Crotch Watch: Day One
8:45 AM: It's go time ... literally! I take Cameron's diaper off and watch him like a hawk, my eyes zeroed in on his nether regions, waiting for the first dribble of pee. When it happens, I snatch him up like a madwoman and plop him on his potty chair ... where he sits. And sits. And sits. And nothing happens. I know that little droplet wasn't all the pee in his bladder, so where is it?
10:20 AM: He goes behind the recliner and my super Mommy-senses start going crazy - I know he's about to do something. Sure enough, he squats, and before he can do anything on the floor I use my catlike reflexes to whisk him back onto his potty. Success: two little turds drop into the receptacle! It's like the potty training jackpot! (Okay, so maybe they just fell in there as I sat him on, but still. It was poop and it was in the right place - so I'm counting it.) I excitedly text Curtis at work. He texts back, "Yay!!!!!!" I am envious that he doesn't have to deal with all this; I'm almost positive I'd rather be in his position right now. Colin is excited because he gets to help me dump it into the toilet ... you've gotta love the small amusements in life!
10:31 AM: Cameron pees on the floor the second I turn my back (to sneak a few bites of pie). Grrrr ....
10:57 AM: Guess he wasn't done pooping - 'cause there's the rest of it on the floor. I was staring right at him and didn't even notice until the smell hit me. For crying out loud! Am I seriously deluding myself into thinking he's ready for this???
11:13 AM: He dismantles his potty chair - and starts peeing while I'm frantically putting it back together, so I don't catch it. Oh. My. Lord. I'm considering having the carpet cleaner and paper towels surgically grafted onto my hands.
12:15 PM: Nap time, so the diaper goes on - 'cause I draw the line at a urine-soaked mattress! I'm sooo glad to be off pee-watch for a little while!
1:40 PM: Cameron stays dry through naptime, and then pees in his potty!!! I am elated ... until he finishes on the floor. Again. *sigh*
2:38 PM: Poops on the floor ... and in the potty! Then promptly drops a rubber ball into the poo as I'm getting a baby wipe. Gross.
3:05 PM: Have the good fortune to walk (barefoot) into a surprise puddle of pee on the kitchen floor. I'm pretty sure I know who it came from, but I have no idea when. Thank goodness it's on the tile this time!
4:04 PM: Cameron starts peeing on the floor (isn't that sentence getting rather redundant?) and, as usual, I put him on the potty. To my surprise, he resumes peeing in his potty chair - and looks down to watch it happen. Breakthrough! It's like I can see the light going on in his head! He finishes peeing and actually strains, trying to push out the last droplets. I'm so encouraged!!!!Feel like calling everyone I know ... but I'll refrain.
4:15 PM: Since he's just relieved himself, I figure it's safe to get something done (other than staring at his bottom half, which is what I've spent the best part of the day doing). He's playing in the lazy Susan where our canned goods are stored. When he climbs out to play elsewhere, I notice ... what's this? ... a lone turd on top of a box of chicken broth. WTF? I took a picture because I couldn't believe it - but I won't post it here. You're welcome.
4:54 PM: I put him on the potty again for good measure, AND HE PEES RIGHT AWAY - ON PURPOSE - AND THEN CLAPS HIS HANDS!!! Ahhhhhhh! Makes a mommy proud!
8:15 PM: The peeing in the potty continues all throughout the evening ... except for once, when he's in the bathroom with Curtis and pees on the floor. While I'm cleaning that up, he (Cameron, not Curtis) comes into the kitchen and poops under the table ... and then proceeds to crawl through it. OMG. At bedtime, around 8:15, I'm relieved to put a diaper on him for the night. It's been a long day.
DAY ONE RECAP: Ten accidents, but also several successes - especially as the day progresses; by bedtime, he pees every single time he's put on the potty, and he seems to have realized that's what he's supposed to do.
Crotch Watch: Day Two
7:45 AM: Immediately upon waking, I take his diaper off (which he has wet during the night) and put him on his potty. He pees and poops, deliberately! I couldn't be more thrilled!
8:30 AM: He pees on the floor while I'm checking Facebook (damn it!) - but then immediately sits on his potty. Coincidence? I'm not sure.
9:17 AM: Poop on the floor. And one piece that accidentally falls into the potty. Sigh.
10:53 AM: I have watched him relentlessly, NONSTOP, for over an hour now, putting him on the potty every five or ten minutes ... and nothing. I saw him guzzle down his entire sippy cup of milk a long time ago, so what gives? Where's the pee? I can almost guarantee you he'll go on the floor while I'm typing this. Wahh.
10:54 AM: WHAT did I TELL you??? In the less-than-two-minutes that I had my eyes only half on him, he peed on the living room floor. I swear, I can't go to the bathroom, fix something to eat, let the dog out, or do anything else without having to clean up a mess afterward - yet when I keep an eagle eye on him and put him on the potty at regular intervals, nothing seems to happen. I am feeling seriously frazzled, and am honestly on the verge of tears. I don't know what I expected, but this is soooooo frustrating! Ready to throw in the towel ... but I won't ... I promised to see this through, and I'm going to!
12:00 PM: No more accidents. Have managed to avoid a complete meltdown, but am still so glad it's nap time. Wish I could just leave this diaper on him for the rest of the day.
2:15 PM: Cameron wakes up from his nap and his diaper is still dry, so I put him on the potty immediately. He wants to sit on my lap instead, so I cuddle him for a few minutes (praying the whole time he won't pee on me) until he wakes up a little bit, then try putting him on the chair again. He just sits there, but instead of hovering over him, I let him alone. To my surprise, he completely empties his bladder in the potty before getting up - even without me sitting beside him! Hooray!
4:01 PM: One thing I've noticed today is that he's holding his pee for longer stretches of time, which is good. The bad thing is, it makes it trickier to tell when he needs to go. I take the dog out and am "rewarded" when I come in with not one, but two puddles of pee ... thank goodness they're both on the tile floor!
8:20 PM: Bedtime. Whew. Only a couple of minor accidents, and we've made it through another day.
DAY TWO RECAP: Substantially fewer accidents today - only five or so, which is HALF the puddles and piles I cleaned up yesterday. He's holding it in for longer, though, so it's harder to tell when he needs to go. He's getting more resistant to sitting there if he doesn't have to go; yesterday he sat compliantly every time, whether he needed to pee or not, but today if he isn't peeing he's not sitting there for any length of time. I don't know if that's a good thing or not!
Crotch Watch: Day Three
7:15 AM: Cameron wakes up and I put him directly on the potty. He pees, but doesn't poop. I'm kinda worried, because he almost always poops right when he wakes up, so I follow him around veeeeery closely for a while.
8:30 AM: He poops ... on the potty! He still isn't going by himself - I have to take him there - but still, he's getting somewhere.
10:27 AM: He pees on the floor. Doesn't even try to use his potty. I am frustrated.
12:00 PM: Nap time, and though I put him on the potty beforehand, he doesn't go. He hasn't peed in like an hour and a half, and has had a lot to drink, so I'm pretty sure he's going to pee in his diaper while he sleeps.
2:45 PM: He has taken a long nap, so I'm totally surprised to find that his diaper is dry. And when I put him on the potty, he goes and goes and goes!
5:00 PM: Supper time. What's that dripping sound? Oh gross - there's a puddle under his high chair. I should have taken him to pee before we ate, I guess. I take him (drips and all) to his potty, but he refuses to even sit on it. Fantastic.
6:45 PM: He pees ... on top of the potty chair. I don't notice that the lid is closed until too late, and he just stands there and pees on the lid. I'm not sure if he meant to go to the potty to pee, or if that's just where he happened to be at the time. Either way, I've got yet another mess to sop up.DAY THREE RECAP: Scroll up and read the "Day Two Recap." It's pretty much the same.
SUMMARY: I don't know if it's his age - just 18 months - or not, but my final thoughts on the three-day potty training program are this: complete potty training, at least for Cameron, is going to take substantially longer than three days! I think it might work for older kids - and keep in mind I didn't take the seminar, I only read a short article on the topic, so I may be missing some major component. (Like I said in the beginning of this post, I found a much more comprehensive article, but it was kinda too late by then.)
It's been a really taxing three days. Mucho messes to attend to ... my poor carpet, time for a cleaning! Being completely confined to the house
kind of really sucks, but I don't want to put a diaper on him and confuse the poor kid - nor do I really want to fool with putting undies on him in public when I KNOW he isn't ready. It's all fine and dandy when we're at home and I can plop him on the potty chair at regular intervals, but it's definitely going to take a while to get him to the point where he knows when he needs to go, holds it long enough to alert me, and gets successfully to the nearest toilet. And that, to me, is true potty training.
I'm going to stick with it for as long as it takes to get him finished. I mean, we've come this far - it may not have been 100% successful, but he has made remarkable progress. I may have to make a few improvisations (like maybe a Pull-Up on outings instead of a diaper or underwear), but I think it's worth it. And hopefully, by the time the new baby gets here in September, I'll only have one kid in diapers.
Post-potty-training notes: This is NOT for the uncommitted. I cannot stress that enough! You've got to stay on guard every minute and be absolutely diligent about taking him to the potty chair - and if they're anything like Cameron, they'll pee or poop every.time.your.back.is.turned. Make sure your agenda is free of anything pressing, and that you don't mind ordering takeout or eating cold-cut sandwiches for supper, because you're not going to have a lot of time to cook. You've also got to be well-equipped with cleanup supplies, because it's not a neat job, either. And be prepared to have your house fall apart around you: dishes you don't have time to wash, toys you don't have time to pick up. It would work best for kids who hold their pee for a long time and then go, rather than dribble a little here and there throughout the day.
If you have any questions or want to know more about our potty training experiment, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I always wanted to be both a writer and a mother; a harrowing five-year struggle with infertility made me question whether I'd ever achieve the latter, but finally, I've managed to do both. I just wasn't aware it would be a dangerous recipe for frumpiness - which I battle (weakly) on a regular basis. That's why I'm writing this blog: because I know I'm not the only frump-fighting mama. It's dedicated to all my sisters who once took pride in their appearance, but who now feel accomplished simply by getting dressed - and to all those women who managed to avoid the frump (I hate you), but who get a good laugh out of "that" type of mom. If you want to know more about me, check out this post ... aptly titled "100 Things About Me." (I know. So creative.) Or this one, if a hundred facts weren't enough.
Without further ado, let's get on with the rest of the introductions.
This devastatingly handsome dude is my husband: Curtis.
Y'all? This man is awesome. He will stop the car to help a turtle cross the road just because he knows it will make me happy. He's seen me gain 100 pounds and give birth to children, endured my "bitch-for-absolutely-no-reason" days, and knows that my hair looks like a nest when I don't straighten it - and he still loves me. We've been a couple for over a decade - fifteen years, to be precise - which is a long damn time when you consider that it all started when I was seventeen. I'm not gonna lie: there are times when he aggravates the you-know-what outta me. But the boys and I would be utterly lost without him.
(Fall in love with Curtis in a couple of my favorite posts, here and here.)
Then there are our four gorgeous boys, who are simultaneously the lights of my life and the thorns in my side. First up, the oldest: Colin. He's nine.
(Find some of my favorite posts about Colin here and here.)
Then there's six-year-old Cameron.
(Check out some of Cameron's shenanigans here and here.)
Next up: Coby, our five-year-old.
Oh yeah, and I guess since they're sleeping in my bed, the dogs are a part of the family too.
(Read about Josie here and Destiny, a.k.a. "Puggy," here.)
If you stop by, let me hear from you! I welcome any comments, questions, etc. (unless you're going to be an ass, in which case, direct it elsewhere). If you'd like to contact me privately, it's ritatempleton(at)gmail(dot)com.
Create a Breakfast Muffin
Source: The Tightwad Gazette II book by Amy Dacyczyn; Villard Books, New York, 1995
Learn to create your own muffins. This recipe will make 12 muffins. Save energy and time by making a double batch and freeze the extra muffins. Each muffin will ultimately cost you about 4 cents each to make.
To make muffins, combine dry ingredients, and then mix in wet ingredients until just combined; the batter should be lumpy. Grease muffin tin and fill cups two thirds full. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15-25 minutes.
The following ingredients are required:
Grain: Use 2 to 2-1/2 cups of white flour. Or substitute oatmeal, cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, rye flour, or flake cereal for 1 cup of the white flour. Or substitute 1 cup leftover cooked oatmeal, rice, or cornmeal for 1/2 cup of the white flour and decrease liquid to 1/2 cup. (Rita's note - I always find that 2-1/2 is too much.)
Milk: Use 1 cup or substitute buttermilk. Or sour milk (add a tbsp. of vinegar to 1 cup milk). Or substitute fruit juice for part or all of the milk.
Fat: Use 1/4 cup vegetable oil or 4 tbsp. melted butter or margarine. Or substitute crunchy or regular peanut butter for part or all of the fat. The fat can be reduced or omitted with fair results if using a "wet addition."
Egg: Use 1 egg. Or substitute 1 heaping tbsp. of soy flour and 1 tbsp. of water. If using a cooked grain, separate the egg, add the yolk to the batter, beat the white until stiff, and fold into the batter.
Sweetener: Use between 2 tbsp. and 1/2 cup sugar. Or substitute up to 3/4 cup brown sugar. Or substitute up to 1/2 cup honey or molasses, and decrease milk to 3/4 cup. (Rita's note: I like mine on the sweeter side, so I add more sugar. ... Like a half a cup more. *runs off to brush teeth*)
Baking Powder: Use 2 tsp. If using whole or cooked grains or more than 1 cup of additions, increase to 3 tsp. If using buttermilk or sour milk, decrease to 1 tsp. and add 1/2 tsp baking soda.
Salt: Use 1/2 tsp., or omit if you have a salt-restricted diet.
The following ingredients are optional. Additions can be used in any combination, up to 1 1/2 cups total. If using more than 1 cup of wet additions, decrease the milk to 1/2 cup.
Dry Additions: Nuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, coconut, and so on.
Moist Additions: Blueberries, chopped apple, freshly shredded zucchini, shredded carrot, and so on.
Wet Additions: Pumpkin puree; applesauce; mashed, cooked sweet potato; mashed banana; mashed, cooked carrot, and so on. If using 1/2 cup drained, canned fruit or thawed shredded zucchini, substitute the syrup or zucchini liquid for all or part of the milk.
Spices: Use spices that complement the additions, such as 1 tsp. cinnamon with 1/4 tsp nutmeg or cloves. Try 2 tsp. grated orange or lemon peel.
Jellies and Jam: Fill cups half full with a plain batter. Add 1 tsp. jam or jelly and top with 2 more tbsp. batter.
Topping: Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the batter in the tins.
Non-sweet Combinations: Use only 2 tbsp. sugar and no fruit. Add combinations of the following: 1/2 cup shredded cheese, 3 strips fried and crumbled bacon, 2 tbsp. grated onion, 1/2 cup shredded zucchini, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese. Spices could include a tsp. of parsley and a pinch of marjoram.
Once you learn the basic combinations, here is your recipe:
2 to 2-1/2 cups grain
1 cup milk
Up to 1/4 cup fat
Up to 1/2 cup sweetener
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Up to 1-1/2 cups additions