Sunday, August 5, 2012

Potty Time Update

After 1 week of potty training, I'm happy to report a completely accident free weekend!

Even with our outings (planned to get used to other potties): children's museum, meals out at restaurants, zoo and swimming.

These boys even manage to keep their night time and nap time pull-ups dry 90% of the time.
The kids still require lots of reminders and I will still carry extra undies and shorts with me but I'm so proud of them!

Now.....they'll still have some work to do at daycare.  They didn't make much progress during their two days there last week.  I really hope they do better this week but I feel like we've done all we can do from our end!

Here's a funny one I have to share. 

Carter had to go pee at the children's museum. But he was having too much fun and kept holding and holding it.  Finally he agreed to go to the potty.  I sat him down and he proceeded to pee.  But it didn't go in the potty. It went straight in front of him, straight at - you guessed it - me!  All over my shorts and legs.  I figured he had a lot of pee coming so I quickly picked him up, turned him around and practically held him over the potty while he finished.  During the adjustment, he was still peeing, like in a circle as I spun him around - boy had been holding it so long!   It was quite a mess.  I tried hard not to let my shock come out of my mouth because someone was in the stall next to us and I didn't want to embarrass Carter.  I told him, "good job," cleaned up as best I could.  Stall neighbor was gone by now. We washed hands and more and I had an awesome silent conversation with myself in the mirror.  It went something like this: "Oh my gosh are you kdding me! Did that really just happen? That was freaking crazy!" 

Somehow only one side of my shorts was wet and my purse happened to fall right in front of the worst of it.   Carter was clean as s wistle.  So we continued our fun at the museum! Crazy!  Does this mean I should bring a change of clothes for myself now when we go out?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Potty Time

I completely stopped blogging.  I don't know what happened! I thought I'd be all over it this summer.  Maybe it is a combination of my kids being so very non-stop and me getting larger and more and more tired as my pregnancy progresses.

But I'm back for a moment because I need to document our potty training work.  After the kids turned one I stopped recording in their baby books and I don't write a lot of things down except on my blog so I need to get all of this down so we can remember for baby #3!

Day 1:

We randomly decided to start bootcamp Saturday morning.  We showed the kids their diapers and said they are going bye bye. No more diapers.  Grandmomma just left so they decided that she took the diapers. hehe! We had them sit on the potty (which we've been having them do off and on for almost a year now).   We put on their awesome car and train undies and some pants and told them they could not pee or poo on the cool undies, they must go on the potty.  Both boys peed themselves within the first 30 minutes of the morning. I think Carter also pooped.  They didn't like it.  I thought the undies might be giving them a sense of security that a diaper does, so we decided no more cool undies until they start using the potty regularly. Instead we did pants or shorts only but later just went bottomless all together.

So we just kept reminding to go and occasionally did "force" them to sit on the potty.  Brad had the bright idea to use a timer.  First we had them go every 15 mintues and by the end of the day, we set it to 30 minutes.  Not once did either boy tell us he needed to go on his own.  But they did get used to the timer idea and bolted to the potty with each ding. 

We did not leave the house all day except for a short, hot walk outside, during which Carter peed himself.  We watched too much TV but were glad the olympics were on!  Carter pooped maybe twice on the potty and Nolan got a tiny nugget in the pot. One M&M has been the potty reward since we first put them on the toilet and still was the reward today.

Nap time and night time, we are using "night time undies" which are just pullups.  We'll tackle that another time.

We felt defeated and thought about quitting but figured since we had already started and the boys are both very ready, we should push on.  By ready I mean:  They tell us as they are peeing in their diapers. They hide for privacy when pooping in their diapers.  Once in a while, one will surprisingly rush to the potty and go.

Day 2:

Right when they woke up, we took the pullups off and ushered them to the potty. They are still reluctant the first time but loved seeing their new potty sticker charts! I just whipped them up on the computer the night before and already had lots of stickers around the house. They really liked the charts with their smiling faces on them and they liked picking out their stickers when they successfully used the potty. We made the charts a very big deal and tried to distract them from asking for candy after using the potty.  We decided to maintain the timer deal....about 25-30 minutes. No longer very reluctant after the morning, I believe because they realize we can pause the tv show!  They also mostly wore pants today, still no undies.

We had a successful walk with no accidents but were still desperate to get out of our house for a while!  We headed over to their cousins' house for a couple of hours in the evening and were anxious to see how they handled using other potties besides their own and to see how they would do when very distracted by other toys and kids.  Nolan had a small pee (I call it a drip, when they start to pee and remember not to so stop themselves) so we rushed him to the potty to finish the job. Thankfully there was no mess in their house!  Both boys peed in the potty a couple of times but still only with the sound of the timer ding.  At least no big accidents.

But now we worried if the boys would bother telling us they need to go or if they are completely reliant on the ding.

The good news is that Brad and I are starting to feel like we might get some success out of this rather than complete defeat.  And neither boy pooped in his pants, only pee accidents.  Nolan really showed some progress today.  Carter still fought it a little.

Day 3:

Monday I had the boys by myself.  We kept up the sticker chart like it was the greatest thing in the world but dropped the timer completely.   We might as well have had the timer because I remind them so often to go potty!  But if they told me no, we didn't go.  I really wanted them to do this on their own or experience that discomfort of wetting themselves. I also decided to let them wear the undies, reminding them never to pee or poo on their awesomely cool undies.

We just had one pee accident in the morning, in his pj pants, from Mr. Nolan and I think Carter just did a tiny drip thing once or twice. We went grocery shopping and made it back home accident free. They wore the same undies and shorts all day.

I noticed that Carter will tell me he doesn't need to go for quite a while then he starts holding his penis while he tries to keep playing.  Then I ask him again and he rushes to the potty.  Also, both boys yell "Go away!" at us when they are sitting down to poop.  hehe!

After work, Brad took the boys out for a walk and a little park time. Again, they were accident free. Yay! We are getting there!

Day 4:

The boys were supposed to go to daycare today but I wanted one more day with them to be sure they were really getting it.  I also decided to not emphasize the sticker chart as much today.  I just wanted to really take them out of the house and see how they'd do.  My new diaper bag is my purse with some bag wipes, 2 undies and 2 shorts. After getting the morning pee and sometimes poo out, a quick episode of Little Einsteins so I could get everything ready to go, and one more potty trip, we were out the door and headed to the Children's Aquarium downtown.

Upon arrival, I told them they couldn't look at anything until we used the potty. They both peed on the potty and washed their hands.  We toured the aquarium for maybe an hour.  Before leaving I had them sit on the potty again.  Nolan peed, Carter sat but said he didn't need to go.  That's fine.  We were off, accident free!

Then we met Brad for lunch. Still no accidents and both boys went to the potty with Brad at the restaurant.  Carter still didn't do much on it though.

I'm so proud and almost ready to post the good news on facebook. You know, the kind of post that people really don't want to hear about!  Don't worry, I didn't and won't post about it...that's what my blog is for, right? =)

Back home, as I am putting the leftovers in the fridge, I start asking my usual, "Who needs to go potty?"  Carter says, "I pee pee."  Oh you need to go? No. "I went pee pee in my pants."  Bummer.  Not too, too much but enough to need fresh undies and shorts. I rush him to the potty where he pees more and poops.  That's okay, I'll take it.

I come back out and see Nolan hiding on the couch underneath 4 pillows.  He did that this morning so I thought he was just playing around again.  Nope, he was sitting there, peeing and pooping in his pants, in the privacy of his hide-out.  Nooooooo!  I still rushed him to the potty where he did a little more business.

Ugh... pullups on and straight to naps.   Did this happen because I didn't make the sticker chart as big of a deal today?  So bummed!!!  Later this afternoon, we'll have to take them out and about again to see how they do.  But I feel like we totally missed the poop opportunity from Nolan.  He only goes once a day.  Bummer.

I still feel like they need constant reminders to go.  I'm nervous for daycare tomorrow. Especially when they will be so distracted by toys and friends.  I feel like they might completely quit.  Nana will just have to constantly remind them if she can remember to!  I'll also have to bring plenty of extra shorts and undies!

I'll try to remember this is a work in progress and there will still be accidents but I just hope for some true confidence in them before baby #3 arrives!  2.5 more months!  We can do it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Big Changes

Kowalski Cafe is growing. 
Nope, not the blog, but the family the blog is about.

Brad and I have officially jumped on the
crazy train and are expecting baby #3!

I'm 13 weeks along and this little babe is
expected to arrive October 18th.

I've only been sick a few times, a little nauseated in
the mornings, a little tired all day. 
But it is so significantly better than how sick
I was the last round, I feel guilty complaining.

We are pretty excited over here and not scared of
being out-numbered at all! Ha. Ha.

Got out the baby Sanuk shoes. Everyone in this Kowalski family has a pair!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The scoop on the Two-Year-Olds

The boys turned two early February.  We had to push their 2 year Doctor visit back almost 2 months because they were that far behind with their last vaccine.  When they were supposed to get their last vaccine, they were sick so we had to push that back, hence the late appointment, now.

Most importantly, I'm happy to have two healthy boys!  Here's an update probably mostly for family members who want the scoop:

- Carter is in the 90th percentile for height and 50th percentile for weight.  He is 36 inches tall and 29 pounds.
- Nolan is in the 40th percentile for height and 20th percentile for weight.  He is 34 inches tall and 25 pounds.


The visit went great, no one has any illnesses and my boys have managed to only have a few colds during the winter season. I sure hope we can keep the colds to a minimum still!

Carter was showing off how well he kept his cool while doc listened to his breath, checked ears, nose, eyes, etc.  But once he had to lay down for a belly check, he lost his cool completely!  Boy was MAD!

Nolan practically did the same thing.  He kept saying "dada wook" while doc did the checks.  Another show off turned angry-don't-touch-me boy.

We did have a couple concerns for the doc: 

Nolan's eyes.  I always worried about his eyes as an infant and have somewhat continued to do so.  Lazy eye maybe?  Doc said she sees NOTHING of concern. Okay I'll drop it!

Nolan's speech.  While Carter can have full on conversations with us, Nolan continues to be very difficult to understand and often doesn't make a big effort to use words or when he tries, he gets frustrated that we don't understand.  Perhaps Nolan isn't that far behind but with Carter being so far ahead, the difference makes it stand out more to us.  

Nolan truly understands EVERYTHING we say so I don't believe hearing is the issue.  Maybe he just got used to Carter asking for stuff and naturally we gave the stuff to Nolan, too.  He is much more quiet than Carter, too so maybe we just don't always hear him.  That makes my heart sad. But we are also concerned that he never uses the "H, S, or F" sounds.  "L" and "R" are not there either but I understand those can take a  while to be learned. 

For example, "Hot, hot, hot!" is a common phrase which Nolan states as "Ot, ot, ot!"  

Brad thinks he has less than 50 understandable words.  That was enough for doc to suggest we have him evaluated by a speech therapist.  They will evaluate him in some way to see if they think it is necessary to have therapy at all.  I figure we must do it!   Perhaps he is completely fine and they won't suggest therapy.  Some kids just talk later and that's fine.  But just in case there is an issue, I can't imagine having stood by and done nothing when I could have helped. So we've got to go for it!

Back to the appointment. Can you believe I left Brad with the boys right before their shots?!? Am I a terrible mother?  I had to go to make it to first period class on time (I was 2 minutes late).  Sometimes we get through the appointment in time. Sometimes we don't.  I snuck out to try and avoid a meltdown and heard Carter saying, "Where momma go?" as I walked down the hall. Brad later told me Nolan cried when he realized I was gone.  I should have said goodbye. Blahh!!  They received their shots in the leg simultaneously. Brad picked up a kid and the nurse handed him the other and he sat there while they cried on his shoulders for a bit.  Eventually he took them out of the room to check out and get a lolly pop.  Yes, I made Brad describe every detail of the ordeal. I could hardly stand it.

What an amazing dad.  Carter and Nolan are so lucky.  I'm so lucky. 

So there's the scoop...Oh but there is so much more outside of the little doctor visit.  I have so many fun things to share about these boys' personalities.  This is one of many reasons I love the blog....with lots of family and friends so far from us I'm desperate for them to know my kids better so I'll just have to describe them.....and get more videos.

Thanks for reading!

and a photo, just because...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

time to buy a bow tie!

Okay you guys.  I seriously have some kind of obsession with making these toddler bow ties.  I really enjoy making them and forcing my poor little boys to wear them. So I bought some new material and created several more.  A couple people have asked to buy a bow tie from me for their child for Easter. So I figured why not put them out there to see if anyone else wants to buy! 

Anyway, every little boy needs a bow tie for Easter, right?

Here's the scoop.

Each bow tie is unique. Materials are all different because I select the fabric based on the pattern.  Bow ties will come with a safety pin, no neck tie.  If your kids are any bit as "I'll do it myself" as mine are, I would recommend attaching the bow tie to the shirt before dressing your boy!  For $15, including shipping in the U.S., you can choose any of my fabrics and mix and match the tie and bow!  Or you can purchase your own fabric and send it to me to me. You will pay through my paypal account and I'll ship very quickly! 

Here are several pictures but if you email me for more info, I'll send you a powerpoint of all my finished bow ties (I have 20!) and fabrics (I have 24).

And this is how cute they look on!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Party Time

Here's to sharing the big #2 party with family and friends who live too far away and couldn't be there to celebrate!  Watch out for massive details below. You know how wordy I can be!

Read my previous post, A Different Kind of Birthday Party, about how we used Echoage for this party.

So for the second birthdays, we wanted to do something simple, at our house.  Well, when I told Brad how many people were coming, he said, " our house?"  Our house is not tiny but not large at all and there really isn't a big open area or anything like that.  It would have been cramped!  He was right. We were having dinner out with the kids one night at Picasso's Pizza, on their enclosed patio, and he suggested we have the party there.  Well, there was no fee for the room. Just buy food and meet the 2 hour time limit and you don't have to clean anything up- ANYTHING, except what we wanted to take home with us!  We were all over it!

In my previous post, I mentioned that I wanted to do a party that was low stress and would like to try to go green.

Here's the only "go green" detail we managed and only by chance:  Real plates and cloth napkins.  Much better than if it had been at my house because we would have done paper all the way!

The party wasn't stressful to plan but I really felt like with kids mostly around age 2 but ranging from 1 to 8 years old all running around, they needed some directed activities or we'd all go crazy, especially knowing how wild my two can be. So to the internet I went. And yes, I got a little carried away from "simple party" but I enjoyed planning and implementing!

The theme was circles and colors were green and yellow!  I found only a couple sites online with ideas for the circle theme. Real Simple and Design Mom - Round and Round Party.  For a few evenings, I used a circle punch to cut out circles and hot glued them on a string for circle garland.  I hole punched the leftover paper to make circle confetti.  I cut out all different sizes of circles just to lay around the tables and I made a few paper chains. Finally, I picked up some helium balloons just before the party.  I was so thankful that my brother and his wife helped us decorate!  The activities, cupcakes, gifts and favors all went along with the theme, too!

Upon arrival, the kids headed to a table to string fruit loops on a shoe lace to make a party necklace.  My kids arrived with Brad a little early so they ate lots of them while we decorated and put maybe 3 on a shoe lace and then wouldn't wear the necklace. haha! Obviously parents needed to help and some kids still ate the goodness right off the necklace...wouldn't you? And some took it seriously and made some awesome necklaces!

Once everyone got there and had a chance to make a necklace, we headed to the middle of the room for story time.  I read Duck on a Bike (to build some anticipation for the boys' gifts).  I really wanted someone else to read but Aunt Jessie and Auntie Krissie, the perfect animated readers and the only ones who would probably be up for it, both live in other states so I was it.  The kids all seemed pretty excited about it, all except for Nolan.  I think he had spotted the markers on the next table and wanted to get to that activity immediately and he hardly napped. He kept coming up to me, trying to take the book and throw it on the ground.   Brad kept trying to distract him.  I ended up skipping a few pages (sorry kids)! But it is a really cute book!
looks sweet but he is totally trying to take the book away from me!

Next we headed to the hat table.  My school sells color paper by the roll for super cheap so I bought lots and made a bunch of green and yellow hats. They were super easy to make!  The kids got to put lots of circle stickers on their hats and color with crayons and markers. Markers are huge with my kids right now!  Carter and Nolan's hats had some special little circle antennas.    The kids really loved coloring their hats and could have done this for the whole party probably!

Chips and Salsa were out the whole time. Then pizza and fruit arrived and parents dished up a plate for their kids and everyone snacked.

We had all the kids come sit at the circle table and we sang happy birthday twice (I don't care, they have to share birthdays but at least can get their own song!)  Carter and Nolan blew out the candle in their cupcake then everyone chowed!

Our friend, Kendra made our cupcakes. She makes some amazing things! Check them out at Cakes By Kendra. Ours were circle themed and delicious!

Last, the boys got to open their gifts. They each received a bike!  We knew they loved sitting in the bike seat on our bikes and they needed a ride-on toy so their group gifts were balance bikes! You sit on the seat and walk with the bike, no pedals or training wheels and the front wheel turns just like a real bike.  The idea is that eventually they will run on it and start to let go and balance.  Mine are right at the starting age for this so we'll see how it progresses! 

They were super excited but really struggled on first try.  Nolan now loves walking around on his. Carter prefers sitting on the bike with his feet propped up while we push!  His is a little taller so I think he still needs another inch in height to feel comfortable.

Guests began leaving and took with them a balloon, their necklace, hat and the party favor.  We made a CD of songs the boys love and some we love for them to love...they aren't too bad for the adults to listen to (at least that's what we think)!

So I don't think I took really any of those pictures.  A lot of family and friends were snapping away and I seriously appreciate that!

The whole party was wild and crazy but I think the kids all had a good time. I still can't believe my babies are two! The older I get, the faster time seems to go and having kids seems to have tripled the rate!