Thursday, January 20, 2011

A sick day but a good day.

SS woke up screaming for her Baba and that is never good news. Sick and whiny was going to be a challenge, so potty training was going to take a break today. I was ready to leave SS in pull-ups all day when she told me it was time to use the potty. Huh? My kids are strange creatures, I love them but they are freaks. When their neurons are fully functional and firing perfectly they can't manage to perform pedestrian tasks. Then when they are sick or in stressful situations, they blow my mind with their behavior and resilience. SS happily took her diaper off and went to do her morning business. As is now her routine she reminded me to wipe front to back.

SS was extremely clingy but that was expected, and asked me to hold her like a Baby a few dozen times. Heck it's not like I have anything productive to do. SS had an accident in the afternoon because she was hyper focused on her Bristle blocks. But even this setback was a positive step. When SS came to me I could tell she was beginning to panic. Yikes, a flashback induced meltdown is the last thing I needed while dealing with pooped undies. I quickly reminded SS that everyone has accidents, that Mama and Baba had them and that is a part of learning. Then I braced myself for the fallout. SS calmed down, asked me for help, I cleaned her up, and that was the end of the incident! SS said "Mama, I use potty now. OK?" And that is what she did the rest of the day.

We are thrilled about this baby step, it is the first time SS has not completely freaked out about wetting herself. Funny because that is perhaps the last thing one wants during potty training. But for us it is a long awaited step forward in building trust. Maybe SS was too tired to spend her dwindling energy crying. And maybe she simply believed that it was OK to have an accident, and that there would not be negative consequences. We are really hoping it is the latter.

SS loves placing stickers on her potty chart. We had to come up with this, otherwise SS would have stickers all over the walls, furniture, our bodies, you name it.

Like how she has a Leaning Tower of Pisa inspired design going.

SS has a few discolored skin patches that are very prominent during the summer, due to her ability to tan so well (it's a gift). During cold weather her skin gets very dry and those discolored areas get the worse of it. The picture does no capture it well but it is really dry. To make matters worse, SS is like her Baba, a skin picker. So much for not passing on our defective genes. G0d is certainly having a blast at our expense on that one. What we usually do is keep SS in footie pajamas when indoors, but that is not possible when potty training. Not only am I on potty patrol, but on "stop scratching" patrol.

And if she picks at her skin it results in burning when we moisturize her, which makes the necessary process lots of fun.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Steady potty progress.

We were wasted Monday morning, I woke up around 5:30 a.m. surprised that P was still in bed with us. There was a power outage at his work, servers down, no work. At least P got some well deserved rest. SS was going through her usual JJ withdrawals and being her pleasant self. The whole idea of visiting him was to shorten the time between visits, hoping to make it easier on SS. I don't think it will ever be easy for her to part with her brother.

Maybe potty training on the go led to SS turning a corner in the process. It was not nearly as big a hassle as we expected. Once you walk into a BK holding a tushie cushie, and spend two days with your child using a potty in someone else's living room, it demystifies the process. SS is more at ease and no longer whines when reminded to use the potty. Onward with potty progress.

This morning I was surprised to find SS's diaper dry, a first. Later P told me that he has encountered a couple. SS's diapers are usually soaked to the max in the mornings. This morning she used the potty and she must have held it for quite a while. SS was in good spirits when I dropped her off at school. I received a call from school at 10:30 a.m. Director D wanted me to know that SS was running a low grade fever, 100.4, and that she was not playing or participating. SS was laying on a cot reading. My kid laying down? Not good. DD said that SS looked miserable, so I decided it was time for SS to come home. I called P and he went to get SS and I would meet them at his work. We did not want SS to be without one of us longer than necessary. P was a lifesaver because I could not find my keys for a good 15 minutes. When I arrived I found my sick child smiling and running towards me. At least she was no longer miserable. It took me a while to notice that she was wearing the same pants as this morning. Go SS!

The rest of the day went very well, specially after SS had a bowel movement, something missing for two days. She did it in stages and I only prompted her once. When she finally got the bulk of it out she said "I did it Mama, I got all the pellets out." We are now rewarding with stickers and she has a board on the downstairs bathroom wall to display her stickers. The rest of the afternoon was spent playing and apparently planning a sleepover.

SS picked up a (non working) phone and said "I need to talk to my Baba." Then she had the cutest conversation:
"Hi Baba, how you doing?"
"We fine, we fine."
"Really? That's good." I really wonder what P said.
"Can you come by my house?"
"OK, thanks, see you soon."

SS then stated that she needed to talk to JJ:
"Hi JJ, I miss you JJ, I love you JJ."
"JJ, you come to my house?"
"No, no your house, my house." While gesturing with her free hand.
"You and T come to my house."
"OK? See you soon JJ."

Then it was time to call Grandpa. SS has been thinking about him quite a bit lately.
"Hi Grandpa, you woke up?" When Grandpa was in the ICU we told SS that he was sick and was sleeping a lot. Unconscious does not make sense to her age group.
"Grandpa I miss you. I miss swimming."
"Grandpa you come to my house?"
"OK, hurry, see you soon." Because Maui is a hop and a skip away.

First, where the heck is SS planning to accommodate three extra adults? Besides it's a school night. Second, it was funny that she only invited males. She could have called her grandmothers, aunts, cousin, Godmother, but no, not a single female was invited. I might have to be looking for accommodations during the sleepover.

SS was out by 6:36 p.m., slept about an hour and woke up crying. She was warm and congested. We medicated her, and she fell asleep in my arms for almost two hours. She is back in bed and we hope she gets some rest.

Another picture of SS showing her displeasure at leaving JJ. The girl knows how to milk the goodbyes.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

SS does not do goodbyes.

Last night SS stayed up late "playing" Rock Band with JJ and his roommate J. She was disappointed that JJ would not allow her to use the guitars but there is no way SS could get the hang of it. By the time we went upstairs P had been asleep for quite a while. I had some DVDs to watch because I knew I would not be sleeping. Just as I was getting ready to put my headphones on SS had the nastiest night terror she has had in quite a while. P can sleep through anything and this woke him up quickly.

It is awful to watch your child in so much distress. Thankfully unlike nightmares, we do not remember night terrors the next day. That is the easiest way to differentiate between the two. P and I just tried to do our best to comfort SS and allow the terror to play itself out. Wherever she was SS was running for dear life and her little legs told the story. She was sweaty by the end and so were we just watching her. So that is what we were doing at 3:00 a.m. We were rather disturbed when it was over and could not go back to sleep. When we went downstairs JJ was still awake but looked very tired so we sent him upstairs to sleep with SS, while P and I lounged downstairs. Our family has lousy luck with sleep, P is the only normal sleeper here. It has to be tough for him to deal with a wife and kids that have frequent nightmares and night terrors. When he tells me the things I have said in the middle of a NT I feel sorry for him.

My lack of sleep caught up with me early in the morning and I fell asleep when most people were waking up. Oh well... We did not leave until 3:00 p.m., hours later than planned. As good as we are at trashing a room, spreading our stuff everywhere, we are amazingly good at getting our things together and out the door in record time. SS asked last night to go home, but when it was time to say goodbye to JJ she was very upset. The goodbyes never get easier with her.

We dropped by Auntie C's house for a quick visit, as she was due for a Goddaughter fix. It's always easy to talk with her because although she does not have children she gets it. Among the things she gets is the complexities of raising a post institutionalized child. She never makes the ignorant comment that all SS needs is love, or that SS does not remember anything about her past, or that attachment issues are a myth. C respects the privacy of SS's story and is very pleased that we have chosen to protect that aspect of SS's life. She completely agrees that only when SS is old and mature enough, only she can make the decision of when and to whom to divulge. It is good for our souls to be understood, supported and respected.

JJ burned Toy Story for SS and she watched it three times on the drive home. By the third consecutive time one would think SS would realize that Buzz's arm would be repaired, that things end on a happy note. But no, SS dissolved in tears every single time. When we got home she threw a fit when poor P dared to turn off the DVD player. She watched the movie two more times for good measure. Not even JJ was that obsessed with his favorite movies. We are pretty tired, that drive is so freaking annoying with all the curves. No wonder we do not do it often. But we had a good weekend and more important, SS spent much needed time with her brother.

During the drive home P told me that the book SS was coloring was 17 years old.

SS and her Godmother.

Watching TS for the fourth consecutive time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Taking over JJ's place.

JJ's roommate T was surprised that SS remembered him, and even more surprised that our daughter has a major crush on him. Our daughter has turned into the littlest stalker. Scary stuff for a parent. As P was taking SS upstairs to bed, he asked SS to say goodnight. SS's idea of a good night was "I love you T." We are going to lock SS away until she is 30.

SS was up early and I was forced to get up even though I had slept only two hours and sorely needed more rest. Nothing like having a loud mouth nose to nose with you shouting "IT'S DAY TIME MAMA, WAKE UP, WAKE UP!" The plan was to make breakfast and head out to the Mall to let SS play in the indoor playground. We ended up lounging around and did not leave until 4:00 p.m.

When we lived here we referred to the entire county as the town without milk. It is such a freaking depressing black hole. People usually talk about the Redwood trees, the luscious greenery. The Endor scenes for Return of the Jedi were filmed here. P took me to the area during my first visit to him. But frankly, once you have seen it there is no need to return. There is seriously not a damn thing to do here. That is why we drove to the Bay area every other month. We craved civilization.

The Mall has pretty much been decimated since we moved, and that is sad because it is the only thing to do around here. JJ said that the only entertainment is to play video games or drink, and preferably both. I loathe video games and can drink anywhere, so no pull for me. Two stores were holding closing sales. Amid all that depression we saw a new baby/kid store. Do not know how new, but it was not there during our last visit almost two years ago. Here we are in such an economically depressed area and the first thing I noticed was the BOB strollers. Those are crazy expensive and the one I saw first was $459. How many people in this area can spend that much on a stroller? P said that their target demographic are pot growers.

We returned to JJ's place and cooked dinner. JJ is now the unwilling owner of a tiny rice cooker. One of JJ's roommates commented that it was the most action their kitchen had seen since he moved in last May. P started the morning by cooking bacon and eggs, and managed to wake everyone up with the smell. We made the gai pad kra pao (chicken basil) for dinner since we had a lot of Thai basil and chilis left over. JJ asked for the recipe, and that is a lot because since he cooks for work he does not cook at home.

You have to love people who lack self awareness. Abu e-mailed me and stated that she had no concerns about SS using a public restroom, because she was confident I knew what to do. She then proceeded to provide a tutorial on what to do. Of course Abu does not see it that way, she was just "reminding" me of what to do. Those reminders are as welcomed as when P hears the dreaded "I was concerned." Nothing positive, believable or kind has ever preceded that statement. The sad part is that we are likely to end up annoying our kids as much. We can see JJ nodding as he reads this and saying "you already are."

SS did very well with the potty. It helps that like her father, she has no qualms about pulling down her pants in public. She had an accident and I was completely at fault. SS fell asleep on the drive to JJ's and I really wanted to keep her awake to avoid being up all night with her. SS was understandably sleepy, lethargic and pi$$sed. P was about to put an overniter on her and I stopped him. Dude knew what he was doing and I did not consider SS's overall tiredness. Sorry SS, Mama promises to learn from her mistakes. I know she is not holding her breath on that one.

JJ's roommates will be talking about how he had a chick spend the weekend and all she did was pee in their living room.

SS immediately honed in on the Rock Band drums, she was in loud wild child heaven.

JJ trying to get SS to make peace with Bing. The cat incurred SS's wrath last night when he got too close to SS's milk and D-O-G. After that SS made it her mission to make the animal's life a living hell, just like she did with Grandpa's cat. We are sure Fergie still has nightmares about the beautiful little girl that turned out to be a cat stalking psycho.

P insisted in buying this microwave for JJ while he was still in high school. It sat in the garage for years until JJ moved out. Weird that is is still in use. It is the right size for a small apartment.

SS was immediately drawn to this gingerbread house, ready to go inside and start eating.

SS wants one like this at home.

SS is still hypersensitive to noises, this is what happens when she flushes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Guess who stayed dry at school today?

SS had a really rough start this morning, when she was supposed to be brushing her teeth I found her laying on the floor. I am ashamed to admit that I was not as patient as I should have been, and that led to tears. After a quick self admonishment I asked SS what was wrong, and she said she was tired and did not want to go to school. That is when I pulled my ace card, I reminded her that after school we would drive to JJ's for the weekend, and she would have two sleeps at his house. Oh boy, instant transformation, happy dance, and lots of I love JJ. I knew that kid would come in handy one day. I had a lot of errands to run and before I knew it it was time to pick up my angel. Much to my delight SS was wearing the same pants she had in the early morning. YEAH SS!!!!!! She remained dry and the teachers made a big deal of her accomplishment. SS was beaming while listening to their praise.

The plan was to leave at 4:00 p.m. but since I am horrible at time management we left at 6:00 p.m. By then P was ready to strangle me. It took longer to get ready because spending two days at your single son's apartment, that he shares with two other single guys, is like packing to camp for a week. Plus we wanted to cook for JJ and that entailed bringing some kitchen gear. Also, now that SS is potty training packing for her is an even bigger nightmare. I am a notorious over packer, but even I had to amp my game. We will be without easy access to a washer and dryer for two days, so SS had her own suitcase full of way too many outfits, just in case.

There is no way we were going to stop every thirty minutes for a potty try, so SS wore a pull up. But when we made a pit stop for me P had the brilliant idea to have SS use the BK bathroom. It is a popular stop along that route and BK keeps it nice and clean. Still, I was not thinking of introducing my innocent child to the world of public restrooms. Her Abuela would certainly have me killed. I recalled when JJ was five and my mother almost slapped me because I was not obsessive enough about washing JJ's hands. Plus I allowed the child to capably wipe himself. Even though SS could use the potty in the car we won't always be close enough to the car when she has to go. That is how SS and I ended up walking into a Burger King holding a tushie cushie, not one of my finest moments.

SS was initially intimidated by the height of the toilet but I held her tight and distracted her by asking about the movie.

Me: What happened in the movie?
SS: Nemo lost Mama.
Me: Oh, anyone looking for him (thinking of Dori)?
SS: Yeah, Baba Nemo (Marlin) looks. Babas look (probably brought on because we are always telling her the good things Mamas and Babas do, or are supposed to do).

And while we talked SS made her first deposit in a public restroom...

A very happy SS proudly showing off the star sticker she received at school for her milestone.

Cheeseburger, fries, vanilla shake and Finding Nemo, SS's reward. Lots of junk food but we have never claimed to provide sound nutrition. That is the only bite she ate from her burger.

You can tell by her expression that things are getting interesting.

While we thought of and looked forward to many things while we waited for SS, hauling a potty and a tushie cushie in the van was not one of them.

Celebrating her first out of home tushie cushie experience.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Picture day.

Today was picture day at school and since it was not SS's regular day I had the opportunity to be with her at school. On special occasions like today, the parents can choose to pay for an extra day (if the kid is not full time and it is not her day), or if they remain with the child there is no charge. After two such special days (Halloween which was her day and Christmas, which was not) we have decided that SS needs one of us to be able to handle the crazy that goes on when that many kids have a change in their routine. It was chaotic and funny at the same time.

SS was all smiles until it was her turn, and then she clammed up. The set up was in the junior classroom and the juniors were in the middle of their session. Plus, there were a lot of parents and grandparents there. As soon as they saw SS they gushed over her and thus began the clam up. I tried my best, as did everyone there to get her to smile, and she attempted a few half hearted smiles. The only good one had her with her eyes closed. Oh well, I have always stated that the best pictures are the imperfect ones. Besides, P is the one who always gets the money shots. As we waited in SS's room for the group shot I texted P about what happened.

There were a lot of boys in her class today and a lot of them I had never seen before, The kids were understandably curious because I was the only other adult in their room. They asked questions, tried to get my attention and one little boy rushed over to me and gave my legs a bear hug. I was so glad that SS was distracted because otherwise he'd be dead or hospitalized. The girls would talk then move on, but the boys would not leave me alone. It was funny how they took turns talking, asking me if I liked cars, dinosaurs, etc. I guess I just give that boy vibe.

When things got a little too wild the teachers defused the emerging riot by playing music, so the kids could dance their sillies out. When the music began, SS moved, but was rather stiff. Not the same kid that dances up a storm. I thought about the contrast with SS at the wedding reception and began to film to show P. Then this little boy with an obvious death wish walked over to SS, held her hands and began to dance. All I could think of was "Dude, her Baba and her brother are going to pulverize you." I asked Ms. M the name of the boy and she asked which one. Helloooooo, the one all over my daughter. His name is T and Ms. M stated that he adores SS, is always playing with her, and frustrates the other boys by monopolizing SS's time. T is a few months younger than SS but in the sophomore room due to immaturity. Great, Mr. Immature Alpha is not going to do for our daughter.

There is nothing I look forward to more than watching my children grow. We are from the school of thinking that they are ours on borrowed time. There is no greater joy than watching them grow, develop and become their own person apart from us. Thus no drama about making them bend to our will, act as though we are God like creatures, and feel entitled to determine when they move on and with whom they move on. That being said, I could not help but have a flash forward to SS's future and it was all kinds of scary. Thoughts of dances, parties, boy (or) girl attention (or both, gulp), dates, AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH! Deep breaths, very deep breaths...

That is when P made an entrance, he left work to come and coax a smile out of his daughter. We asked the photographer if we could have a reshoot and she agreed. P set out to fix SS's skirt, hair, get her to cross her feet, stuff I normally suck at. I will post that video when we get the pictures. SS was very excited to see her Baba, but for some reason the setting made her uneasy. There were a heck of a lot less people than when she had her picture taken with Santa, but somehow SS was still overwhelmed. We did get a good picture. Dude, who knew picture day would be so exhausting. I hope when SS looks back at her first school picture day she appreciates that her Baba skipped out on work to make her smile. I really love that about P.

At lunch time I had another glimpse of the SS that attends school, a different creature than the SS at home. She held her spoon with her right hand, and I could not help but comment that she is 99% lefty (when eating) at home. Then as if to throw me a bone (she did not hear my comment) SS switched hands. The second glimpse occurred when the teachers urged SS to eat her vegetables. WTF? The kid had two servings of green beans and one serving of sweet peas for dinner last night. What is with shunning veggies at school? At home SS won't eat unless she has a napkin nearby to indulge in her obsessive compulsive mouth wiping. Sophomores do not get napkins, the teachers or Ms. Cookie wipe their faces after lunch. Not a peep out of SS.

They were running behind and we waited almost an hour for the sophomore group shot. When we returned to the room I was impressed by the photographer using the children's names. Asking Director D to move one child away, to straighten another, and telling SS to make sure to smile big. I complimented her on learning the children's names so quickly and she said "Only the active ones and your daughter's." The photographer asked each teacher to choose a child to hold on her lap and Ms. M shyly asked me if she could hold SS. I had seen that one coming and agreed. I think it will be a nice memento for SS, since she seems very close to Ms. M. By this point the photographer was frazzled and I felt for her. Herding cats is exhausting as those were the most scattered cats I have ever seen. At a point she handed me a hand puppet and that caught me off guard, upon noticing my clueless expression she hastily said "put it over your head, do something." Uh, I am not wearing a MU staff shirt and I am not your assistant, so chill the heck out. Although we initially found the $28 fee for the paltry photo package (they offer only one option) stiff, if we were the studio we would charge a heck of a lot more. There is a lot of work involved. We can't wait to see the group picture.

SS was very excited to wear the personalized bracelet Michelle made for her. She spontaneously began to sing Michelle's name, which is funny because she never sings our names.

Here is Mr. Smooth putting the moves on our daughter.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A good day, only one accident at school.

P had an unscheduled day off (unpaid) courtesy of his employer's lack of planning. A vital instrument was not working and really, when it is so central to your lab, why have a second one or spare parts. P is patiently waiting for a FedEx shipment to get back to work. This is the first time since the first day of school that P has been home during our school morning routine. Said routine went out the window when SS realized Baba was home. P went through another one of those "how do you do it moments" because SS is not and will never be a morning person. Funny thing is that he acts as though I have a choice. I am a stay at home mother, can't claim that I have better things to do. Once I came to terms with the fact that SS is not going to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:30 a.m. things fell into place.

We dropped SS off at school wearing Kai Lan undies and with two changes of clothing. We informed Ms. L about SS's progress and her reaction to the accident last night. Ms. L mentioned that was their biggest concern. We told her to do whatever they needed to do to offer comfort, rules do not apply when SS is in the middle of a serious flashback. We tried the toilet at school and once again SS's size surprised us. Those tiny kiddie toilets are big for her, she was hanging on for dear life not to fall in, the poor thing. When we returned SS was wearing different pants, she had an accident. Ms. L said "it was only one," and apparently that is good for a first timer. We were concerned that they might back out of the arrangement.

We enjoy an occasional lunch at a Thai cafe, where SS always has the chicken pad thai and we have pad kra pao . Last time we were there SS had an "awwwww" moment. As she was happily munching on her noodles and white rice she looked at us and said "It's China food." That was so freaking cute even if it was Thai food we were eating. While SS was at school we went shopping for ingredients to try to make the dishes at home. I had been feeling guilty about SS's consumption of Ramen noodles when she needs a quick non spaghetti noodle fix. The idea was to have noodles handy for SS. That was quite a leap of faith on P's part due to my non existent cooking skills.

The noodles were not as tasty as what we are used to, and it took me a while to realize that I doubled the noodle amount but neglected to double the sauce. Duh! The pad kra pao recipe calls for 15-20 Thai chiles, and OMG what an overkill that is. P chopped 15 and after tasting the peppers we decided on a minute amount. We used the equivalent of two chiles and the dish still had a lot of kick. Not bad for a first time, just have to be more careful when making the noodles. Since SS demoted me and I hold a grudge I cooked this meal without her help. Our little girl has plenty to do with her potty schedule.

It took only three Asian markets for us to gather the necessary ingredients.

The color of the Pad Thai is not as dark as it should be and that is probably because I used tamarind paste instead of the concentrate.

P loved the Pad Kra Pao, I am glad I did not screw it up.

SS pronounced her noodles "yummy." She had a serving of noodles, two servings of green beans and a serving of sweet peas. SS cracked us up by giggling and clapping as I walked up to her chair with the green beans. It was like I was bringing a plate of French fries. Such a delightfully quirky child.

How precious is this child? SS helped with the dishes and dried every single one and there were a lot to dry. It is so weird how she really likes to help and smiles while helping away. Of course we won't see her doing this when she is 15, so we are enjoying her innocent enthusiasm.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Poo poo in the potty (because defecation does not sound like fun).

SS did very well today with the potty and made seven liquid deposits by bedtime. Needless to say we did not leave the house because it was all about sticking to the every thirty minutes sitting on the potty thing. SS finally relaxed enough to defecate in her potty. YEAH!!!!!! And the timing was awesome because it happened when P was home for lunch. That saved me the embarrassment of making a video of my daughter's stool. SS is also in pant*e heaven, can't get enough of looking at her big girl undies.

This afternoon SS had an accident, she was hyper focused on playing and she pooped her undies. As we feared she was scared out of her mind, huge sobs and a lot of shaking. P and I reassured her that accidents are normal and told SS that Mama and Baba had lots of accidents when they were little. The things we do for our kids. It's just heartbreaking to see SS so upset. Tomorrow is SS's debut at school wearing big girl undies. We are hoping that it goes well.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Giving the potty a real try.

We had been waiting for the opportunity to meet with Ms. L, Ms. M and Director D to discuss a concrete plan to transition SS to the junior class. This month's newsletter announced that their yearly assessment would begin in early January. Ms. M and I were discussing what the assessment entailed when I mentioned that we did not want SS to be with 2 year olds in two months when she turns four. Ms. M was gobsmacked because she thought SS was nearing her third birthday. Granted, SS's mute impersonation had a lot to do with that, along with the potty training and overall lack of independence. She is a tiny little thing and we can see that people forget her actual age.

When I picked up SS today Ms. M told me that they completed SS's assessment and that SS is ready to move to the junior classroom except for the potty training. Ms. M stated that after the post Christmas miracle SS is actually talking, mainly about Buzz Lightyear and how she is Buzz, but heck it is still talking. It looks like we got what we were hoping for, an ice breaker for SS. Ms. M made us an offer, they want to help with SS's potty training. That was unexpected because they are strict about not accepting a child in underwear until the child has been successful at home for two weeks. Ms. M asked us to bring SS on Wednesday wearing undies and with a change of clothing. According to her SS's diaper is usually dry when they change her after snack, and since SS is very good at following directions they think it won't be long before our girl is trained. And by undies they meant that, they do not accept kids in pull-ups at school.

I was surprised by their offer, but the Mama in me felt like a failure if it takes others to potty train my child. I discussed it with P during lunch and he felt that it was a good idea, but understood how I felt. But this is about SS not about my ego, so we decided to go for it right then and there. SS had just a couple of day time diapers left and we decided we are not buying more. If we have 176 reasons (we buy diapers at Costco) to give up we are going to use them. I got SS's Halloween panties out, had her choose one and the potty training began. We brought her potty to the living room, not hygienic or aesthetically pleasing but necessary.

The plan was to have SS sit on the potty every 30 minutes, because unlike school, she urinates quite a bit at home. Maybe because SS is constantly drinking at home, she always has either milk or juice within her reach. Shortly after P left I sat SS on the potty and popped a DVD in the player. As SS was in DVD trance I heard that familiar noise. SS's expression was priceless. She looked between her legs with a curious look. For the first time since we began sitting her on the potty SS actually fully urinated. Before we only got a few drops here and there. We did the happy potty dance, we high fived, and we made a video to send to Baba. Then SS happily trotted to the bathroom to dump her liquid deposit in the big toilet and flushed. I have never seen someone so excited to flush a toilet.

By the time we bathed SS in the evening she had urinated seven times in the potty. It is weird to be on potty alert and making her sit down every thirty minutes. Definitely not an easy breezy process. After dinner we headed to T@rget and W@lmart to buy big girl underwear. Thanks to Abuela (left over Christmas money) SS scored Yo Gabba Gabba, Kai Lan, Dora, Wonder Pets, Sponge Bob Squarepants and Blues Clues undies. One thing we anticipated was SS wanting boy briefs because that is the only way to get Buzz undies. It really sucks that they do not make Buzz panties. At T@rget I found P holding a pack of Buzz briefs. As much as I like to indulge SS's Buzz obsession I am not prepared to have her wear boy undies. Mainly because she will be using the bathroom with other girls at school and kids are cruel creatures. I do not want SS to be ridiculed or called a boy. Potty training is traumatic enough for her, she does not need teasing as well.

It was funny that Abuela ended up buying SS's undies, because she also bought JJ's first big boy undies, Underoos. She knew I was going to start potty training him and sent him three packages. I do not recall what kind of character they were, but remember they were red (Abuela's favorite color). So she unintentionally evened things out with SS, who was beyond excited with her new big girl purchase. We are hoping that this works. Our biggest fear is SS's reaction to the inevitable accidents. She is obviously traumatized about wetting herself, and there is no doubt on our minds that it is SWI related. Since she was not potty trained when we met (some children SS's age then are fully potty trained) it probably was about wetting her diaper. Pi$$es us off beyond belief that our baby girl still has deep emotional scars. No matter how much we reassure her that accidents are OK she can't let go.

We are not going to worry about night time at this time. We will keep buying overnighters or pull-ups. SS has a heck of a lot on her plate and since she is so sensitive we do not want to overwhelm her. We are hoping that this time we are successful. BTW, the timing is just right because the smallest undies (2T) finally fit.

Potty training is hard work and it led to a mid afternoon nap. She wore her Buzz pull-ups.

SS cracks us up with her need to line up her toys, in this case all were Buzz toys.

She looks so grown up with this jacket and boots, makes us miss our baby. We picked up a kiddie DVD to celebrate SS's prolific afternoon.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

SS is amazingly good at colonizing.

This afternoon SS surprised me by playing on her own for a while. She usually insists on being next to me and having my full attention. I took advantage of that gift and quietly went to the kitchen to clean the refrigerator. It is the only task other than cleaning the bathrooms that I have to myself. I have been feeling really lousy and it takes a lot of energy for me to get through a normal day. Today I was spent physically and emotionally. I needed to focus on something other than pain, and I knew the mindless task of cleaning the fridge would do the trick.

I was only five minutes into the task when SS was by my side. No, not today, I really needed some time to just hyper focus on nothing. SS could not be persuaded to leave the cleaning to me, not even when I offered Nick Jr. She was determined to help, and her help turned a 30 minute task into a freaking odyssey. Because today of all days our mute child wanted to work on her speech. She would reach for an item to remove then asked me what it was. "What is it Mama, what is it?" SS is incapable of expressing a thought just once. She is a mini Mami. Then SS would pronounce or try to pronounce the word. SS has never been shy about butchering the language, she got that from her Mama. Why in hell did she care today about her pronunciation? It was excruciating.

That is when I had to remind myself to be patient. I had a flashback to all the "help" I provided poor Mami, and how she never once complained. "Patience K, patience," I could just hear Mami in my head. How is SS going to learn unless she gets in there and helps? And for a three year old she did very well, and I should be grateful that she has such a big heart and that she wants to help. Once I completely readjusted my attitude we had a good time. At least SS does not demand kid music and totally loves the songs in my current music loop. We sang, we danced, and we took our time. The pain was still there, but what the heck. SS managed to colonize the last task that was selfish me time. I think that is why the Chinese government sent their most potent weapon of mass destruction to us. They were afraid of what she could do to them.

Today SS celebrated her third Dia de Reyes, and we unloaded the last gift we bought way, way pre SS. The other two were the phone and the firetruck. She was thrilled with her Sit and Spin and we were hoping it would tire her good. It did the job, SS was asleep in my arms by 7:00 p.m. We are going to encourage her to use it before bed.

Just as I predicted, SS has not even looked at her former favorite Snoopy blanket. The same huge, inconvenient blanket that we hauled to Chicago and Maui for her comfort and emotional well being. Good thing we won't be traveling this year, because this blanket is even bigger and more of a pain to haul around.

So cute sharing her cookies with her toys, she is going to be a great Mama one day.

For me? Really? Wow, being half Puerto Rican has it benefits.

The hypocrite in me came out in full force this evening. SS cried when P removed the tree. Tomorrow is the last day they will be picking up trees so it needed to be outside. The same woman who had serious issues about lying about Santa did not have a problem lying when SS was upset. P had a good laugh at my attempt to gloss over reality.

I sent the video to SS's Godmother and here is her response:
"I'm smiling. Way to go mom. I can see all those Christmas trees dancing together at the dump now. Or maybe they are headed to the chipper where they will all be commingled :grin: "

Where do you think Christmas trees go?

P.S. Sorry about the the trashed living room.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I have been demoted.

Yesterday P came across a recipe on Food Network that he really liked. It did help that is was from his dream girl, Rachel Ray. She is his current #1 crush, after Susan Sarandon broke his heart by dating a 31-year old. Since we have been on a Hispanic food kick the Cubano hash sandwiches fit that theme. SS and I went shopping today and decided to surprise P with them for dinner.

We were in the middle of prepping when P arrived home. SS excitedly told him that she was cooking, and P said that he could see that she was helping Mama. That is when the C scowl appeared and SS "Mama is helping me." HA! Right there I was demoted from chef to sous chef.

While prepping we had a dilemma, the recipe calls for half a bottle of beer. P was wondering if I was going to allow SS to handle the pouring of the beer. Sure, why not, it's not like she was going to drink it, just pour it. P thought it was funny to watch SS hold a bottle of beer. Sometimes he (we) is twelve. SS did a very good job, as usual. I am waiting for a review of my performance as a sous chef.

I turned around for a few seconds and that was enough time for SS to dip her hand in the tomato paste. She absolutely loves the stuff, but does not eat tomatoes. We think it is a consistency thing for SS.

See the tiny finger through the glass? SS poured the beer all on her own.

Top is P's and how the egg is supposed to be cooked, but SS and I are not into runny yolks. SS's does not have the egg because she eats it on the side.

SS was satisfied with her handy work.

After dinner SS made a car and was very proud of herself. This is one area where we do not give in and do things for SS. We love to watch her creative side grow. She insisted on wearing her water park pass. Funky child.