Thursday, February 23, 2012

Potty Training, Mach 2

So - i have decided that toilet training is going to the next level here at our house. I started out after Flynns 2nd birthday with a prett casual approach, thinking that because he is such a great communicator that he would be relatively quick and painless to train. Um.... wrong! He may well be a very good communicator for his age, but after 2 months of trying the casual approach, methinks my son may just have a tad of the lazy about him too. He's quite happy to tell me he needs his bottom changed when he's wearing a nappy, but when he's in undies he'll just run up to me, or right next to his potty, and wee on the floor. Its like yanking down his undies and sitting is too much hassle for him, you know?

Dont get me wrong - i'm not blaming him. In fact i will quite happily and honestly throw my hand up and say that we havent been super consistent. With me working part-time, and the days that i do have off we tend to have very busy mornings ( at the very least ) the whole " lets put undies on/ lets sit on the potty every half hr " thing hasnt exactly been a strictly regular occurence. It has to be confusing for him, Mama being all gung-ho with the potty time one day, and chucking him a nappy and running out the door the day after. Unfortunately though there isnt much i can do about that - i have to work, at least for the next 5ish months before i go on maternity leave.

However, i'm ready and willing to change tack. Of course i've done a bit of reading up on all the toilet training tips and tricks, and after observing how my son is very fast growing up, i think the old sticker chart might be worth a shot.

My Flynn seems to be growing into the typical older child in that he's quite eager to please and he likes having rewards for his efforts that he can show others. ( I remember being in primary school, wanting to do the best i can to please my parents and teachers, but i had a merit award to show for my work well... so much the better ). So last night at bedtime Flynn and i had a little chat about how we're going to buy some special stickers, and when he does a wee or a poo Mummy will put them on a chart with his name. " I show Poppy and Grandma my stickers? " he asked.

Of course you can Pickles - and in that little sentence alone i think this plan may just prove more fruitful than the softly-softly method. If he can get something shiny and cool that he can show his grandparents, and they'll go on about how proud they are, which will in turn make him feel proud well then... so much the better.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Learning To Be A Beach Bum

So you remember all those posts i've made lately whinging about the weather and how it better get its act together and co-operate when we took Flynn down to the beach? Well, we went away this past weekend and i am happy to say that we had glorious sunshine both days - good job Mother Nature!

Mick and I were both kind of excited to see how Flynn would react the first time he saw the ocean. Good news is we got a great " Oh wow Mum! Dats da beach! " and a very excited little smile. Bad news is he wasnt exactly fond of the water until the fourth and last visit to the beach, and by that time Daddy had already headed back to Dubbo ( Flynn and i stayed on an extra day, as i dont work Mondays, and drove home with my parents ). He loved the sand - he kept saying " i playing in the big sand pit! " and had a ball chasing the seagulls and looking for shells, and he was very interested in all the little hermit crabs that Poppy and I found in the shallows - he just wasnt too keen on getting his toes wet. I think it was a combination of just being completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of water ( as a kid from the country the most water he sees on a regular basis is in the bathtub... ) and the fact that though the air temperature was lovely, the water temperature was still a bit cool.

I'll admit that though we had fun all four times we went down to the beach, i was a little bit upset that Mick had to miss out on Flynn finally taking to the water. We went down to a small bay not far from our holiday house late Sunday afternoon and, with a bit of patience and a bit of coaxing from Poppy, Flynn not only came in for a swim being carried by an adult but he was eventually running into the shallows all by himself. Once he figured out that he could splash and kick and that the little waves werent going to knock him over, he got into the whole beach experience. And though i was disappointed that Mick missed it, I'm glad that Flynn did eventually take to the beach - its an Australian rite of passage to have summer holidays to the beach, and i want him to enjoy them and look forward to them, the same way I did as a kid.

So after the success of the weekend ( which just wasnt long enough ) we are hoping to be able to go back down in the Christmas break, as long as we can jag some accommodation at the right price. By that time of course we will have a 4 month old aswell as Flynn so 3 or 4 days will be more than enough!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And Then There Were....

..... Four!
Oh yes, that there is the little baby person i have been secretly gestating for the past 12 weeks and 1 day. Or for those slow on the uptake, i'm pregnant and Mick, Flynn and i will be welcoming a new member to the family this year. Baby #2, already nicknamed " Little Jelly " ( because Flynn kind of dropped the " bean " part off the description of what the first scan looked like ) is due August 28th.

So, for those playing along at home, that gives me approximately 6 months to establish a business, toilet train my son, convert a garage into a bedroom and prepare myself for having two small people demanding my attention. That can be done right? Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentines Day Tale - Our Love Story

IN case you've managed to avoid all the retail hype and the florists running around like chickens with their heads cut off.... today is St Valentines Day. And, in keeping with the general lovey-doveyness of the day i've decided to share with you all my personal love story. And Micks. Ours, if you will. And though it may not be as epic as some you might read today, its worth sharing i think.

Why? Not only because we're, like, crazy in love and stuff, but because Michael and I are an internet dating success story. I know a few of you very loyal readers know the origin of our relationship but for those who are new around these parts - Mick and I met on an internet dating site. We did the whole write a profile, hope someone likes it, find your match thing that so many others do, only instead of winding up in the basket of web dating horror stories we clicked. Big time. Our first date was lunch at a pub bistro in town.... that lasted 5 hrs. My sister actually texted me 3 times to check where i was an if i was ok. I didnt answer any of those texts because i was having too good of a time to notice them.

Me and Mick early in our relationship....

We saw each other the next day ( the rule of waiting at least 3 days be damned ) - we went to see " Watchmen " and " Gran Torino " back to back, and then went for an impromptu dinner. He rang me a few days after that and travelled 45 mins into town after a full day of work just so we could have a picnic dinner. He invited me away for the weekend to meet his brother after only 2 weeks of dating - rather than scaring me off, i said yes and had an "interesting " time at his brothers house in the middle of nowhere. I then had to go away for work for 2 weeks, during which time i racked up a mammoth phone bill because we spent every day texting each other. He picked me up from the airport when i came home and that was it - we've been inseperable ever since.

It probably bares mentioning that we fell pregnant only 6 weeks into our relationship - but, contrary to some peoples very nasty opinion, that is not why we stayed together. Mick told me only 3 weeks into our relationship that he would ask me to marry him oneday and i told him to give a few months, think about it a while, and then see how he felt. 9 months into our relationship, and at 7 months pregnant, he did ask, and i ( obviously ) accepted. Having a baby was, of course, a huge part of our relatinship by then, but we didnt just stay together because it was " the right thing to do ".

.....and at our wedding in November '11

No we stayed together, and are together still because we love each other. Even when he drives me nuts or he drinks too much and lets the neighbour shave his head at 3am .... i still love him. Even when he gets grumpy at me because i keep stressing about our new business ( because he's chillaxed like that i'm a bit anal ), or he loses his patience with Flynn... i love him. I especially love him when he lets me sleep in ( every Saturday morning! ) or when he offers to get tea so i dont have to cook. I guess, whichever way you look at it, love is the glue that holds us together, and Flynn is the very special suprise bonus of being that in love. And after 3 and bit months of marriage, i can quite happily say that our love continues to grow, and continues to create special little things.

So what about you? Do you have a love story worth sharing?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

When I Grow Up I Want To Be....

I make no secret of the fact that " That 70's Show " is my favourite sitcom ever in the whole wide world. Despite being set almost a decade before i was born, i relate to almost all the characters and all the crazy little situations they get themselves in just crack me up. My friends have asked me a few times who my favourite character is and thst debatable - i love them all for different reasons, at different times, and my favourite changes from season to season ( hell, even episode to episode ). What does not change however is the fact that Kitty Foreman is the most awesome mum in the history of TV and when i grow up i want to be just like her ( minus the hairdo and the smoking ). Why?

1. She lets her sons friends hang out in their basement. She gives them plenty of space but still manages to bring them plates of cookies/cups of cocoa/cans of "soda" exactly when they need them.

2. She knows all the kids names, and knows enough about them that she can always offer the best of advice. Which often times doesnt quite come out right, but you know its always with the absolute best of intentions.

3. She bakes - A LOT. She also helps others to bake ( like when she tries unsuccessfully to teach Jackie how to make a pie ) and let she lets others use her oven to bake ( even when she is unknowingly letting Hyde make "special brownies " ). She knows that a good hearty meal and the sharing of food is one of the best ways to look after her family. And her families friends. And the neighbours....

4. She may well be the mother of two teenagers ( and surrogate mum to the whole gang ) but the lady is a tramp! Or, rather, she is in touch with her sexuality and is not ashamed to admit. Even when Eric walks in on his parents " doing it ", her words of wisdom to her son are " ....and foreplay is very important ". I love that she is just so in love with her husband, even after so many years together and, strangely Kitty and Red actually remind me of my parents. Aww!

5. She's funny and, dare i say it, she's a bit of a shit stirrer. I love the way she jokes around and the way she knows how to push peoples buttons ( namely her husbands ) in order to get things done. She has a great sense of humour and she uses it to her best advantage.

So thats probably my Top 5 - there is plenty more i love about Kitty and about " That 70's Show " as a whole but that could be a whole other ( long ) conversation!
So - who is your favourite TV or movie mum? Is it because you want to be like them or because you are amused at how terrible they are ? Oh - and how awesome is " That 70's Show " ?

Monday, February 6, 2012

What Parenting Technique Works Best For You?

I've come to the realisation this afternoon that Mick and I are on to a winner ( thus far ) when it comes to getting the best behaviour from Flynn - we're big fans of the " 1-2-3 " technique. That is, when Flynn isnt listening or isnt complying when asked to do something, we tell him that we're going to count to 3 and if he's not co-operating we're going to confiscate something he likes.

Sometimes, we have to threaten the blocks, or the Thomas the Tank Engine stuff you can see in the background...

We had been using the " Naughty Spot " as our main discipline tool, and though we were very consistent with it i found it started to lose its "success " ( for lack of a better word ) somewhat after a while. We were sending Flynn to a corner of our dining room and making him sit for the count of 10 before he could come back out. It worked at first , but eventually i guess Flynn figured out that 10 seconds really is not that long to sit out ( although i think at 20 mths, when we started using, that any longer would be too much ), and eventually all the " Naughty Spot " was achieving was teaching Flynn to count to 10! ( He skips 6 for some reason, otherwise he can count to 13.... )

So i thought we'd change tact a bit. My fathers biggest parenting rule - well, rule to life really - is that everything has consequences, and at 2 yrs of age i thought Flynn was old enough and smart enough to start grasping that concept. And so far, because we are consistent with it, it seems to be working. For eg:
I might ask Flynn to pick up his pencils off the floor. I'll ask once, and if it isnt done in a few minutes, i'll ask again, reminding him that this is the 2nd chance he's had ( " Didnt Mummy already ask you to pick up your pencils? Could you pick them up now please? " ). If it isnt done the 2nd time, then we get the 3 count ( " Mummys going to count to 3 - if you dont pick them up before i get to 3 i'm going to take your dump truck away " ). The first time we used this technique Flynn didnt pay much attention.... so his favourite truck got taken to my room and put in my cupboard. He watched me take and put away and he didnt like it so much. He cried, he stomped his little feet, and then i explained that if he could use his "listening ears " for the rest of the day he could have it back. He did eventually get his truck back, and that was only one of two times i have had to take things away - every other time he's listened and done what i've asked before i got to 3.

So what about you other mummies - do you have a technique that works for you? Are you consistent? And do you feel like a massive hard-arse Mum when you do have to "punish " your little people?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Operation N.M.D = Success!

And what, you ask, was " Operation N.M.D "? Well seeing as Mick and I have a big boy on our hands now, we decided a week ago that we would kick start " Operation No More Dummy ".... and its been pretty much a 100% success!
The boy with his beloved binky ( and Daddy )...

We explained to Flynn that because he was getting to be a big boy now that it was time to get rid of his dummies, or binkies as he calls them. (We pretty much already had him down to only having his binky at sleep times, or when he was particularly upset.) He wasnt too keen on the idea at first but when we explained that it was the Dummy Fairy that would come and take them - not us - he seemed a bit more interested. Mick said he'd seen the Dummy Fairy down the street and that she'd told him that Flynn was big now, so she'd come and get his binkies soon. I said i'd talked to her on the phone and that seeing as she wasnt busy that day, she would come that night.

So - thats what happened. Last Friday night we had a visit from the Dummy Fairy. She took away all of his dummies ( not even one left for an emergency! ) and in there place she left a letter and a little present. Excuse me not having take a photo but the letter went something like this:
Dear Flynn,
I have come to take your binkies because you are a big boy now and you dont need them anymore.
I have brought you something else special that you can take to bed instead.
Love The Dummy Fairy

And there next to his bed, in place of his dummies, was a small plush Elmo, something friendly and familiar that he could cuddle in bed.

He was quite happy with that - the boy loves Elmo! - and his nap that day with no binky, and no trouble. Same thing that night - he went happily off to his sleep with no problems but we did hit a slight snag when he woke in the middle of the night. I went in and gave him a cuddle and explained that no, he couldnt have his dummy - the DUmmy Fairy took them remember? He calmed but he kept calling out, upset. So eventually after 45 mins of leaving him to try to fall asleep Daddy went and jumped in bed with him and everyone got back to sleep.

.... and my big boy, dummy free, "driving" Daddys work van

And thats been it - the rest of the week has been easy. He's asked for his binky a few times but everytime he's asked i've said " You cant have one. Do you remember why ? " and says " 'Cause the Dummy Fairy took them away ".... and thats it. He hasnt where they've gone or when they're coming back - its just she took them, she gave him a present and thats it.

Now if only toilet training were this bloody easy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sunshine, Wherefore Art Thou Sunshine?

( And yes, before anyone points it out, i know " wherefore " actually means who, not where. Whatever - it sounded good ).

And yes, this is another rant about the weather - i swear its like my 3rd weather post this summer, and i'm sorry..... but i just cant stand this " English " summer we're having. It is the middle of summer and it is currently 16C outside. I am at work, wearing the same 3 layers i would wear during the middle of winter ( and because our new manager has the air con turned up i am STILL freezing ). Its raining too, and is predicted to continue raining on and off for least a week. This psuedo-summer-may-aswell-be-winter weather is getting me down!

Plus, in 2 weeks Mick and I are taking Flynn away for the weekend for his very first trip to the beach. He's so excited - everytime he sees a picture of a beach, or a beach on tv he gets all bouncy and goes " Mummy - we go to beach! Flynn and Mummy and Daddy! ". Not only will it be his first trip to see the ocean, but it will most likely be the only trip away that Mick and I get this year ( as he is the only driver we have for our delivery service, he cant take holiays or sick leave ). So if i dont get at least one perfect, sunny day when we go to Nelson Bay i am going to be so disappointed. And angry and kind of upset. ( As much as you can get upset and angry with the weather - i mean, there isnt really anyone to blame is there ? )

So - is it just me, or is anyone else getting mildly seasonally depressed this summer? Are the grey days getting you down too? And you could possibly send my family all the good weather vibes you can muster for our beach trip in 2 weeks? Thanks muchly!