I Love You – The Sweetest Words

It took a while for Norton to show affection to me.  It’s really only been since Eudora’s birth that Norton has been inclined to show me any affection at all.  Now, though, I get lots of kisses and hugs.  I know that I always make sure that he hears the words “I love you” at least once daily, though it’s probably more than that. [Read more…]

Sibling Relationship Confuses Me

I have completely and utterly given up on understanding the sibling relationship between Norton and Eudora.  Seriously.  I’m just so done.

I expected a certain amount of rivalry… especially since Eudora’s birth ended up with Norton hardly seeing anyone but his grandparents for a week since I was released from the hospital with a horrendous stomach flu.  Then it sort of settled into Norton just ignoring her, which, while not an ideal sibling relationship, was better than him throwing things at her or whatever. [Read more…]

Preschool Potty Training – I’m Clueless

I have to admit, I have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to preschool potty training.  We were almost there… except for the pooping thing.  Then, of course, there was the whole potty training progress being completely undone.  The day before yesterday, I was ready to cry uncle.  I was done.  I’d decided to just give in and accept the fact that Norton would wear diapers until university.

I was tired of everything being a fight.Preschool Potty Training - I'm Clueless (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

I know that part of the frustration with preschool potty training is that Norton just plain does not care if he’s wet.  Or if he’s poopy.  Or if he stinks.  It’s kind of funny: last summer, if Norton fell in the dirt, he’d cry for me to come help him up.  He didn’t want to touch the ground and get dirty.  Now?  He has become such a boy that he could roll in the sewer and not really care.  That had more than a small amount of impact on his lack of interest in preschool potty training.

I wasn’t sure what to do.  I tried getting him to to potty.  However, he managed to hold his bladder for eight freaking hours.  I was beyond done.  I threw my hands up in the air and put him back in a diaper.

Then there was yesterday.  I pulled his overnight diaper off with minimal fighting.  He ran around naked and went potty.  He went outside and played in clothes and underwear.  No accidents.  He actually told me “pee pee potty!” a couple of times.  We had exactly one accident the entire day.  And that was with him wearing underwear some of the time.

I’m not going to declare that we have suddenly mastered preschool potty training.  It is, however, a good start.  I’ll take it.  I’m hoping that today will be even better.  (And I find it interesting that he decides to cooperate when I’ve decided to just give up.)

How long did it take for your little to have potty training down pat?


Potty Training Derailed

We’ve had a lot of trials and tribulations with potty training.  Considering our early successes with elimination communication, I never dreamed that Norton would be in diapers at the age of three.  Heck, I figured we’d be done with potty training (and diapers) by the time he was two.

Ha.Potty Training Derailed (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

After a lot of struggles, we had Norton very nearly potty trained.  He was happiest wearing his Cars underwear and would go “pee pee potty” on his own.  Mind you, we were getting absolutely nowhere with getting him to “poop in potty,” no matter how many nifty potty chairs we bought him or how many times we watched Elmo’s Potty Time.  When he had a bout with diarrhea at the beginning of June, our potty training efforts were shot.  I gave up and put him back in diapers after having to shampoo the couch.  In hindsight, that was probably a mistake.  I would have most likely been better off keeping him in underwear but putting a Bummis cover over to protect from poopsplosions.  But I didn’t, and now I have to deal with the consequences of that decision.

After the diarrhea cleared up, he refused to use the potty at all.  All the ground that we had made up was completely and utterly lost.  On Tuesday, he asked to use the potty.  It was only once, and he went.  I was thrilled.  I had decided that we were going to try the three day potty training method on Wednesday… and found that he had explosive diarrhea that flooded the bed.  Once again, potty training plans were derailed.

At this point, I’m beginning to think that we’re going to be in diapers forever.  Maybe, if I’m lucky, we’ll get potty training done before he gets to university.  Maybe.

Have you struggled with potty training?  How did you finally get it done?

Wooden Train Table? Psh.

I’ve been posting pictures of our train track layouts for about a month now.  Really, I think that there’s a distinct possibility that this will become my new addiction instead of cloth diapers.  (My kids won’t be in diapers forever… and Norton is housebroken.)  One thing that keeps getting suggested is that we look into getting a wooden train table.

A Wooden Train Table Can Be Awesome

With a wooden train table, you get a finite space for your child’s wooden train set.  A typical wooden train table is somewhere around four feet by three feet.  (Each model is slightly different by an inch or two, but it’s a general size estimate.)  That’s twelve square feet of possibilities!  Not only that, but they provide a storage space to keep your (or your child’s) wooden train track collection organized.  For the non-creatively minded builder, you may also be able to find sample layouts to fit your table.  Since many also come with track, buildings, and bridges, they can be an excellent value.

A Wooden Train Table Can Be a Hinderance

With a wooden train table, you have a large item to contend with.  If you have a play room, it may not be an issue, but if your play room is actually your child’s bedroom?  That’s a whole lot of space taken up by one object.  In our house, we don’t have a play room.  Not only that, but my our train layouts are huge.  A wooden train table is too small for the layouts that Norton and I build.  We have two bridges designed for train track to go under them.  There’s the Thomas Water Tower Figure 8 set, and both of the expansions.  We have the Chuggington Clock Tower.  We have the Chuggington Wooden Railway Deluxe Double Decker Roundhouse… and I usually split it in two and have track to go over the roof.  I insist on having track paths come off of all five of the potential exits from the roundhouse elevator thing.  And our most recent addition is the Thomas Deluxe Over the Track Signal Station.

I like to use all of the elements.  It takes me hours to build and it takes a lot of space.  There’s no way that a wooden table can hold that many feet of track!  I’m sort of playing with the idea of doing my next build downstairs in my room since there’s a huge amount of open space.  That’ll give the me necessary square footage for a truly elaborate build.

Are you a train fanatic?  Do you use the wooden train table, or do you prefer more open space builds?

Wooden Train Table?  Psh. (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

There’s no way I could put this on a wooden train table. I could barely get it in frame for a picture.

Preschool Meltdown – Can We Be Done?

*sigh*  I’ve known for quite some time that Norton has a temper.  Of course he does.  He’s my son.  And his Grumpy (paternal grandfather) also has a temper.  It’s not like he doesn’t come by it honestly.  However, the preschool meltdown phase is going to make me lose my mind.  I’m finding a preschool meltdown to be far worse than a toddler tantrum.

Right now, I’m typing this while Norton is in the shower.  I hear him sobbing for his Pillow.  Pillow, of course, is his security object that he must carry everywhere.  I can’t sneak it away from him at night because he will sleep either with Pillow over his head or he’ll lie on it.  (Yes, Pillow is a proper noun in this house.)

I have to admit that at this point, I hate that Pillow.  I have fantasies about burning that stupid thing because it’s the biggest cause of a preschool meltdown in our house.  He constantly puts it down somewhere in the house and can’t remember where and then freaks out over it.  The reason that he’s sobbing for Pillow right now is because after days of trying to surreptitiously slip Pillow into the washing machine (because that thing reaked like pee from overnight accidents), I finally told him today that Pillow needed a bath.  I expected a fight, but he gave it to me.  I guess because he was aware of the extremely unpleasant aroma eminating from Pillow.

The preschool meltdown happened because he slipped in the laundry room behind me while I was putting Pillow in the dryer.  Out of desperation, I let him hug Pillow, hoping that he’d give Pillow a kiss and let me toss the stupid thing in the dryer.


Instead, he clutched onto his soaking wet Pillow like a drowning man hanging onto a life preserver.  And the sobbing started.  “Oh, no!  What happened?”  I tried to pry Pillow out of Norton’s grasping fingers.  It didn’t work.  Finally, Norton gave Pillow to his daddy.  However, there was 20 minutes worth of sobbing as Pillow was in the dryer.  When he got Pillow back, his relief was just so evident.  He gave a half laugh/half sob and cried “Pillow!”  And then snatched the blasted thing from my hands and held it tight.

I’m just over it.  And I’m finding “the trying threes” to be so much more difficult than “the terrible twos.”

Did you deal with preschool meltdown issues in your family?  How did you handle it?

Is This the Beginning of Preschool Bullying?

The other day, I took Norton to the Prince George Forestry and Railway Museum for a preschool field trip.  He loves trains, so I was just thrilled to take him to the museum.  The only thing that disappointed me is that I’d planned on having a family outing to the museum at some point in the summer.  At least, that was the only thing that disappointed me….  Right up until I caught what might be the beginning of preschool bullying. [Read more…]

Train Track Tuesday #4

Train Track Tuesday #4 (Motherhood Looms)

At this point, I’m not 100% sure who the massive train track layouts are for.  Sure, Norton enjoys playing with the wooden train layouts, But I know that I really do love building them!

This week’s build spans about eight feet in one direct and about five feet in the other.  I’m not sure how many actual linear feet of wooden train track is being used, but it’s definitely a lot!  For “packs” you’ll see the Chuggington Double Decker Roundhouse (split in two), the Chuggington Figure 8 Clock Tower set, Thomas and Friends Water Tower Figure 8 Set, two expansion packs, Thomas and Friends Echo Tunnel (discontinued), and an unknown no name tunnel and aquaduct bridge.

Have you ever experimented with wooden trains?  What was your favorite element of the build?

Child Empathy Warms My Heart

There are times when my son can surprise me.  I’d always thought that maybe I was doing something wrong since I didn’t understand how to teach child empathy.  On one hand, I recognize that toddler behavior requires a certain amount of being self-absorbed… but on the other hand, I knew that child empathy skills would be invaluable when dealing with peers.  I just didn’t get how to pass this skill set on.

Child Empathy

Sometimes, this little face can make the day seem so much brighter.

I started out the day on a rough note: Eudora was screeching into the baby monitor.  It was 6:15 am.  She stopped, but I couldn’t get back to sleep.  Then there were computer issues and a whole host of other things driving me crazy, including kids with runny noses, screaming Eudora, barking dogs, and my phone pinging like crazy.  The final straw was when I couldn’t find my keys.

I sat down in the hallway and buried my face in my hands.  I was just done.  I couldn’t handle anything else.  Too many things were going wrong at once and I had zero help since my husband was off to work.  I just wanted to cry.  Even my sort of break (also known as “preschool”) was going down the tubes.

Norton saw me and wandered down the hall to where I was essentially hiding.  He patted me on the head and said, “What’s wrong, Mommy?  It’ll be okay.”  That little bit of child empathy was what I needed.  When I looked up at him, he gave me a hug and some kisses… then some more cuddles.  Those cuddles were precisely what I needed.  It was just a little bit of calm, quiet affection.

It didn’t resolve everything that had been bothering me.  It didn’t make the morning magically straighten out.  But what that bit of child empathy did do was that, for just a couple of minutes, I felt better.

Has your child ever surprised you with a bit of unexpected empathy?

Train Track Tuesday

Now that our wooden train track layouts are so very elaborate, I don’t have enough time to build one every day.  Here’s the first Train Track Tuesday layout.

Train Track Tuesday (Motherhood Looms)

Train track elements used: Chuggington Double Decker Roundhouse, Chuggington Wooden Railway Koko and Hodge’s Clock Tower Set, Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway Echo Tunnel, Maxim tunnel, Maxim Viaduct bridge.