Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Part 1 + I Can No Longer Claim to be the Best Driver

Are you ready for Halloween? We're not.

Maybe it is my fault. We don't really have any Halloween decorations besides my white pumpkins. I love white pumpkins.

Today was Woody's Halloween party at school. His teachers asked me to please sedate talk to him about how everyone would be in costumes, and they did not want Woody to be overwhelmed. They must have known there would be trouble when they went to carve the class pumpkin on Monday, and he totally lost it... (If you are wondering, we do not carve Momma's white pumpkins.)

As expected, despite a previous trial run in his monkey costume, Woody completely melted over the idea of wearing this ridiculous costume to school. I felt guilty when I showed up (late) to school and saw how many kids had nice, Pinterest-worthy made costumes/boutique (i.e.: expensive) costumes. I didn't even buy Woody's... it was a hand-me-down from Sister. 

Woody cried the whole way in and refused to march in the costume parade. I tried to make a mental note to quit forcing Woody to do things he hates. Every time I just make Woody and myself (and Brooks...and usually Gaines) miserable. But who am I kidding!?! I finally flung him onto his teacher (they adore me),and high-tailed it out of there. I had some shopping to do before the party! (The Kayce Hughes Atlanta store is closing! Tear.)

As I am driving (not very well) down Peachtree, I hit a curb...hard...and shredded my tire. Brooks was thrilled to come put my spare on in his work the rain. Gaines was completely cool during this process and only dumped an entire water bottle down his front. I actually was relieved he didn't freak out staying in his carseat the entire time. 

I got my spare on just in time to make it to Woody's party. To my surprise, he was still wearing his costume and used the school potty!! After the party, I had to take my car to get a new tire. If you live in Brookhaven, I cannot sing the praises of Discount Tire on Peachtree enough. They were so friendly, fast, and didn't freak out as my kids ran around and tried to pull tires and hubcaps of the wall. We ran across the street to eat lunch and explore the Christmas aisle at Lowe's. They had my new tire on in 45 minutes! 

We plan on Trick-or-Treating Saturday. I have a cute costume idea in my head, but am going to try to be a little less "Mommy Dearest" and not force Woody to wear it. If all else fails, don't think I am not above shoving him into his 12-18 month Woody onsie.

Sad Monkey refusing to march in the parade

Miss Gloria saves the day!

Not impressed

His precious class

I hate you, Mom

Monday, October 19, 2015

Great Nana Jane Visits Woody's School

Brooks's grandmother, Jane, is one of the most talented people I know. She is a phenomenal artist and musician. So when I was supposed to sign up for Woody's class to share a special talent, I signed Jane up to play her accordion!

Jane previously had taught music to young children, and I guess it was like riding a bike. She did such a great job, and the kids loved her.

Gaines tagged along as well, and made sure to make himself front and center

Thank you Jane for such a special day!

And if you could all say a special prayer for our sweet Jane. She was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, my family knows this horrible disease all to well. If attitude is everything, then Jane is an inspiration to us all!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Discipline in 10,00 Words or Less

Once upon a time, I had these sweet little guys who did as they were told, sat still for pictures, didn't talk back, or hit...or bite. And then there is now.

Perhaps it is karma from all those judgey eyes I gave moms in Target or the parents of students before I had my two. Discipline is rough. And only compounded by I have no idea what I am doing. So I pleading for advice.

Culprit 1

At home, he is a delight. We spend most of our day reading books, playing puzzles, going to the potty. But once we leave Patches, Hell hath no fury. He is starting to somewhat do better at school, but other structured, social interactions are a disaster. He doesn't like adults. He doesn't like kids. He likes Woody and whatever Woody's agenda is for the day. I think he is about the get kicked out of his gymnastics class....

Culprit 2

Gaines has two settings: (1) the most cuddly, lovable toddler ever and (2) raging, biting, hitting, pinching, fit throwing machine. On Monday, I subbed at Woody's school. I was telling Woody's teacher how it went, including how Gaines did in the nursery- he bit every kid.

"Oh, that is why Isaac came home with marks down his arm."

Oops. Didn't realize they were in the same class. Luckily, she was very cool about it.
Yesterday, I had MOPS, so Woody went to gymnastics and Gaines went to the nursery. Both of their teachers had to speak to me about their behavior. I was so frustrated, so I decided I was going to be Stern Mommy from there on out.

We were about to leave for the gym, and I told Woody to go to the bathroom, and he told me, "No." I decided to lay down the law, so I got in his face and told him. He hid behind his train table and cried, "You're scaring me, Momma."

I was like

Especially when I realized he had already gone and had just finally learned to pull his shorts back up on his own.

So I am now just walking around the house singing stupid songs like, "Mouths are for kissing! And hands are for hugging! Never biting! Never hitting!"

And I plan on just giving every adult in my kids' lives this...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Potty Training the Reluctant Three Year Old

Here is where we left off.

You know how they say, "Don't attempt to potty train until you know your child is ready,"... well that was my excuse. Woody was quickly approaching his third birthday and had shown no interest in the potty. I take that back- he despised the potty. Any time I asked him to sit on the potty, mentioned a pull-up/big boy underwear, or tried to read him a book about how big boys used the potty, I got this response.

Ugh. And honestly, I wasn't jumping at the bit either. For a few months, Gaines and Woody had been in the same size diaper, and it was easier just to change them at the same time rather than ask him every 15 minutes if he needed to go. So I fell back on my favorite phrase, "He is just not ready."


That he needed to be ready. His K3 class needed him to be somewhat potty trained by the start of school. I had also paid for him to take gymnastics in the fall that needed him be as well. I started to feel the pressure, so ready or not, here is what I did.

When he woke up, I immediately took off his diaper and sat him on the potty in front of the TV. He didn't mind sitting on it as long as the TV was on. (Hint! DVR all of you kid's favorite shows. Woody hates Doc McStuffins, and I couldn't take her popping up on the TV and ruining his concentration.) He sat there probably thirty minutes until I heard the most precious sound- urine hitting a plastic. He did it! And Brooks and I went BANANAS! We danced with him, praised him, made the biggest craziest deal possible. He put a sticker on his potty chart, and I am pretty sure I gave him thirty M&Ms. (Hint 2! Get some stickers and candy. If you don't believe in bribery, get over it. Your kid does.)

Now, what was a game changer? Go bottomless. Let your kid experience his/her free side and don't bother the first few days with underwear and pull-ups. So I let Woody go bottomless and left the potty in the family room which is hard floor. (Hint 3! Don't go near carpet or rugs. Yuck.) He stayed in there because it was marathon of every show he loved. I also pumped him full of juice. To my utter shock, he started on his own sitting on the potty and going. I made just as big deal every time. He even went #2. What!? I couldn't believe it. After 24 hours without an accident, we scrolled Amazon together to order a new puzzle to reward his success.

Now, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good- Woody seriously potty trained himself in one day. I can count on one hand how many accidents he has had, which I will get to later. I still put a pull-up on for bedtime, but most mornings it is still dry. Before you hate me, remember I have the Bad and the Ugly to discuss. 

The Bad- Woody sometimes wake up in the middle of the night having to go. I honestly would just rather him go in his pull-up (which he sometimes does.) When he gets up at 3 am, he wants to use the potty and start his morning. Also, I am probably being a bad parent by using copious amount of TV, candy, toys, and juice to potty train my kid.

The Ugly- Public toilets are very ugly to Woody. I am no germaphobe, so I don't know why he won't use them. He will only use the plastic one at home and the one I keep in my car. At first, he was just scared of adult-size toliets, but now he won't use the little kid ones at church/ school. He holds it, which I feel can't be good. A few weeks ago he couldn't hold it anymore at school and had an accident, which really upset him. If we are out, and he has to go, he cries and shakes from the pain until I get him to one of his two preferred plastic potties. 

So I would love any advice on how to overcome the last hurdle. It will be super awkward if he has to bring in a plastic potty to a job interview one day.
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