Category Archives: Gray Hair

Potty Training Help?

So, we’re at a crazy crossroads with potty training right now. Mason is nearly completely potty trained… while at daycare. He goes in the potty 4-6 times a day there and other than nap time, keeps a dry diaper all day long every day. He pees on the potty every two hours and as of last week, has been reliably pooping on the potty too. That’s fantastic, right?!

Well, it would be (more fantastic anyway) if he had anywhere near the same success at home. We ask him if he needs to go potty at home and usually we’re met with a “NOOO!! Don’t have to go!!” scream which is occassionally followed by him running away. He will use the potty at home maybe twice in a 12 hour day, compared to every time in 9 hours at daycare. Any mention of the potty at home gets him upset – if it’s not his own idea, he generally refuses to have anything to do with it. Occassionally, he asks to go directly AFTER he pees or poops in his diaper. In fact, I put the kabosh on “flushing the poopy down the potty” after it became obvious that he was THRILLED about watching me shake the poop out his diaper and into the potty. I was hoping that took away the “reward” aspect of pooping in his diaper but no such luck.

I’ve tried setting a timer to go off every twenty minutes in case he’s too distracted at home, I’ve tried copying his daycare schedule (they basically do potty breaks/diaper changes every two hours like clockwork) and nothing. Last weekend, we tried Thomas Undies and he was super excited and peed in the potty once; then an hour later, peed in his underwear and begged for a diaper so he wouldn’t “spill” again.

We have both a little potty like they have at daycare and a big potty with a special seat that he loves. He willingly climbs on the potty and pees when it’s his idea, so I don’t feel like he’s scared of it. They do jelly beans and stickers for prizes at school, we do jelly beans and things like toy cars etc at home, so it’s not a lack of rewards.  He is super proud and brags a lot when he does go at home – he’ll come running in the room and is all “Mommy, I a BIG BOY! I pooped in the potty!!” and wants a high five – so he gets that going in the potty is a great thing. But still the fact remains that he HATES going when we suggest it and will cry and scream if we try to press the issue. I just don’t get why he can be basically perfect at school and melt down if we even mention “potty” “pee” or “poop” at home….

So, other than feeling like a complete failure (since I KNOW he can basically keep a dry diaper alll day at school) what do I do?! Advice? Anyone? Bueller?

This time last year – Stop, Pajama Time! / The Pet Store Zoo / Fall Time Friday

Two years ago – Very Serious Sunday / Yay Penguins / 1st Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

2.5 is hard, ya’ll

This is what our Sunday looked liked….

Crying because he doesn’t want to take his pajamas off

Crying because I left his pajamas on

Masterfully moving a stool around the house to get into everything he shouldn’t be

Using the elderly cat as a “field” to “plow” in with his monster truck

Begging not to take a nap half an hour before naptime is even mentioned

Neverending super loud “garbage truck” sound effects

Sitting on the potty for twenty minutes and screaming because he doesn’t get a reward for farting.

Half an hour of tears after Daddy took away the handful of butter knives he got out of the drawer

Demanding to wear shoes without socks even though the last time he did this, he rubbed his big toe raw

Dumping out blueberries and grinding them into the carpet with said shoes with ridiculous glee

Running away with a napkin covered in yogurt instead of throwing it away. Rubbing said napkin all over a fabric rocking chair.

Telling me to “shhhhhhhhhhhhh” every time I spoke to SuperDad

Declaring he doesn’t want a shower and then crying for 10 minutes because he doesn’t get one

Refusing every single food offered to him and then begging “Supper? Me hun-ry??” five minutes before bed.

Calling “Mommy mommy mommy” Stuey style (ala Family Guy) from your crib at 10:15 pm

Good thing he’s cute….

This time last year – Mason Loves Doggies / First Nosebleed / The Minnesota Zoo

Two years ago – Guess Who Just Rolled Over? / First Time in the Jumperoo / Funny Rashed Resolved

Toddler Sleep HELP!!

I know I JUST wrote about this, but I figured I would try again and pimp the heck out of this post in hopes that I could get some advice here.

Here’s the scoop. Mason is 27 months old. He’s always been an awesome sleeper, sleeping in his own room and falling asleep easily since he was very young. Heck, sometimes he would  even ASK to go to bed. He’s always demanded certain stuffed animals to sleep with and as long as we’ve made sure they were present, he’s been a happy camper. Recently, bedtime has become a total nightmare and I hope you guys can help because I feel like making things worse instead of better.

Suddenly, he doesn’t want to go to bed and will cry and scream until he is hoarse and having trouble catching his breath. He will cry literally for HOURS if we let him. He’ll demand milk and water and certain toys. Sometimes he will quiet down and go to sleep if we bring him water or the toy he’s asking for, but sometimes not. It’s a total crapshoot.

Two weeks ago, he started waking up in the night saying he was “scared” and would be crying and shaking. Now, he says he’s scared the second we leave his room. He demands his light be left on and sobs for the light if we don’t. Nothing in his room has changed, nothing seems shadowy, and he can’t point out anything in specific that is scary. We tried adding an additional nightlight before we started leaving the light on.

But now, with the light on, he stays up PLAYING with the stuff in his crib. Take tonight for example – been over an hour, and he’s still sitting in bed playing with his tractor. I know the logical answer is “Don’t give him his tractor” but he will literally cry and scream “Tractor! Tractor!” for two plus HOURS straight if I don’t. He will scream til he’s sweating and choking and eventually throws up.  I’ve tried waiting him out many times, but between the chance of choking and gagging, the fact that 2 hours of screaming is really irritating, AND knowing that sometimes, he just wants to lay next to his tractor and will fall asleep within minutes, I give in.

When we’ve tried “doing things his way” to see if something is missing from the routine, he wants to watch TV and fall asleep on Daddy. So not going to happen. He doesn’t have tantrums like this during the day – he never gets anywhere near as upset about anything as he does about bedtime. Nothing is new in his daytime routine – same schedule, caregivers, etc. I’ve tried explaining things to him, negotiating with him, getting mad, giving hugs, everything I can possible think of.

He has to be up at 7 am for school. He’s super hard to wake up in the morning and very crabby. He absolutely cannot stay up past 10 pm playing OR sobbing and screaming. It’s not good for him and it’s not good for my sanity either – this is my only “me” time of the day and dreading his bedtime and having it be a 2-3 hour ordeal is soooo stressful. We’re going on 6 weeks of this behavior and it’s getting worse and worse every night…. I feel like I’m one step away from being featured on “Super Nanny: The Bedtime Special” but am at a loss for what to do. I really miss my well-rested little boy….

Help, internet friends! How do I fix this?!

This time last year – 15 Months

Two years ago – Love this Outfit

ETA – The days where he gets NO nap (twice in the past week) or an hour or less (on occassion at school), bedtime does not go any better….

All Sorts of Anxiety

We’ve reached a new stage in Mason’s life – the stage where he’s afraid of things that we can’t see or understand and it really sucks. He’s really been having issues with sleeping for the last month or so (really ever since we came back from vacation) and now last week, he started having serious stranger worries, even when the people aren’t really strangers, and it’s really sad.

I went to drop him off at daycare last Thursday morning and we walked in, he took one look at the teacher, and turned around and clung to me like his life depended on it. I couldn’t physically peel him off of me and he was trying hard not to cry. Another teacher came in and suggested maybe he was being shy because the girl was new and they’d never met before, but he wouldn’t go anywhere near the teachers that he usually runs to hug, either. The next day, he encountered a Mom who we’ve played with on the playground before and he had the same reaction to her. That night, his Auntie Joy, who he just played with at the park a few weeks earlier was just as scary – total clinging, face buried, and practically crying if she talked to him. This morning? He clung to me when his best friend talked to him, another little two year old. I have no clue what is going on and it makes me so sad – if these were all daycare related incidents, I would think something happened there, but since they’ve happened in stores and elsewhere, it’s like someone flicked a switch in our usually very social son.

Then there is the whole sleep issue. After we came home from the Dells, he started having a hard time falling asleep. Now, Mason is a kid who has been sleeping through the night since he was 7 or 8 weeks old. He’s always been asleep within minutes and if he fusses in the night, he falls right back asleep. But once we got back from vacation, bedtime became an ordeal. First was the stalling – wanting to try to potty, wanting one more episode of TV, requesting certain stuffed animals, not liking his pajamas. Ignoring his pleas led to HOURS (literally) of crying. But even on those nights that he doesn’t have requests and seems super tired? He is still likely to stay up for an hour or two, alternating talking to himself and sobbing for us. We’ve tried comforting, we’ve tried later bedtime, earlier bedtime, later nap, earlier nap, shorter nap, longer nap, letting him cry it out, EVERYTHING it seems and he’s usually still up and crying hours after we put him down for the night.

And then there are the nightmares…. Several times in the past two weeks, he’s woken up sobbing and shaking – you go to him and he’ll cling to you and cry “scared, scared” and just cry his little heart out. It’s absolutely heartbreaking and it takes a long long time to calm him back down. And a lot of times, an hour later, he’s up again sobbing.

He’s got a night light in his room, nothing has moved or changed since he was born, nothing looks scary, he has two things in his crib that he can “light up” if need be, and he can never articulate what is scary, so I’m lost on what else we can do for him.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions? Part of me is saying this is all related – like he’s getting such poor sleep it’s causing anxiety issues during the day and the lack of sleep and scary day is causing the bad dreams? Either way, I miss my outgoing little boy who was well rested. Any tips, experiences, or ideas you guys may have would be MUCH MUCH appreciated!!

Lesson NOT Learned the First Time

Saturday morning, Mason was playing in the kitchen while I sat on the couch in the connected living room, reading my book. SuperDad walked in the room and said “Have you checked on Mason lately?” and my response was “Yeah, he’s in the kitchen playing with his trucks. He just moved a chair a few seconds ago.” Much to my dismay, SuperDad walked in the kitchen to find Mason up on one of our super tall chairs, coloring on the kitchen counter… with a black permanent marker. Oops.

Later in the afternoon, I was in the process of buying shoes online for Mason while he played in and around the computer room. He’d rotate from playing with his tractors on the floor to climbing up into SuperDad’s computer chair and poking at his keyboard, to bringing me “food” that he had cooked (usually chunks of pocket lint or animal crackers in a pan). I was pretty amazed at the fact that I had actually managed to accomplish something on the internet without him begging to sit in my lap and bang on my keyboard or demanding train videos.

I kept surfing and Mason kept playing. After a while, he was back at SuperDad’s desk, scrubbing away. He likes to help clean and can often be found rubbing a paper towel or rag across a surface until it shines. Definitely not a behavior I discourage! A few more minutes pass and Mason says “Mason all done. Mason color! Mason color!” and I reply “Okay Mason, you want to go color? Let’s go color, you’ve been a really good boy!” I get up from my computer chair, turn around, and see this…

Yeah, he didn’t want to GO color. He’d been coloring the ENTIRE TIME. And again, with permanent marker. Crap.

Did you know that while 409 can clean permanent marker off a kitchen counter, it doesn’t touch marker on wooden desks? Thank goodness for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers!

Yeah, we’ll be finding a new place to store our permanent markers, that’s for sure…. Lesson learned, a bit slowly, but learned.

This time last year – First Finger Painting / Happy Birthday Chloe!
Two Years Ago – Happy 1st Birthday, Chloe!

So Much for the Quick Flu….

After our sad night Monday, Mason woke up Tuesday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed. Jumped up and down in his crib, played happily in his surprise morning bath, and chattered away on the way to daycare.

Knowing he wasn’t feeling 100%, SuperDad picked him up early and his teachers said he had had a great day.

Half an hour after he got home, things went downhill. He just wanted to cuddle on the couch, which as everyone knows, is unheard of with an active toddler! Supper time rolled around and he didn’t show any interest in his food (scrambled eggs, which are usually a favorite) and was struggling to stay awake in his high chair, which definitely isn’t like him. Soon, he had a fever and Tylenol didn’t do anything to bring it down.

With half an hour left before Urgent Care closed, we decided that we were better safe than sorry and SuperDad took him in. Upon checking in, they were the only ones in the waiting room and a quick visit seemed promising.

An hour and a half later… a doctor finally came in to see poor Mason, who had long ago lost his patience. As you can see in the picture, his eyes are red from all the crying he’d been doing.

After listening to him breathe, they declared he should get an x-ray. That happened fairly quickly, and then the waiting began again. He spent a lot of time playing with his new Leapfrog Phone (and basically destroyed the display by throwing it on the ground and stomping on it… so bummed about this) and wondering when the results were coming back. At one point in time, he even tried to put on his coat, picked up his diaper bag, and went to the door. He was d-o-n-e.

Thankfully he discovered a jar of Teddy Grahams in his diaper bag, so that cheered him up. He also found his old daycare Nuk (which he hasn’t used in 6+ months) and latched right on to that. Which normally I’d say no way, but it cheered him up during what was getting to be a three hour urgent care visit (if this was “my” blog and not Mason’s, you’d see a long rant about how it’s possible that we as a society continue to consider a 3 hour wait at the doctor’s acceptable, but 5 minutes in line at Wal-mart is just too long…)

They got home at 11 pm, 3 hours passed Mason’s bedtime, which I felt horrible about that because obviously sleep helps sick little boys.

Ear infection in both ears
Upper respiratory infection
Beginnings of pneumonia
Crap crap crap. My poor little guy.


Famous Last Words

We celebrated Christmas with my family on Saturday (pictures coming soon… maybe) and while we were eating lunch, Mason accidentally hit his milk cup with his elbow and it spilled. My mom sort of freaked out and instantly began running around and apologizing for the mess.

My sister-in-law said “Oh no, it’s okay! It’s okay! No big deal! We’ve spilled LOT worse on our floors!”

She then looked at me and said “Have you ever tried cleaning puke out of old wood floors? Or caught puke in your hands? Ugh!”

And here it comes, folks…. My response – “Actually no, we’ve been really lucky, Mason’s really never thrown up since he was a tiny infant!”

Cue chimes of doom.

Mason came down with a horrible cold on Sunday, much expected as one of the daycare girls said on Friday that the crud was going around. Lots of coughing and a runny nose, but otherwise, totally fine.

Then came last night…. He was eating a cracker and started coughing and ended up throwing up on himself (and the couch) He was so sad and I felt really bad for him, but it was clear that it was mainly caused by coughing while eating and didn’t think too much of it.

He asked to go to bed about 15 minutes early and we oblidged. Shortly thereafter, he started crying and SuperDad came in his room to discover him covered in puke. As soon as we got his bed changed and him in new pajamas, he was more than happy to go back to bed, but soon the crying began again. And… he’d puked again.

Despite a 2 am and 4 am wake up with lots of crying (but no more puke thankfully), he seemed to be feeling a lot better this morning. Poor little dude.

So far, between Mason & Cole, 2012 has been “The Year of Vomit”  And maybe it should be the year where I resolve to not make such ridiculous declarations….


Murphy’s Law Sunday

Last night was one of “those” nights.

I decided to take Mason on a quick shopping trip. A “household supply” trip to Wal-mart and then to nab a few “pre-Black Friday sale” items for Christmas at Menards. We were bundled up so he could play on the playground in the garden center and it seemed like a great way to spend the evening.

Wal-mart went great. Toilet paper, baby powder, shampoo, bing bang, done! And then we went to Menards….

They were out of the Melissa & Doug sale train that we had came for, despite the ad just starting that day. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked since it was on sale for just $5 instead of $20, but STILL.

Went to the Garden Center to discover they don’t bother lighting it on a  Sunday evening. So much for the playground.

Decided to buy Mason the play kitchen I had been debating on all weekend. Load it into my cart, blocking my view, and proceed to run right into a poor customer.

Phone in an order from Pizza Hut and proceed to dally around in the store for 20 minutes while we wait. Unlike last year, Mason thinks the singing and dancing Christmas toys are hilarious. Amuse ourselves with Chipmunks singing about hoola-hoops and flamingos dressed like Santa.

Go through the check out and out to the car. Load Mason up, throw two bags into my car, and proceed to discover that the kitchen won’t fit into my car. Not in the back seat, front seat, or trunk.

Take Mason back out of the car seat, load Mason and kitchen back into the cart, and go into the store.

Discover the receipt is in a bag… in my car. Take Mason back out to the car, leave the kitchen behind.

Come back in, two people have since gotten in line and Mason decides he’s out of patience while we wait for them. Try to sooth screaming toddler while following return instructions.

Get back out to the car with angry toddler and no kitchen. Discover that cart buckle is jammed and spend close to five minutes trying to get it open to free poor toddler. Did I mention it’s like 20º and windy?

Get to Pizza Hut and sit in the drive through window and wait and wait.

An employee comes along, asks me for my name, and then tells me he can’t use the register and I’ll have to wait for someone else.

Five minutes later, someone comes and rings up my pizza. My cold pizza. AWESOME.

Mason cries all the way home. It’s an hour past his supper time and I totally don’t blame him.

Prepare Mason’s supper, start to run his bath, give him seconds on supper, read my book while he eats. Realize that the fan in the bathroom is running.

Discover bathtub has been running for the last ten minutes. O. M. G. Thankfully, due to crappy country well water, I walked in with about 2 inches of bath tub to spare.

Suddenly, all the annoying things that happened earlier seem so much smaller. Thank you bathtub, for not overflowing and creating a giant mess and wrecking our hallway carpet.

Give toddler a bath, put him to bed, where he immediately falls asleep.

Sit down with my soda and chocolate and life is good once again.

This time last year – Friday Flip Offs / Triple Whammy

First Snow of the Winter

This morning we woke up with a good dusting of snow on the ground, making it our first snow of the Winter 2011/2012. For Northern Wisconsin, this is pretty late – it seems like we usually have snow cover on the ground for a day or two in October but thankfully that skipped us this year.

I’m dreading winter. I hate the cold. I hate the snow. I hate driving on slippery icy roads. And this winter I’m totally at a loss at how I’m going to burn off all that crazy toddler energy in doors. Prior to two weeks ago when the temperatures dipped into the 40s and stayed there, Mason was spending at least 2 hours a day running free outside at daycare and then we’d hit the playground for at least half an hour every night. Now? He’s inside all day at daycare and it’s dark by the time I pick him up. No playground for us. All evening long, he runs to the door and cries “Outside?? (‘side?! ‘side?!) and brings us our shoes over and over again. And, we’ve only just begun – it will probably be April before we venture outside again for more than 20 minutes here and there.

How do you guys beat the winter blues? People who live in sunny wonderful states that don’t see 6 months of cold and snow need not respond, unless you’re looking for our address to send “Please move somewhere warm!” letters to SuperDad.

This time last year – Mason’s Shopping Trip / Mason’s New Highchair

PS – Sorry for the silence this week. I’ve not been feeling well.

Help Me Feed My Wee Man!!

The down fall of having a nearly perfect child (great sleeper, fairly easy going teether, great eater, etc etc) is that as a parent, I get spoiled. I’m use to my child sleeping, so I have no clue how to handle it when he does not. I’m use to noticing teeth before I ever notice any teething symptoms, so I don’t know how to calm him when he hurts.  While everyone else is use to their children who fight naps and sleep two hours at a time and have 239423 tricks up their sleeves, I’ve got nothin. While others go “Eh, maybe tomorrow will be better” I go “Oh my god, I bet he’s never going to sleep again!!!”

As  you can guess by the title, my good eater is gone. My “eats whatever is in front of him and shouts ‘More! More!'” has long since left the building. And I have NO clue what to do. I realize things aren’t nearly as bad as many have it (with kids who will only eat two cheetos and a piece of cheese all day) but being that this is all new territory to me, I’m lost. The daycare teachers say he’s their best eater, but he seems to barely eat anything at home anymore!

Take yesterday for example. For breakfast, I made his favorite oatmeal and some toast. He wouldn’t touch the oatmeal and had half a piece of toast. He endd up eating a strawberry filled breakfast bar, well, most of it anyway, and some oranges. For lunch, he refused his mashed potatoes (at daycare he eats thirds!!), had most of a chicken tender, and that was it. For supper, I gave him another favorite – a waffle. He ate two bites. So I attempted his oatmeal again (fail), tried crackers with tuna on them and he spit the tuna everywhere and handed the cracker back to me. He ended up having cheese and orange pieces for supper.

Most foods seem to be hit or miss. He’ll love something one day and refuse it the next day, which I realize is normal toddler behavior, but soooooooo frustrating. He’s anti pasta entirely now, after ravioli use to be his only “for sure” food. We try to have him eat what we’re eating, but he hates tacos and pasta and we eat those A LOT.

So, we need some new ideas. New strategies. Help me figure out how to help Wee Man exist on something other than cheese slices and oranges and preserve my sanity. Please?!

This Time Last Year – Doctor’s Everywhere / Mason’s 1st Bonfire / Package Time!