Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Potty Training, Again.

Two reasons for this title. One is that I have already potty trained a child, so now that I am potty training a second child I am potty training, again.

The other reason is that Sam was potty trained when we adopted him…sort of, in a Chinese kind of way. Now I am just doing it again.

Sam wore split pants when he was in China (pants that were open or split between the legs from just below the front waist band to front to back). When he needed to go to the bathroom he would simply squat and go. This is totally acceptable out on the streets of China, but not so much in 5 star hotel rooms, airports, and airplanes.

My only alternatives were to potty train him to western standards while still in China or diaper that adorable little tushy. I chose the later. I mean the poor child was traumatized enough. He didn’t need the crazy Caucasian lady forcing him to sit on a big bowl of water that threatened to suck him down with every flush.

Sam quickly adjusted to diapers, although he was never a fan of them. I, on the other hand, love them. Never a need to sprint to a bathroom so my kid can pee. Never a need to carry extra clothes in case of an accident. No getting a cute, but energetic child dressed and undressed umpteen times a day.

Nope. Just diaper the bottom and you are good to go. As long as you change them periodically, diapers are carefree living, baby.

Potty training is work.

You have to teach technique. You have to cheer for bodily fluids (and solids). You have to take your kid to the bathroom every.single.hour. where said child insists on stripping off every.last.garment. in order to use the facilities.

Ugh. It’s just tiring.

So I used every excuse in the book to avoid it. Surgeries, vacations, summertime, the phase of the moon, the alignment of the planets. All were reasons not to potty train my sweet boy.

It finally got to a point where I was out of excuses and Sam was tired of diapers. Although he accepted them, he never adjusted to them. Anytime Sam needed to relieve himself he’d find me, make me hold his two little hands, then squat like he learned in China—except instead of going on the ground he’d go in his diaper.

Sam knew when he needed to ‘go’ since the day we adopted him, he just needed to learn where to go. So we finally embarked on the great potty training adventure, again.

With as much as I procrastinated, I am embarrassed to admit how easy it was.

Step One: Introduce the big boy pants.IMG_9508

This part was easy!IMG_9506

Sam loved his new big boy pants so much that he was jumping for joy.IMG_9509

Step Two: Introduce to PottyIMG_9511

Since Sam already knew when he needed to go, the change in where he needed to go was pretty easy, too.IMG_9513When Sam came to me needing me to hold his hands so he could squat, I set him on the potty. He figured it our pretty quickly. I think we had one accident the first day and then we were pretty much done with potty training. Seriously. It was that easy.

He gets it.

He is happy to be done with diapers.

And because it was so effortless on my part, I am happy too. Why the heck did I put it off so long? Buh Bye Diapers!

Hooray Sam! You’re a big boy now! You’ve joined your big sis in the Land of Underwear!IMG_9522Woot Woot!

UPDATE 10/9/2012: Sam really was that easy to potty train, again. Literally a day was all that it took. Now he takes care of business all by himself most days, including the dressing and undressing part. (He still insists on getting naked from the waist down, including his socks. But he happily puts everything back on, so I’m good with it.)

Being potty trained throughout the day is one thing, but nights are sometimes a different story.

I kept Sam in a diaper at night even after he was trained for the day. For the first few nights he woke wet, but after that it has been nothing but dry. When we finally ran out of diapers he switched over to big boy pants for nighttime and has never looked back.

Hate me if you want, but I am giddy with how easy this child is to raise! Love you, my sweet boy!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Day of First Grade

First there were the years that Molly cried.

When Molly started preschool, leaving Mommy and embarking on something new and different was an angst-filled time with tears and drama. We had to role play leaving Mommy in our living room for days prior to the start of school. We had to take pictures of school and incorporate them into individualized books about Going to School  as we prepared for the inevitable shift. We had to praise, cajole, bribe and whatever we could think of to help in the transition.

And then there was the year that I cried.

After two years of preschool, Molly surprised me by being excited for Kindergarten. I was even more shocked on the first day of school when instead of drama she gave me a kiss, a hug, a smile, a little wave, and then turned and walked down the hallway to her Kindergarten class

This time it wasn’t her crying. It was me. I could hardly utter the word Kindergarten with out getting teary. Because this was it. My baby was going to school. Real school. And there was no turning back. There was never again going to be a time where I got to spend day in and day out with my girl at my side.

But this year is the year of the cheer!

Over the summer I realized that all of the day in and day out with my girl at my side nonsense routine would indeed return every year in the form of summer vacation. And I have also come to realize that while the fact that the summer day in and day out with my girl at my side is good, school is sometimes better!

Not saying that I don’t love my girl wildly-because I do-its just that Molly is a child of routine. Vacations and siblings and spontaneous outings, while fun, are not structured and not really Molly’s strongest suit.

So this year was the year of the cheer. Hip Hip Hooray! School is starting!

Hooray for routines! Hooray for 6 year olds eating in the cafeteria! Hooray for the bus that delivers my precious child to school for 7 hours of routine heaven every single day!

She is happier. I am happier. Life is good.

I have to preface this by saying that having Molly in school full time would not have been near as easy without another little one at home. I am a mom. I need to mother. And have someone to boss around. Besides, while 7 hours a day without mothering sounds delightful on the surface, it would be a difficult adjustment. And who on earth would I take pictures of all day?

Oh, a speaking of pictures…here are a few of the first day of school. Hip hip hooray!

Did I already say that?

Looking oh-so-stylish with her Pinkalicious backpack.IMG_9454

Not saying #1…Saying FIRST GRADE, BABY!IMG_9470

Bye Mom!IMG_9473

Sam has no clue what school is but he is cheerful nonetheless. Love that boy!IMG_9476

More 1st day cuteness.IMG_9479

Molly looks a little sleepy…she is my stay up late gal.IMG_9481

Sam is raring to go. He’s my up and at ‘em boy!IMG_9483

Max and Molly…another year of bus stop fun.IMG_9485

Getting on the bus. Buh bye!

Ummm, I mean have a great day at school, sweetie!IMG_9487

Okay, I’m so busted. While Molly got on the bus, I sprinted to the car so that I could beat her to school and get pictures of her getting off of the bus. Mamarazzi at its finest.IMG_9488

A final good bye from Sam.IMG_9489

And then into the Halls of Knowledge.IMG_9490

A scant 7 hours later and Molly is returning home. Day 1 as a First Grader is in the bag!IMG_9495

A little gift awaits Molly at home. (Molly specifically requested the roll of tape. Seems the 500 rolls that she has gone through this year aren’t quite enough.)IMG_9496

One happy 1st Grader.IMG_9497

Apparently being in first grade in not too old for a freakishly weird unicorn stuffed animal/night light combination.IMG_9500Enjoy your time in First Grade Miss Molly.

We love you very much and are so proud of the smart and confident girl you have become!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meet the Teacher

After a summer that seemed to fly by at record speed, Molly’s school brought us back to the reality that life is not one continual vacation. Although one can always hope.

A robocall last week informed us that Meet the Teacher day would soon be upon us, and today was that day. So ready or not, here it comes!

We prepared very early this year by purchasing school supplies in July. I learned my lesson last year as a rookie Kindergarten mom. You must buy school supplies an entire month before school starts if you don’t want to run around to 18 stores looking for something that is sold out at How crazy is that?

Even at my advanced age, I still love brand new school supplies. All those pointy pencils with perfect erasers, brand new unbroken crayons, markers and glue sticks that aren’t dried out. Reminds me of my childhood. The hand sanitizer and  disinfecting wipes, on the other hand were really part of that memory. We reveled in our germy-ness, I guess!

Molly also enjoys her school supplies. This is the last that she will see of them, however. They all go into a communal stockpile for the entire classroom to use. Another example of how schools are turning our children into little socialists children who can share. IMG_9434

At our assigned time, we met up with Molly’s neighborhood friends Allison and Max and entered the school.IMG_9436

Once inside her classroom, Molly quickly found her desk, toured the room, turned in her school supplies and…IMG_9438

…met her new teacher! IMG_9440Doesn’t she look nice?  She seems like a very good fit for Molly.

Sam couldn’t be left out of the action and wanted a picture with Molly’s teacher, too!IMG_9441

After we left the classroom, the kids were encouraged to tour the school. Having gone here last year, there really wasn’t a lot of touring that needed to be done. Just sayin’.IMG_9442

So we cut things a bit short and headed to a local yogurt shop. There is always a lot of touring that needs to be done there!IMG_9444


And because summer is quickly coming to a close, one more trip to the pool seemed to be in order!IMG_9600


Yep, school’s great, but we are sooo going to miss summer!