. I had given Karcyn very little to drink at the game (in hopes of giving her more opportunities for staying dry). Before he laid her down to bed, Jared said Karcyn wouldn't go on the potty. Why am I not surprised? But her pee-proof pad was in place. And she slept all through the night this time.

As I gradually woke up this morning, I burrowed further under the covers when I thought of what I'd have to face in Karcyn's a urine saturated child if nothing else. Before leaving super early for work, Jared came in, holding Karcyn. Her legs were draped around his waist. He said, "Look at who I have." Once it dawned on me, I asked, "Is she wet?" He responded matter-of-factly, "Would I be holding her like this if she was?" I threw off the covers and jumped out of bed. She was dry all night long?! I couldn't believe it. Holy Schnikey!

She wouldn't go on the potty that morning though, of course, and wet her pants, but I didn't care. The fact that she remained dry all night was a true miracle to me.

At 8am, as I was unloading the dishwasher, Karcyn said "I poop." My heart sank and then leaped. Was she announcing a job done or one that needs to be done? I quickly checked her. When I found her completely clean and dry I persuaded her with all the careful excitement that I could to get her in there. Jake helped with brotherly encouragement. She went in and she even sat on the potty. We have a little "poop on the potty" chant we made up so we started singing that. Ironically Jake had to go to the bathroom too. I was about to send him to another bathroom and then I stopped. What would it hurt? So I left him and her to their business and went back to the dishes. Jake came running out 30 seconds later yelling that Karcyn pooped in her potty. We all paraded in there, practically tripping over each other, to witness "it" with our own eyes. It was a glorious little nugget to behold. I'm sure our neighbors two streets over heard the 4 of us jumping up and down, screaming, cheering, laughing as we shared our pride and joy with Karcyn. She loved dumping it in the potty, flushing the toilet and bidding farewell to the small brown chunk.

Since then, we ventured back into the bathroom 4 more times, each time she was dry. And at 10am, she peed on the potty. ANOTHER JOYOUS EXULTATION! She stayed dry til noon when she had an accident right before we were to head back in to the bathroom. (It seems like there is, without fail, 5 times more liquid that ends up on the floor as the product of an accident than there is when it goes into the potty. Maybe it's an illusion or maybe there's some mathematical equation for the volume divided by liquid dispersed and area to cover times 15, but I don't think so). I can't complain, though, about 1 accident in 4 hours in addition to two successful potty stops. I just need Karcyn to TELL me when she has to go.

And with that said, I know we have a looong way to go still. I can't even think about the fact that it's only been a day and a half that we've been doing this training. I really hope we make enough progress come Sunday. Otherwise, I don't know what we're going to do for our church meetings. Keep her with us, I guess. I'm NOT putting her back in diapers. Which is why I'm really hoping this will click with Karcyn. After Sunday, I don't get another day off let alone a week. Keep your fingers crossed!