Potty Training, Round Two


We went to the park this morning, and miss Poppy didn't wear a diaper! She's been very interested in potty-training for some time now, but I haven't wanted to 'test it', and take her out of the house without a diaper. We were out for about two hours - and it was a success! Unfortunately, we came home, sat down for lunch, and all of a sudden Poppy was in a puddle. opps.

Soren was fully trained at two and a half, although he was somewhat interested from around 18 months. He liked to sit on his potty a few times per day, and almost always peed on it. It took us awhile to get him interested in going all the time. He was a great talker, and would refuse to wear underwear. He'd beg me to put on his diaper, or would just refuse to use the toilet. I'm quite certain that he was 'ready' to be trained at least six months before he was... but he was stubborn, and wanted to do things on his own terms. One good thing about waiting a little longer - he stopped diapers completely at two and a half. No naps, no night-time pull-ups... he was completely done - and with very few accidents.

Poppy, on the other hand, is VERY interested in the potty. She loves it - and proceeds to pee in it about 20 times per day. At twenty months, she still does not talk much, but she lets us know when she needs to go. Today my mom, Poppy, and I were shopping at the gap, and Poppy suddenly yelled, loudly, 'poopoo, poopoo, POOPOO!', while grabbing at her diaper. Other shoppers looked on, and I asked if she needed to go to the bathroom. 'Yeah!', was the enthusiastic reply, and so we rushed out -walking quickly to the nearest bathroom. 'Poopoo' does not actually mean poop, it just means she needs to go. It would be nice if she could select a different word to yell. It was also a little awkward as she screamed it in the wading pool on saturday:)

I have read that a lot of people have success with the three day method, but in our house we seem to do well with just putting a potty near the bathroom, and encouraging the kids to use it if they'd like. Actually, our potty is currently in our dining room, as we don't have a bathroom on the main floor, and most often we are in the kitchen or living room. I find it easiest to leave Poppy diaperless, and pantless, and let her go when she wants. Soren gets super excited when she does something in the potty - I have had to tell both kids that I do not need to see the evidence immediately. If I'm at the stove, I will see Poppy carrying the potty towards me and cringe - envisioning her tripping and falling... eww.

Potty-training seems to get a bad rap for being super stressful on parents. So far, two kids in, I would say it's pretty easy. We are well on our way to being a diaper-free house, but I'm not worried if that happens in two weeks or two months. If it's two years... well... check back for another post.

Summer dreaming


Today is day two on my 'five days as a stay at home mom'. I'm being a little dramatic about it, because I am loving it! It's the perfect time of year to be off - the days are long (it's almost 10pm and it's still not dark), the kids just finished preschool and are in great moods, and today was the first day of the season for our local wading pool. Everyone is so happy to be alive - happy to feel grass under their toes and the sun on their faces. I do remember those long winter days stuck at home with a  newborn and a toddler... but today - there is absolutely nothing I would have rather done.

Another dream of mine, other than being a stay-at-home-mom, has always been to live abroad for a year, with kids. I just love hearing stories of people who pack up and take on an adventure. I'll sometimes browse websites looking for work opportunities in France or England, and imagine the four of us living in a quaint French apartment for a year - preferably around the corner from a bakery:) My dreaming intensified today as I read that one of my favourite bloggers / instagrammers, is taking a year off to travel the world with her four children. A family gap year, is what she's calling it, and it sounds absolutely amazing to me.

The best part about it would not be the travelling itself, but rather the time gained to slow down, and enjoy the little things in life. Today was a perfect example of that. Me and my little ones didn't spend any money, and we didn't venture far from the house. Yet I was totally immersed with them. We slowly wandered down the street, stopping at not one but two parks. We had no agenda, no place we needed to be. That's one of my favourite things about travelling - the luxury of knowing that you don't have to finish laundry or pack lunches. While some might suggest I take on this type of attitude in my every day life... I find that nearly impossible to do. I can't 'shut-off', unless I am truly removed from my daily life.

When I had some free time in Prague recently, I felt so relaxed as I wandered through the beautiful streets. I knew that I didn't need to plan dinner, clean the bathroom, or pay a bill. I had an entire afternoon free to just explore! To enjoy a cappuccino and a piece of cake at a cafe, while people-watching for hours. To turn left, and then turn right, and then stop for a beer just because.

When I have a free afternoon at home, I physically cannot do nothing. I can't ignore my daily life, and while I kind of want to, I also don't. I know that I'll feel more relaxed once 'everything' is done. And yet, that rarely (if ever) happens, so those moments of pure relaxation don't really happen.

Which is to say, in a long-winded way, that travelling for me is simply the best. I look forward to trips for months before they happen, and when I'm stressed I think back to simple afternoons spent leisurely exploring a new city. I'm not saying my existing life isn't great - because it really truly is amazing. But my happy place, my special times, are spent travelling. And I would love, love, love to get to do that with my family one day. Summer days are great for dreaming. And sharing banana-chocolate chip muffins:)

Five days as a stay at home mom


Throwing sand. Fighting over a chair... and this is actually the second generation of fighting over this chair. There is video evidence of my brother and my cousin battling over the 'chair with letters' about 20 years ago. Learning how to play a board game. Cheeks stained with cherry juice. Playing in the water.

We had so much fun at the lake on sunday, we went back today to celebrate Canada Day. Tomorrow it's back to work for Tyler - but I have two days off! I am starting a new job on monday, but for five whole days I get to be a stay-at-home mom. I love it. My alarm is turned off, I've baked muffins for tomorrow's morning snack, and I'm looking forward to doing some deep cleaning during nap time. On Friday, we may make a costco run during the day!! And I'm already much more energized to think about dinner ideas. Making dinner is the absolute worst when we are both working full-time. It's so stressful, I can never think of anything to make, and by the time I get home from work it's pretty much time to eat.

While I am grateful to have had a job these past 7 months, my work-life balance was pretty off. I never quite felt like I had gotten into the swing of things, either at the office or at home. I am hoping this new job allows me a little more flexibility to be home with the kids. My work week is a bit shorter - 35 hours vs. 40, and my commute is only about a ten minute drive.

Anyways, I'm not thinking about work today. Instead, I'm planning to build block towers with Soren, sing Poppy to sleep at nap time, and eat lunches at the park. And I don't have to pack lunches till September!! The kids are 'off' from preschool/daycare, and instead will be spending their days with some wonderful babysitters. I washed out their plastic containers with glee, pushing them to the very back of the cupboard. See ya in september - tupperware!