Monday, February 20, 2012

Photo Dump Update

 Delaney and I had a little "self-portrait" fun after dinner a couple weeks ago!  She's far more photogenic than I am...obviously!

 We watch a lot of snow fall a couple weekends ago.  We even had an impromptu block party in the middle of the snow storm.  My camera was charging at the!
 Delaney has spent a lot of time lately playing dress-up.  She is finding everything she can to wear!  My shoes, Craig's shoes, hats, pants as hats, so fun! 
 Isn't she cute?
 We met the Aerni family at the Lincoln Children's Museum two weeks ago! 
 We got a family membership as a Christmas gift, and this is really going to be gift that keeps on giving the whole year through.
 Delaney loved watching herself on the TVs!  Maybe we have a little superstar on our hands!

 Demonstrating her jumping skills on the stage!
 Daddy might have just as much fun as Delaney did!
 Delaney took it upon herself to interrupt Parker and his Mommy's story time.  So nice of her!
These have been a little calmer here the last few days.  We all got a much needed break last weekend.  Delaney spent the night with Grandma & Papa B up in Tekamah while Craig and I celebrated our future sister-in-law's 21st birthday!  Jess & Nick came down too, so we all had a lot of fun!  Craig and I also got enjoy a belated Valentine's Day dinner out Saturday night while Mom & Dad stayed at the house with Delaney.  Aside from another small cold, we are all feeling much better now! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Not the picture I was going for, but she's still my little love bug!  Happy Valentine's Day from the Mencke family!  XOXO

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Keeping it real..

In an effort to keep this blog real and honest, I need to vent.  The last 18 hours as a parent of a soon-to-be 2-year old have been a challenge.  Delaney has exhibited some of her worst behavior to date, and my patience is definitely waning.  After a remarkably peaceful and successful week of potty training at home last week with lots of quality, fun time, she has taken a turn for the worse.  We had a few neighbors over for the Super Bowl Sunday night, so D was up about an hour later than normal.  I am assuming this is the root of this crazy behavior, if it's not I'm really in trouble. 

Delaney went back to Holly's yesterday, which obviously presented her with new potty training challenges.  She did all right, better than Craig & Holly expected and a little worse than I hoped for with 2 accidents.  All in all, we'll call it a wash and try to more success today.  I don't know if the excitement of being back with her friends at Holly's or the lack of sleep from the night before finally caught up with her, but last night (from 5:30-8:30 and this morning from 8 until 8:30 have been some of the most frustrating hours of being a parent). 

I'm trying to look at it with perspective, but in the heat of the moment it's been a nightmare.  She doesn't listen to a word coming out of my mouth.  One minute she's putting goldfish crackers in my clean crock pot while sitting in the middle of the kitchen table, and the next she's throwing a cup of water at me (that she had just requested!).  She didn't want to eat, go potty, or stay away from the hot stove.  She screamed all through her bath, refused pajamas, and demanded "Tinkle, Tinkle" a.k.a. "Twinkle, Twinkle" while running around naked as if her hair was on fire. This morning, she didn't want her hair done, her coat on before her hat, or her hat on without her coat.  She wanted her Mickey Mouse book in the car, not the Puppy book.  She didn't want Cheerios in her cup, she wanted Goldfish.  She wanted her Goldfish in a bowl, not the snack cup with the lid.  ALL of this is worthy of crying, stomping, and full on tantrum throwing.  She's even putting herself in Time-Out--might be a sign that we need a new method of discipline?!?

By the time she went to bed last night(meaning we put in her bed, kissed her good night, and walked out of the room), we were both in tears and beyond frustrated.  I was at my wits end with exhaustion, frustration, and guilt.  Craig didn't know what to do with either of us...poor guy, stuck in a house full of estrogen!  I feel like a horrible mother on days like's the worst feeling in the world.  I love that little girl more than life itself, but she's definitely testing me...  Thankfully, it seems as though so far she is saving all this behavior for me.

I've been praying for patience and wisdom to handle these situations better.  I can only guess we will have more and more of these nights as we inch closer to age 2 let alone the teenage years.  I just hope that I can handle them with more grace sooner rather than later.  I know how many people out there would kill for a chance to be a parent, and I know that there are many parents out there dealing with far more serious issues than the "Terrible 2s".  Don't get me wrong I see the big picture, but the small screen is kicking my butt!  I still can't help but love that little stinker!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Advertures in Potty Training

Disclaimer...I'm sure you all don't care about Delaney's bathroom habits, but I wanted to record this for future reference for myself.  I threw in the pictures to keep you entertained while I ramble on.

Well, we did it.  We have officially started the potty training process.  Last Saturday morning, Delaney said "Good-bye" to her diapers and opened three fun new sets of "Big Girl Pants".  Of course, she had no idea of what any of this meant, but we went with it.  I broke out my old running watch that has a nice little timer feature, and we went to work.  The words, "Delaney, do you need to go potty?" have become my new catch phrase.  I probably have asked her this 1,000 times in the last 4 days.  I'm sure she's just as tired of hearing it as I am of asking it.  She almost always replies, "No, Mommy!"  So, whenever we are nearing the 20-30 minute mark, I make her go sit and try.  She inevitably has to go every time.  Seriously, this girl is like a never ending fountain!  We made 25 successful trips to the Big Girl Potty yesterday alone...25, translation 50 M&Ms.

Yes, I am following a reward system.  After taking a poll of the best Moms I know and reading a lot on the subject online, I decided rewards were the way to go.  Positive reinforcement+the least amount of negativity (meaning, not screaming at her for an accident)=SUCCESS!  I know my kid loves her sweets, so I thought M&Ms would be a good choice...simple, low-mess, cheap, etc.  (The hardest part is keeping Craig out of the bowl!)  Anyway for every successful #1, she gets two M&Ms.  They are the Valentine's variety, so they are all pink and very girly!  She also gets one Elmo sticker to put on her board.  I bought this Elmo Potty coloring book for $2 at Target last week, and it came with this little poster tracking system, so I figured we'd give that a whirl too.  It also gives us something to talk about while she's "trying".  Most of the time I am reminder her of the rewards, she is not asking for them.

Successful #2 trips trigger a full on fiesta at our house.  There is singing, dancing, and lots of rewards!  She gets a small Sesame Street little toy figurine, 6 Smarties candies, One big punching balloon (6-pack out of the $1 section at Target), and a big Sesame Street sticker.  She is having lots of fun with all her new stuff.  Of course, Izzy HATES all the balloons, but the rest of us like them.  Delaney is understanding that she gets rewards for successes and nothing for the failures, but I don't think we are the point where she is just going for the candy...YET!  When we get there, we will stop the excessive rewards!

Generally speaking, we have had very few accidents since we began the process.  Four times each of the first three days, and then absolutely NONE yesterday!   Yesterday, she even started telling me when she needed to go BEFORE she was going.  PROGRESS!!!  We've been taking it one step at a time, so now we are working on the logistics.  Next up, pulling down her own pants.  I already know that as soon as she figures this out, it will backfire and we'll have a streaker running down the street!  Unfortunately, it's a risk we will have to take as sooner or later she has to be able to do this process on her own.  My little girl is growing up!
So, I initially though that I was wasting my time.  Holly is closed this week, and Delaney had some signs of readiness, so I thought we'd give it a try.  I didn't have high hopes or expectations.  We showed no improvement from Day 1-Day 3, and she showed really no interest in the process.  She didn't get mad when she had the accidents in her new pants.  She didn't care when I told her "we don't go potty in our pants".  She showed no inkling of understanding what we were trying to do!  She immediately recognized when she had an accident and told us, but she wasn't completely upset about it like I thought she might be.  She has also requested her "Dora pants" a few times, which I didn't think was a good sign!

Delaney is not ready for sleepy time potty training!  She just isn't!  She's too young, she sleeps too hard, she doesn't have enough control etc.  The first day I tried nap time with just "Big Girl Pants" and towels, and that was an epic fail.  We have been using Pull-ups for naps and overnight since, and so far it is working fine.  There is no regression between the two.  I'm completely fine with this system for a while.  She isn't even 2 yet, so I feel like there is no reason to push our luck.  She has even been waking up drier (not completely dry, but not soaked like normal) in the morning, so maybe we are making progress there too!  

So, we aren't there yet, but we have made some huge strides in the last few days.  We have 4 more days at home until life returns to normal, and Delaney goes back to Holly's.  I hope by then we are making less trips to the bathroom every day, and Delaney is able to handle more of the process for herself so she doesn't completely monopolize Holly's time.  I expected far more stress with this, so I am pleasantly surprised thus far.  The process of this is absolutely exhausting, but the thought of never having to buy diapers again (for Delaney at least) is amazing!  I'm so proud of my little, BIG girl!

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