Saturday, January 30, 2010

Potty Training - Day #1

Friday was the day that we kicked off our potty training with Turbo.  Rick took the day off work so that one of us would always be by his side. We didn't know what to expect and if the transition would be difficult.

Thursday night I put out 10 pairs of underwear and 5 pairs of soft and ease to slide off/on pants. I also had some rags and cleanser ready for the accidents. Of course we had the step-stool and potty seat.

Friday morning I went into get Turbo.  He was happy as usual and ready to start the day. I decided to start with underwear after breakfast so he would be able to run to the potty when needed.  After breakfast and a little play, I told him that today was the day we were going to go on the potty.  Now I should say that for the previous 3 days, I told him that he would be going pee/poo on the potty starting Friday. Still, he seemed a bit surprised, but I was already pulling down his pants and removing his diaper. I decided to leave off his underwear for a bit to help reinforce that something was different - plus, 2 year olds LOVE to be naked. He was so excited about being without pants that he took off his shirt too. I have some adorable pictures of that little tushy running around, but cropped them for a little privacy.  It wasn't long before we put the underwear on, but it was a fun transition for him.

The day went super easy! Rick and I kept saying we must be missing something it's going so well!  There was one time that Turbo was on his own, Rick was occupied with Sweet Pea and I was cleaning up the lunch dishes, all of a sudden we hear the toilet lid go up and the sound of him peeing all on his own.  WOOHOO.   There was two times during the day that he asked for a diaper. We're assuming because he had to poo.  Of course we told him that he was a big boy now and wore underwear and went on the potty. He managed to hold it in the entire day.   So as bedtime approached, we celebrated a wonderful and successful day potty training.   No fighting, No whining and No Accidents.  It was a dream day.  

Since I'm behind in posting, I'll soon be posting about Day 2. Stay tuned to see if the 2nd day went as smoothly as the first.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January Update #1

Goodness, it's been awhile since my last post! I've missed blogging and sharing our lives this past month.  It's hard to believe we've only been home three weeks! We've fit so much into that time.  That first week home we got some organization projects completed that had been lingering. The best part is that I now have more room for my TotSchool supplies!  Here's my closet almost entirely dedicated to his TotSchool - there's more room to the left and another shelf up top and room below the last shelf. YEA!

Then last week my Mom came for a visit. It's always fun when she's here. The kids absolutely adore her and she spends tons of time with them. Her visit was great timing because Rick was traveling and it rained the ENTIRE week. It was nice for all of us to have the company! For several weeks last year she was in India training their offshore staff, so she brought us some treasures from there. She brought Turbo some instruments made from wood and reeds. They are lovely and absolutely treasured by my musical boy.  There were gifts for all of us that are just lovely and very 'India'. We are so grateful for all she did to buy and bring them to us!!  She's going back again in March, so it will be a few months until we see her again.

This week we're undertaking potty training. YEP! Starting tomorrow Turbo will be in underware!  Rick and I are both excited and nervous about it.  The timing is really perfect since with Sweet Pea's nap and Turbo's rest schedule, we're home most of the day anyway. Plus Rick's parents will be here part of each week in February and the extra attention and time for Turbo will really help with the training.  I'll be posting every day with our progress, more about the 'method' we're planning to use and how it evolves over the first few days. Stay Tuned & wish us luck!!

January Update #2 - COUPONS

2010 is going to be a great year - I can feel it already.  I have written out most of my goals for this year and a plan on attaining them.  One of my plans is to use our money more wisely. I want to be spending less and getting more for my dollar.  My biggest focus for January has been learning to use coupons, rebates and sales to stretch our money for groceries.  We returned home on Jan 5th and that first weekend I went out to the stores, armed with my coupons and scored some incredible deals!! Seriously, I can't believe how much money I had been wasting by being uneducated in the strategies of sales, coupons and rebates.  Does it take time? Yep! In fact those first two weeks it took a LOT of time.  It was an investment and one that I happily made. Seriously when you see that big "You saved 70%" at the bottom of your grocery receipt, you realize it was time well spent.  See that $79.48, that's what I saved.

So let me tell you, I am now THAT mom, the one with the big basket of groceries and handfuls of coupons that you DO NOT want to be behind in the checkout line! I have a funny story, I purchased a bunch of groceries at Safeway and after my coupons it came to $.08 - yep - even the checker was impressed.  When I went to swipe my credit card, she couldn't believe I didn't have $.08 and had to use my cc for the transaction. She razzed me a bit, in good fun.  When I got home and told Rick about it, he laughed and made me start carrying a quarter with me for my next super deal!

February plans are to make all the phone calls to reduce or comparison shop our monthly and annual expenses such as insurance, cable, etc. 

Do you have any strategies to save your family money this year?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We're Home again!

We've been gone for awhile and I've missed blogging!  We traveled to Pittsburgh to visit my husband's family. He has a large immediate family and a huge extended family (think of the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding") in both the Pittsburgh and Allentown areas.  While visiting his parents, we were blessed to see all his siblings and many of the cousins that were also home for Christmas. It was non-stop visiting! The best part was watching all the kids running around, playing and having so much fun together. There was such a sense of family and love - even with the kids.  For part of our trip we drove to the other side of Pennsylvania to visit Rick's Grandmother (Dad's Mom) and all the family on that side.  It was a very special time to be together.   I'll be posting updates over the next week or so with pictures from our visit.

I must take a Mommy bragging moment here - MY KIDS ARE AMAZING!!  Travel is tough for little ones with our very early and long travel days, TONS of new people all at one time, off schedules, many different enviornments, not as much dedicated time with Mommy, different foods, not all the favorite books, etc.  My kids were terrific!!!!  Turbo was excited to be in new places and did great on all the travel days (air and car!) I was so happy at his behavior - he kept his humor and easy going nature for the entire trip.  Sweet Pea was sweet and adorable during the days. She was fine being passed around and smiled/laughed for everyone.  Yes, they are absolutely amazing.

Now, before you think it's all a picture print by Currier and Ives, we did have major sleeping challenges. Basically one or the other seemed to be up constantly throughout the night and only Mommy would do. Sweet Pea screamed during bedtimes like I'd never heard her do before and was so out of sorts I thought she needed to go to the doctor! After a day she was better, but not completely herself as she wouldn't sleep by herself for naps or bed. So I napped her in the carrier or held her. It was so nice to have the time to just hold her - I didn't mind. As for the nights, let me just say, I am still amazed at how little sleep a Mommy requires.  Honestly, it was inconsequential compared to the memories we created.

While visits are fun, there's also a joy in coming back home and settling back into routine. Next week we'll start TotSchool and our other activities again. More posting to come!