Monday, August 9, 2010

Potty Training

Potty training is not my favorite part of childhood. Once they are solidly potty trained, it is great. Changing a baby's poopy diaper is one thing, but the horrific mess that is a toddler's poopy diaper is quite another. So once they are competent at using the potty and don't have to go every 30 minutes in order to keep dry, it's pretty nice. It's getting there that I don't like.

We're working with Grayson on going potty, but it's been slow going. We've been through this before, but every kid is different and the things that worked so well with David aren't so effective with Grayson. He pulls the stickers off his sticker chart and throws them on the floor (not sure why), he argues with me about the two Skittles he is supposed to get after going pee on the potty, and so far the promise of various treats and rewards for finally pooping on the potty haven't motivated him in the least.

Fortunately, he's able to initiate going potty some of the time and we had a trial run in underwear last week that went pretty well. Since then I haven't been able to convince him to wear underwear again, but today I insisted. He was upset for a while, and I let him stay naked and throw his fit. Then I offered some Wall-E underwear and that turned the tide. Unfortunately, the package only has one pair of Wall-E, so if he insists on them again tomorrow I'll have some more convincing to do. But hopefully we'll be able to get through the next few days without too much mess, or too much fuss.

He's supposed to be potty trained when he starts preschool and that is rapidly approaching. We have about 5 1/2 weeks until the big day, and although technically they'll let him come in a pull up if he still needs it, I'd really rather not. So I guess it's time we start trying a little harder to make this potty thing happen.

I do have to wonder if the cashier at Target found it funny last week when I bought two packages of toddler sized underwear and a bottle of carpet cleaner labeled "Kids and Pets". Hmmm, what am I going to be up to the next few weeks.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Camping, take one

This weekend we attempted our first ever camping trip with kids. We used to love camping, back in the days when that meant IM'ing each other at work on Friday with a, "Yeah, let's go camping this weekend!" Then loading up the car with a handful of stuff, arriving at a campground after dark and not caring in the least, and sleeping in the next morning well after the birds started chirping.

This was a far cry from the pre-kid days. I spent several days planning and an entire day organizing and packing. You always have to take a bunch of stuff camping - after all, you're essentially bringing all your basic needs, including shelter. But kids take it to a whole new level. And we don't just have kids - we have three, ages 5, 3 and 11 months. Are we crazy? Maybe just a little.

The weather forecast was iffy, but we decided not to scrap our plans. Our good friends were planning to join us at the state park, docking their boat there. And my dad and brother had an adjoining campsite. The first night went well. We arrived and set up camp, got a fire going and had the requisite toasted marshmallows and such. We let the kids stay up way too late, and we had quite a bit of trouble sleeping once we finally went to bed. The thing with the first camping trip in about 6 years is that you work out the kinks and realize what you need to do differently next time. On that list are new sleeping bags for me and the hubs - we were freezing. Add to that a few wake ups by Miss Bean and Grayson coughing for about 2 hours, sleep was in short supply.

Around 3 am the rain started. We knew rain was possible, but it seemed like it might rain a little, but not torrential downpours. When the kids woke around 7 (and we'd slept a little in between), it was still raining. We decided to go out to breakfast, instead of getting soaked outside and by the time we got back, it was down to a light drizzle. We figured we could stick it out, and decided to stay - at least for a while. The rain actually stopped, and we managed a trip down to the beach and the boys got to do some fishing with Grandpa. Ella took a good nap and we thought we'd at the very least stay through dinner, and then decide if we wanted to pack it in early or spend another night.

Then the rain started again. And didn't stop. The middle part of the day had been filled with short drizzly bursts of rain that stopped as quickly as they started. This rain started, and didn't stop. And still didn't stop. And then got harder. By about 3:30 I knew we were done, so I started packing our stuff.

I'm a bit disappointed that the weather cut our trip short, but overall I actually feel really good about it. If we can survive camping in the rain with a 5 year old, a 3 year old and an 11 month old - heck, we can do anything! More than anything, this felt like a test run to see if our kids are camp-able, and this certainly was the ultimate test. They did awesome. David and Grayson had a blast playing in the woods around the campsite and Ella was her usual magic-baby self. All in all, I'd say the weekend was a success.

And I'm not going to lie, I'm really looking forward to sleeping in my bed tonight.