Monday, October 24, 2011

The death of the diaper bag

When I was pregnant with Lil J I went to pick out a diaper bag (among plenty of other baby items) & I immediately knew which one I wanted.  It needed to be a neutral color of course (since we chose to not learn the sex before the baby was born), but most were too small in my opinion.  I knew I wanted plenty of room to stash stuff that I would need on the go for the baby.  It seemed there was only ONE large diaper bag available & it was green & yellow & had ducks on it.  It was really cute & totally perfect in my opinion. 

And in those early days my extra large diaper bag was filled to maximum capacity quite often.  I remember seeing other moms with much smaller diaper bags & wondering how on earth they managed.  But I have always been the type who likes to be prepared for anything that might come my way, so I probably tend to pack more than most moms I figured. 

I know I always considered the fact that you never know when the car might break down (or when we might be evacuated from our home & not able to get in to get baby supplies).  And we did have one or two occasions where the car did break down unexpectedly.  It was after those occasions that my hubby really appreciated that I was prepared for just such a situation.  I mean, who wants to be stuck somewhere waiting on a tow truck with a hungry baby screaming & crying & not understanding why there's no more milk, diapers, fill in the blank etc. 

But after Lil J turned a year old I found the diaper bag to be much less empty.  I just didn't need as much stuff anymore.  Diaper changes & feedings were less frequent & he was no longer on formula (goat milk & goat kefir at that time, which I kept in a small insulated cooler rather than the diaper bag).  I didn't have to change his clothes as often also. 

When I delivered Lil J the hospital had sent us home with a free diaper bag full of goodies.  It was green & had frogs on it, but it was much smaller than the diaper bag I had purchased.  I stashed it away, thinking later on I might have use for it.  And so I did.  After he turned a year old I switched over to this diaper bag.

And lately I keep finding even this diaper bag quite empty.  Lil J is now on rice milk, which I keep in that small insulated cooler.  And he's potty training, so I only need to carry a couple of extra pull ups & a pack of baby wipes.  I do usually have a snack on hand, but it's still a small amount of stuff compared to how it has been in the past.

Prior to having a baby I ALWAYS carried a purse.  I always had very small purses, but I did always carry a purse.  After having a baby I quickly grew tired of juggling a purse AND a diaper bag AND a baby.  And so I had condensed the contents of my purse down to a very small zipper bag (like a pencil bag, but smaller) & I just kept it inside the diaper bag.  When shopping I just put my money in my pocket & was purse-free, only carrying a baby.  It made life much simpler for me.

I've been debating for a little while now if I should just retire the diaper bag completely.  And so I've finally done it.  Yesterday we were at JC Penny shopping for under shirts for hubby & I stopped to look at the purses & found one I like.  I still have my pre-baby purse, BUT it's really really small.  This time I bought a large purse, so that it can also hold pull ups, wipes, snacks, etc. 

It's the end of an era, just one more nail sealed on the coffin of having a baby so to speak.  I really can't say I have a baby anymore, just a little boy now.  How quickly it happens. 

30 month updates on Lil J

Today, October 20th, 2011, my stepdaughter turns 24! And my toddler turns 2 1/2. People are always astonished when they learn we have an adult, a teen, & a toddler hehehe.

So Lil J is now 33.2 lbs (75-90%), 36" tall (25-50%), & has a head circumference of 21" (>95%)

Despite the tantrums & "terrible two" phase, this is really a FUN stage we are in.  He is such a sweet boy.  He is always so desperate to help me with whatever I am doing.  Just this morning I went grocery shopping.  After we get home I bring in the bags of groceries & leave them at the entrance of the house.  Then, after all the bags are in the house, I move the bags to the kitchen so I can wipe everything down & put it away.  After carrying the first trip of bags to the kitchen I turned around to find Lil J struggling hard (but not giving up) to carry a bag over for me.  His little face was so precious.  I could see how much it meant to him to be able to help mommy.  Of course I pour on the praise & let him continue one bag at a time, no matter how long it takes him.  He was BEAMING when he finished with the last bag.  My heart literally melted.

And he's finally in a stage where we can have a conversation.  And he's learning sooooo fast now.  He has new words & phrases constantly, I can't even keep up.  And he WANTS to learn.  He often points to things & asks me what it is so he can learn & know what to call it.  He is such a smart & sweet boy.

Most days he no longer takes naps.  Occasionally he still does though.  And on the days he doesn't he sometimes go to bed for the night early  sometimes he stays up to the same time as if he did nap.  It's taking a little adjusting to get used to it all, for me I mean.  I'm just trying hard to be flexible.  And some days if I feel I need a break or if I feel HE needs a break I put him in the bedroom for "quiet time".  And I stress to him that he doesn't HAVE to go to sleep, but he does HAVE to be QUIET.  That is my only requirement.  And some days he will fall asleep & some days he will just play quietly. 

Part of me misses the nap, mostly because of the time it gave me to be able to focus on things & really get stuff done.  But part of me is looking forward to a nap-free schedule.  I mean, for the past 2 1/2 years there's been huge slots of my time where I can't leave the house &/or make appointments, etc.  So in that sense it will make life easier to end the napping, & as long as he continues to be agreeable with quiet time, allowing me to get things done that require a lot of concentration, then it's all good.

I think that's all the updates I have for now.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Potty Training, continued

So this last Saturday I finally made the decision to use pull-ups.  I know there's a huge debate out there about this & I know that the "3 day method" that I followed is totally & completely anti-pull-up.

It was a tough decision.  I have always had a hard time giving up on things.  I can see hope of a change right around the corner & I'm hanging on for it.  And yet I'm getting more & more stressed out waiting & waiting & waiting for that change to come.  This pattern holds true for a lot of things in my life, not just potty training.

The glimmer of hope for me is the fact that he can stay dry overnight & during naps.  And there are some days with absolute perfection all day long.  But then there are randomly days where he pees all over himself & there are lots of times where there's just a small wet spot on his undies & it usually goes through to his shorts or pants.  And so even though it wasn't a full blown peed on himself, I still have to change his undies & pants/shorts.  And it still creates more work, more stress, not to mention more laundry.  Since I began potty training I have had a minimum of 1 load of laundry every single day from his "accidents".  So yeah you can say that pull-ups are costly, but so is laundry.  Laundry requires water, gas, & electricity!  Nothing cheap about it.

Even though I feel like I waited too long to make the pull-up decision, I do think if I had done it too soon he wouldn't have been as successful as he has been.  He wouldn't have been as aware of his accidents.  I still put him in undies & no pull-up at bedtime & he still wakes up dry in the mornings.

So even though that was a seriously stressful 6 weeks of my life or so, I do think it was a good investment.  And as he matures & is ready we will be able to ditch the pull-ups.  I was really worried about him going backwards if I switched to pull-ups.  And I know it's only been a few days, but so far he hasn't gone backwards at all.  But I feel like all the stress of it is gone now.  I don't have to worry about him flooding the carpet, couch, his clothes, etc.  I have taught him the basics & will now let him proceed at his own pace.  He is still telling me when he needs to go, for both poop & pee.  And he is telling me at home, out shopping, etc.  The only wet pull-up I've seen so far was at church on Sunday.  And I don't understand why we have issues at church, but we have all along & so it continues.  I'm not gonna stress out about it anymore.  At some point it will stop.

And so that's a huge load of stress off of me now, thank you Jesus.  I can just sit back & wait for him to progress to perfection on his own.  And now I can focus more on teaching him to pull his undies & shorts/pants up & down by himself.  :)