Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Potty trained

After my bummer of a post yesterday regarding Spencer and his mouth I thought I would report some good news today. I'm going to call it and say that Elliott is potty trained.  I am sure that there will be an accident here and there, but the days of diapers are definitely behind us.  

We first tried potty training back in July when Elliott was 2 years 7 months old.   Spencer potty trained on his own in about 5 minutes when he was 2 years 6 months old, so we thought it would be no big deal.  We were wrong. Elliott had no interest and no ability either.  I gave up after 2 days because it was more mommy training than potty training.  And I refuse to do that. 

We tried again in September, and then October, then in early December and once again in January.  Each time was a disaster.  A disaster because 1) Elliott just wasn't ready and 2) He would have an accident and then we would get pissed (which is not good or helpful) and then give up (which is not good or helpful).   After the January incident I looked at the calendar and came up with a weekend that we weren't going anywhere and that I could be home all day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after.  Then I put that weekend on the calendar and started prepping Elliott that the diaper fairy was coming that weekend.  The diaper fairy would take all the diapers to give to babies that needed them and only leave 1 diaper per day for night time. 

Then I actually went on line to read about how to actually potty train a kid, since we never had to do it with Spencer.

The diaper fairy came over night on February 20th.  On the morning of the 21st Elliott threw a huge fit and refused to go on the potty when he woke up.  He peed in his diaper before we could take it off.  After that we pretty much left him naked for 5 days.  We told him that his poop and pee was now his responsibility and that if he made a mess he was responsible for cleaning it up.  The first 3 days we set the timer all day long.  He had to sit on the potty every 20ish minutes if he hadn't peed and every hourish if he had peed.

I also made this big chart and hung it in the hallway by the bathroom.

He got a sticker for just sitting, a Hershey kiss for peeing and a Disney character toy for pooping.
The first day he had one poop accident and one pee accident.  We were prepared.  We stayed calm, put gloves on him and made him clean up after himself.  We repeated that his poop and pee were his responsibility and we were no longer going to clean up after him. 
On day two he had one pee accident.  Unfortunately it was on the couch cushion and we are still dealing with how to completely remove the smell.  Our couch has been missing one cushion for more than a week now.

Day three and day four were perfect.  We even stopped setting the timer.  One day four I emptied the diaper bag and put it in the giveaway pile.  I bought this diaper bag (that's not really a diaper bag) at Target before I was ever even pregnant.  I just loved it.

Now, I loathe it.  I never want to see it again.
I've had the portable changing pad since Spencer was born.  And Megan gave me the wipes container when she had my baby shower for Elliott.
The Hershey's kisses were very, very motivating to Elliott when we started.  After a couple of days he forgot to get one almost every other time.  And now we've run out of them so he's getting an M&M each time.  Once we run out of those we'll just phase out the rewards.

He's also been totally motivated by the toys.  He already had a lot of these before we started, but he just loves them and can't wait to earn them each day.
Michael took the kids to Tucson last weekend and there was one poop accident while they were there.  There have been no more accidents since then.  

We have been telling Elliott for months that once he is potty trained he can start sleeping in the other bed in his room.  He's done so well that we let him last night.  He loved it.

We are letting him sleep for naps in his underwear and he hasn't had a single accident during a nap.  We tell him before each nap that if he pees or poops in his bed he will ruin his stuffed animals and he will have to clean everything up.  It's enough of a worry that if something happened at this point it would be a true accident.  I don't think he would do something on purpose now just to avoid going to the potty.  That was not the case even 3 weeks ago when he would intentionally poop during each nap, I think just to annoy us.
He was still waking up wet in the morning up until about 5 days ago, but for the last 5 days he has been totally dry in the morning.  Yesterday he even called out for me at about 6:30 am that he needed to pee.  He is still sleeping at night in a diaper, so that was big.  I think we're going to let him finish using the rest of the diapers that we have, um, er, that the diaper fairy brings for each night and then we'll try him in underwear at night.

And sometime soon we have to give him the $30 Sophia microphone that he picked and that we promised him for being potty trained.  Because, we're actually there.  He actually did it.  
Thank god.  He can go to preschool now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Continued orthodontic woes

Spencer had an appointment with the orthodontist last October.  It was a follow-up just to make sure everything was going OK since his slow fixed palate expander was removed about 18 months prior.  At that time (in October) his orthodontist saw some things (a lot of things, actually) he was concerned about and wanted us to come back much sooner than the 12 month follow-up schedule we had been on. 

We had that appointment on February 16th, but I haven't written about it yet because obviously I've been a blogging bum and have been struggling to even transfer pictures from my phone and camera to the computer.  It'd be nice if somebody could just snap their fingers to break me out of this funk.  You have my permission. 


Side note:
THIS is a post from 3.5 years ago with the beginning of Spencer's orthodontic woes, and THIS is a post from 2.5 years ago with what we will now call Phase I of  Spencer's orthodontic history, if you're interested. 


I knew it was going to be a long and serious appointment and I didn't want Elliott distracting me, so Michael stayed home with him while Spencer and I went to the appointment.

The first thing they did was a functional MRI.
They were specifically looking at his airway.

If you look at the color scale on the bottom of this image, anything on the right is good.  You want your airway to be blue, purple and white.  Anything on the left is bad.   Red, orange and yellow mean your airway is compromised.

There are also some numbers on there that are hard to see.  Anything in the 200 to 400 range is good.  The lower the numbers go the worse your airway is.  They said that 50 is a huge, very serious concern.

SPENCER IS A 32!!!!!!
His tonsils and adenoids are enormous and they are preventing him from getting adequate airflow.  This is not a surprise and I've been pushing to get his tonsils and adenoids removed since his was two, but he's never had strep throat or tonsillitis, so I've never found a doctor who would consider doing it.
The orthodontist sent these images to a maxilo-facial radiologist who wrote a big, fancy report for us that we're taking to an ENT next week.  The plan is to get his tonsils and adenoids out as soon as possible.  Which I'm totally fine with.  I had mine out when I was 24, which was horrific and not advised, so I'd like to save Spencer from suffering the same fate.
Moving on.  Because, yes, there is more.  Oh so much more.

This is the x-ray that was taken in October.  You can see Spencer's upper canine teeth were coming in at a bad angle.  They should be coming straight down, but his were more horizontal.  The orthodontist was hoping that once Spencer's adult front teeth grew in a little more it would make more space for the canines.
This is the x-ray from 2 weeks ago.  You can see that the canine's are actually coming in at a worse angle.  Like, almost completely horizontal on the right.

So, this is the plan.  And it's pretty awful.

We have an appointment with our dentist next week to see about getting his baby lateral incisors (the teeth next to the middle teeth) pulled.  The roots on them are really strong and they are not going to fall out anytime soon on their own.  But they need to come out so that those adult teeth can come down so that the adult canines can have more space to turn down.  If the dentist doesn't think he can extract them safely, we'll have to go to an oral surgeon.  And I guess we might as well just go to the same one that did my jaw surgery.  We'll see.

The day after the dentist appointment we see the ENT to talk about getting the tonsils and adenoids out ASAP.  It would be great if we could do it over spring break, but that happens the next two weeks and I doubt we'll have enough time.

Once the teeth and tonsils and adenoids are out, we'll go back in.  That will be in about 6 months.  At that time the orthodontist wants to put on a RAPID FIXED PALATE EXPANDER and force me to re-live one of the worst parts of my childhood and to inflict the same kind of  horrendous pain on my son.  He made it very clear that he never, ever, ever recommends or uses rapid fixed palate expanders, but that Spencer's mouth and his dental arch are about 7 billion times too small and this is the only option.  He did say that instead of turning the key to rip apart the bone and musculature twice a day we will do it once every three days.  So, there's that.

Once we have expanded his mouth enough he'll put a bar across the palate to keep it from closing while we do the first round of braces.  This will be a little more than a year from now.  The first round of braces will get his front teeth situated so that as he loses his baby teeth and grows his adult teeth they will have enough space and will be able to come in a little straighter.  Once that is done the braces will come off and we'll wait until he has all of his adult teeth before we do the second round of braces.  

And, that's pretty much all I have to say on the subject. because I'm still pretty traumatized about the whole thing........the pain, the commitment and the cost.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Valentine's Day decorations, way late

I put the Valentine's Day decorations out on February 1st.  We enjoyed the festive feeling they gave the house, but I didn't take any pictures until the day I took everything down on the 22nd.  This gives me one week to enjoy a decoration free house, for the first time since October 1st, before I break out the four leaf clovers and leprechauns.


I bought this little clip board frame after Christmas.  I'm pretty sure I have not shown it here on the blog yet. I'm using it to display pictures and seasonal things. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cough, cough, cough

So, about that title. Both kids have been sick for almost an entire week.  It's been as much fun as you might imagine.  Nobody slept well last week.  The kids have been sleeping better for the last two nights, but they are still coughing all night long, which wakes me up and keeps me up.  I'm almost at the point of a total mental meltdown from being under-rested for so long.  You'll have to excuse how disjointed this post is bound to be.  My  brain is slightly dysfunctional.  

Last Monday, before the kids were sick and we were still in Tucson, my brother brought his new old Nintendo over and hooked it up. It's new because it was just made and he just bought it.  It's old because it is an original Nintendo.  Some company is now making new old Nintendo's.  Can you believe it?

Anyway, he thought that Spencer might want to see the origins of Mario.

We drove home from Tucson that afternoon  It was President's day so nobody had work or school.  Spencer and I went to the orthodontist that afternoon.  That will be a huge post coming up this week. 

That night we were just about to put Elliott to bed when I realized it was the 16th and we hadn't done his 3 year 2 month photo shoot yet.  It's the first one I have almost missed.

I decided he could do it pantless and I would just crop the final one.


On Tuesday Elliott's eyes blew up.  He also started coughing this day.

On Wednesday he did some art on the floor.

On Thursday he coughed pretty much continuously the entire day and his eyes still looked horrible so I called and made a doctor's appointment for him for the next day.  And if you're wondering why Spencer is not in any of these pictures it's because he had a horrible week.  His asthma just gets so out of control whenever he has the slightest illness.  He was totally out of sorts all week.
\On Friday, while Michael took Elliott to the doctor where they found out that Elliott has "a cold", I worked.  I discovered a bird's nest in the fire alarm outside of my office.  I need to call and have somebody clear it out because those birds are in for a rude, "I'm dead now" surprise when that thing goes off.
That afternoon I made Elliott's new potty chart because we started real, serious potty training the next day.  That will also probably be its own post, but I will say that it's going better than we expected.
On Saturday I went to Target and Costco by myself because Spencer was still totally messed up with his asthma and we weren't letting Elliott leave the house in his newly undiapered state.  It was heavenly.  I made a joke on Facebook that it was 50 Shades of Bullseye.
I do have some fun posts in mind to write this week.  I just need to get some decent sleep before I can consider working on them.  My fingers are crossed and then brutally stomped on each night.