Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Potty Training Boot Camp

While this isn't exactly a cutesy post like last time, or probably anything that Darcy would like being repeated about her when she's say, 15, I feel like I have to document our foray into potty training. We might have another kid someday and have to do this again. Plus I am kind of amazed by the method we've used and how it has been going. So gear yourselves up, its time for Potty Training Boot Camp!

We switched D into Pull ups a few months ago, hoping that she'd catch on to potty training without the drastic methods we saw online. Surely she'd pick it up quickly, right? Apparently, not so much. After a couple times using the potty, she quickly lost interest and showed us no desire to stop going in her PullUps. I've heard this now lots of places, the diapers and PullUps are so absorbant that they don't care if they are wet. After a few months of this, and paying for the I-can't-believe-anything-costs-more-than-diapers training pants, we decided to go with the go-for-broke weekend method, which is detailed in several different places online. I also wanted to try this method because Darcy has two working parents, and doing the potty training slowly over time just wasn't going to work out without a solid foundation set before she had to go back to daycare. Here are a few sites we looked at for advice:

To get prepared for our weekend adventure, I stocked up on stickers in multiple sizes, printed potty charts (freebies all over the web or make one in powerpoint like I did), new little girl underpants, carpet cleaner, and I even bought a new SpotBot, which we've used for years to clean up after Logan's little carpet bombs. We cleared the schedule of things to do and focused entirely on potty training - no groceries, no trips to the mall, no anything outside of hanging out at home and having fun with the potty. We used the timer function on Tony's ipod to play a fun little chime every 30 minutes or so. Then we ran to the potty - "potty break, potty break!" I also made sure there was a pile of favorite books and some new little cheap toys - happy meal freebies, little dollar store junk - in the bathroom next to the potties. We would provide lots of water and juice and some salty snacks to keep her drinking. For now, we would allow PullUps for naptime and bedtime and eventually for car rides when we started venturing out again. Results were mixed to start, and we had to change up a couple strategies here and there, but here's our day by day review of the process so far.

Day 1: Saturday
On Saturday morning, I told Darcy it was potty time and there was a present for her in the bathroom. She immediately ran and sat on the potty to get her present, although didn't do anything while sitting other than demand her present. :) Her "present" was a new pair of Yo Gabba undies, which she immediately wanted to put on. While we put them on, I told her what they were and that there were "no more PullUps!" which we turned into a fun chant. I also showed her the charts and yay fun when she used the potty, she got a little sticker! I saved the small stars and smiley stickers for just sitting, but when she actually did something on the potty, I had big stickers ready to give out. Of course we also completely freaked out and lost our mind when she actually DID something in the potty - singing, dancing, cheering, hugging - it was the marti gras of potty celebrations.
We went about our day indoors as usual, except for multiple towels covering every piece of furniture I cared about, and no TV because it was too distracting - she just zones out like her daddy. :) After just a few hours, we had one successful #1 in the potty, and multiple accidents down her leg. We ran through 5 or 6 pairs of undies by naptime so I decided that maybe bare bottomed was better - I'd still have carpet to clean, but less laundry. Potty break time was starting to wear on everyone, Darcy was starting to refuse to go, and the times she would sit for a while, nothing would happen. Until maybe 5 minutes after she got up, when she'd go again. I changed up the timing on the ipod - setting for 35 minutes after her last pee, and if she couldn't go then, we'd try again in 5-10 min intervals until she could go. We tried withholding things like TV shows to use as rewards, but it just led to tantrums and started looking more like a power struggle. We were spending a lot of time cramped up in the bathrooms with not much to look at or do, even as I rotated through books and toys.
By end of day Saturday, I was starting to worry if we'd be back in PullUps by Sunday night in preparation for daycare on Monday. :(

Day 2: Sunday
The morning on Sunday started much like Saturday, continuing with the bare bottom treatment. By mid morning, she had used the potty once and had several accidents. But at least she had started to notice that something was going on - we would hear her say "oops" or "uhoh" as she had her accident and try to rush her over to the potty to at least get one drop in the potty. I had to take a deep breath and call that progress. After thinking through the no TV policy, I realized that it was truly a distraction, but it might serve to help us. So I moved the potties out into the living room downstairs and bonus room upstairs and we put on a movie. This time, the timer worked very well, when it went off, as long as she could stay in the room, she hopped up and watched TV from her potty. By naptime, she had used the potty 7 times and only had 3-4 accidents, mostly from before the TV watching started. Post naptime, there were no more #1 accidents that evening! I started to think this might actually work. And Darcy was so proud of herself as we freaked out over every tiny little drop. By bedtime, she was saying "Mommy Daddy look at me!" and "I use the potty". We called a whole bunch of family members so she could brag to them as well.

Day 3 & on:
Daycare! Here's what I sent to Daycare, and here are the results!

To all Darcy’s teachers –
This weekend, Darcy started a diaper-free potty training program at home. She’s been doing really well with it at home this weekend and we hope you can help us continue it at school. Here’s the basics of what we are doing.
1. No diapers or pull ups while Darcy is awake (OK to use a Pull-up at naptime). In fact, while at home, we have Darcy wearing nothing from the waist down. Since we realize that isn’t possible at daycare, we have decided to put her in loose fitting clothes with nothing underneath to get in the way. We will make sure to provide lots of changes in case of accidents. She still may need some help to pull down her pants while she gets used to this. Please let us know if you think dresses and underpants would work better.
2. Please remind her every 30-40 minutes to use the potty. We’ve been using a timer, which seems to work better than us just telling her, but please try to remind her in some way on a regular schedule. If you need me to provide a timer, I can. She should also be reminded to go 10-15 minutes after eating or drinking and immediately before going outside to play.
3. Please use the phrase “OK, its time for a potty break now, lets go!” (said with lots of enthusiasm). If she is asked if she needs the potty or if she has had an accident, she will say “no” automatically, it is better to make it into something fun and hurry her over to the potty before she thinks there is a choice involved. If she refuses, don’t force her, but you may want to try again within 5-10 minutes or risk an accident.
4. If she doesn’t do anything on the potty, please give her praise for trying and say we’ll try again later. Please don’t scold or judge if she doesn’t use the potty or when there are accidents. A encouraging message “its OK, potty training is hard, we’ll try again next time, I know you can do it, etc.” seems to be the best approach for her. We will provide lots of extra clothes and please tell us if we need to provide more.
5. When she actually does use the potty, please give her lots of praise and hugs, we’re so proud of you, cheering, etc. At home, she gets to put a sticker on her potty chart and then gets a sticker to carry around, put on her shirt, whatever. I’ve sent some stickers and the chart, please use them and let me know if I need to provide more.
Our hopes are that by providing this in writing we can help make the process easier for you and help give Darcy some consistent training. Because I know that your classroom is very busy and you have lots of children to care for, I understand if you cannot follow this plan exactly. However, if you feel like you have to make major changes to the plan to accommodate your class, I would appreciate you letting us know so that we can make sure to talk it over and come up with a good compromise and keep Darcy on a consistent plan.
Thanks so much and please call us at any time with your questions or concerns. We’d love to hear how Darcy is doing in your classroom, any notes you can make on her daily form would be wonderful.
Bridget & Tony Meadows

Monday - Two #1 in the potty at school. Darcy went through every piece of clothing we sent and was sent home in a PullUp because there was nothing else left! Once home and bare bottomed, there were no more accidents.
Tuesday - EIGHT #1 and one #2 in the potty! 3 accidents, one was because she wasn't quite done and finished up just a few minutes after a successful trip. She asked her Daddy to help her use the potty during drop off and was starting to tell the teachers she needed to go before the accident and not after.
Wednesday - ELEVEN #1 in the potty and only one accident!! The accident was because she was trying to use the potty but some of it got on her clothes. This morning, before heading to daycare, she said "Momma, I have to use the potty!"

So we just finished up Day 5 and I am soooo glad we have stuck with it and didn't buckle to using Pullups during that first rough 36 hours. We still have to tackle the car trips, naptime, and bedtime, but I think that will come in time. Right now, I'm so very proud of my little pee-er that I can hardly help but do a big celebrating dance every time she uses the potty. Not having to buy diapers and PullUps will be sooo wonderful. And I think watching her be so proud of herself is a great reward that I wasn't even expecting.

Monday, January 24, 2011

random smattering of funny

Darcy's highlight reel -
Darcy loves snow to look at. When it gets on her gloves and her boots, she is not happy. "I wan wipe it off!!"

Darcy is taking a bath and the running water has made me do my own little potty dance. So I sit to take care of business...
Darcy: "What chu doing Momma?"
Me: "I'm using the potty."
Darcy: "Ohhhh. (shouts) Good Job Momma!"

After spending Christmas with my big rowdy family, having many dinners, parties, and toasts...
Darcy: "I want Cheeros Daddy".
Tony: "You want Cheerios?"
Darcy: (picks up her cup) "No, I want CHEERS Daddy!"
We now must clink glasses with her cup whenever she asks.

I'm at a work dinner late, and Tony is putting Darcy to bed.
Tony: "OK, time to say night night to Momma and Logan" (part of the routine even when one of us is away)
Darcy: "Night night Logan. (top of her lungs screaming) NIGHT NIGHT MOMMA! I SEE YOU MORROW!"

Sitting at a meal, Darcy hands me something...
Darcy: "I share with Momma"
Me: "Thank you Darcy, that is so nice"
Darcy: "You're welcome sweetie!"

Watching Bolt in the car, holding her animal blankie/lovee (as always), during a scene where Bolt is running away...
Darcy: "Comeere Bolt, Comeeeere! I haf loveeeee!"

Tony getting Darcy dressed for the morning, fighting to put on socks...
Tony: "I'm gonna get those toes!!"
Darcy: "No Daddy, don get toes!"
Tony" "Why not? Why can't I get your toes?"
Darcy: (thinks a minute...) "Iss a secret."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bossing around the babysitter

Darcy stayed home a few nights ago with a new babysitter Paige, the teenage daughter of one of my coworkers. Paige said that Darcy was very sweet all night, was a good eater, the only thing she wouldn't do was brush her teeth (pretty typical night in our book).

The next day at work, Paige's mom tells me the full story of bedtime. Apparently, once Darcy was all ready for bed, Paige went to pick her up and lay her down in bed. Darcy whirled around, put one finger up, and said "NO". She then pushed Paige backwards out of her bedroom, went back inside, and closed the door shut behind her. Paige just sort of stood in the hall for a while, waiting to see what she did next. After a few minutes, she cracked the door to take a look. Miss Darcy had turned off her light, climbed into her bed, and sort of pulled up her blankets, and was fast asleep on the pillow. I don't know what's funnier to me, that D put herself to bed, or that Paige was so surprised by it that she didn't want to mention it to us!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

trying to catch up

OK blog-o-sphere, I am trying to come back after over a year of non-blogging. Blame Facebook, their picture uploader is WAY easier. But they don't allow enough characters for all of D's fun stories, so I am back. I'm thinking I can try to post an update at least once a month or so.

Darcy is TWO which is sort of unbelievable to me, and yet its true. Lots more hair, lots more fun, and lots more attitude. And just when I think I have the most brilliant serious child ever, she makes me laugh so hard with something sooo silly.

I'm cooking this past week (nothing elaborate, I can tell you) and Darcy has wedged herself between me and the stove, where I am handling something hot. I holler for Tony to come get her out of the way, and as he's directing her away he asks her "Darcy, what are you doing?" I hear her say, "help me" and reaches up her hand. I tell him to help her up and walk her back to the living room. When he tries, she says "no, don't want it" which is her favorite phrase lately. He says "you don't want help?" and she says "no, I help-eeng" and reaches up her hand again to point at me. "Ohhhh, you want to help Mommy?" I ask, and she replies "I help-eeng Mommy cook-eeng!" How can you say no to that?? For the record, I have never once suggested she help me in the kitchen, I am kind of famous for kicking people out of my kitchen altogether for getting in my way, so understand I am really relaxing my kitchen quirks here!

So I give her a plastic bowl and wooden spoon and ask her to stir it up for me. She goes to town, stirring with all her might. She takes the bowl over to Daddy to show him her good work, and he asks "ooh what are you making?" Without a second of hesitation, she says "Pancakes Daddy!" - as if what else could she possible BE making? Tony asks "what else can you make with that bowl?" and again, without hesitation, she throws down the spoon, puts the bowl on her head and triumphantly says "a hat!" That kid cracks me up.

Monday, August 24, 2009

blogging by archdiva: Monday Pounce: SweetMarch

blogging by archdiva: Monday Pounce: SweetMarch

I had to share for those of you who read my blog. My dear sister Meghan has a shop on for her beautiful hand-made dolls, and recently it was featured by another blogger as an "undiscovered shop" that she loved! This is very cool, I hope you will read about Meghan's shop and think of her the next time you need a unique and creative gift for a young girl in your life!

More pics of Darcy soon!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

First visit to the ER

Sigh - well it had to happen someday I suppose. Darcy had her first visit to the ER this past weekend. At my work picnic, I had her in and out of her big stroller several times, the stroller I don't use as much. I put her back in, fastened the straps (incorrectly as it turns out), and got moving again down the sidewalk. We stopped to talk to a couple people, she got herself scootched around, the straps detatched, and when we took off again, WHOOPS - she slid right out feet first and then toppled over onto her little face. It was awful to watch. After a little while it was apparent she was really hurt, not just scared or mad. So we headed over to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital ER, where we were actually seen very quickly for an ER on a Saturday. Several hours and Xrays later, she was diagnosed with a distal femur fracture (thighbone broken near the knee) and splinted with plaster and an ace bandage. So we got very lucky that she wasn't hurt more seriously and that she didn't need a much more serious cast. Had she already been walking or crawling well on her own, she would need a "hip spika" cast, which is immobile from the waist down - not even able to sit up - and both legs would be casted. The pitiful girl is doing well and we are off late this morning to talk to the director of daycare and see if they feel comfortable taking care of her or if I need to take some time off. She was remarkably happy yesterday for someone with a broken leg, so I am thinking that she will bounce back quickly!! Followup is in a couple weeks and I am hopeful that we will continue to splint and not cast or need surgery.

Mom and baby - not sure who feels worse here

Darcy was just happy she finally got to eat something - she couldn't eat in case surgery or sedation was necessary. This girl doesn't miss meals!!

Getting comfy the next morning

The leg didn't stop her from scootching up to the top of the crib - she started the night with her head on the orange and pink cloth that's now under her feet.

Next day - happy little monkey girl! She is my hero.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Catching Up

Sadly I am way way behind, over a month since last posting. Many firsts, including more sitting up, rolling around, laughing, and words. Dada, Mama, Baba, and plenty of other gibberish is starting to come together to mean something more now. Darcy raises her arms and gives "spirit fingers" when she wants to be picked up. She "raspberries" her Daddy and they spittle back and forth at each other. She really really laughs when something amuses her, and she is beyond in love with Logan. He is starting to come around to her too, as she eats and drops more tasty food. Speaking of, she is really getting into the grown up food now, with such varied tastes as pancakes, yogurt, cheese slices, pot roast, mac and cheese, and applesauce, yum! We've been to the Top Dog competition to benefit Brown Dog Foundation (Logan raised $930!), we've been to Hilton Head, SC (I'll get to those pics in a separate post), we've hung around the house. She's grown out of her carseat and into bigger clothes - 12 month size already?!
Partying like a rock star and trashing her crib.

Waking up - looking guilty already?

In her ridiculously huge new car seat box.

I think I'll fit!!

Darcy stealing Logan's lighting
Logan sussing out the competition (he and this big guy were neck and neck!)

Let's see, how much food can I jam in my mouth?
Ah, about a fistful.
Someone call Alcoholic Beverage Control

Daddy's feet are hilarious.

More laughs