Book Report: Oh Crap! Potty Training

I got my steps in this weekend by sprinting after a naked toddler, who was running laps around our house while cupping her bottom with her tiny hand. Thanks, potty training!

Boy, teaching a human to put his/her excrement in a mini loo is all sorts of something, but we did it (well, we’re doing it…).

I felt all the feels in four days, in no particular order:

  • anxiety (constantly)
  • fear
  • elation
  • pride (a fair amount of this one, especially toward the end)
  • joy
  • terror
  • exhaustion (lots of this one)
  • empathy
  • etc.

If you draw an EKG mixed with clockwise and counter-clockwise cycles, and you have a good picture of my mental state.

Anyway, thanks to Lucie’s List (seriously the best pregnancy/parenting site EVER), I learned about “Oh Crap! Potty Training,” which is now my pee and poo bible. I clung to this paperback like flotsam in a very rocky sea, and I will tell you right now, Jamie Glowacki is the guru of sh*t.

I followed her instructions, took solace in her empathetic guidance, and we rocked the potty training. I am so proud of my kid. We had some dark moments this weekend, but by the end of day two, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and trust that it wasn’t an oncoming choo choo.

When I dropped her off at school this morning, I walked into class singing “guess who’s potty trained?!” and her teachers just stared at me in amazement and slack-jawed disbelief (although, in fairness, one of them said she knew the little one would take to the potty easily).

I mean, look – we have a long road ahead of us; I know this. We’re not done. I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch, and I will be at peace if my toddler comes home today in the fifth of five outfits I packed for her*. But for anyone out there struggling with potty training, or dreading going through this, do yourself a massive favor and get this book. You, your toddler, and everyone in your life can thank me later.

Other Helpful Items

A good book for your toddler

A safe place to put pee and poo

A safe place to put pee and poo on the go

A way to drown your feelings or cheers your accomplishments

A device to track those toddler-chasing steps

 

*Update – she had ONE accident her first day back at school. ONE. And it was the #2 kind. Poop is still scary, but man, I am so excited for this new chapter!

Must Watch – The Crown

Remember a few years ago, when Netflix was a DVD distribution company, and they announced they were rebranding as Quickster (sp?), and that Netflix would be for streaming content, and the world was all like “go home, Netflix; you’re drunk.” Then Netflix quickly tucked its tail, ran home, and came back with its life-altering streaming services, and now we’re all like “please take our money!”

Well, I remember. And I remember when Netflix started bankrolling their own content, with now-household names like Orange Is The New Black,  House of Cards, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (hallelujah!). 

After finishing the Gilmore Girls revival this weekend (insert sobbing emoji), I decided to check out The Crown, also from Netflix. I’m two episodes in, and Oh My Gawd. Y’all. Sooooooooo good!!! Each episode is like an hourlong movie. The cinematic quality is spectacular. The soundtrack is divine. The acting, the costumes… I’m eating it up with a royally big spoon. 

Check it out!

And thank you, Netflix. You keep doing you, you rockstar. 

Book Report: Beekle

I’m baaaaaaaack!

I make absolutely no promises regarding posting frequency, but I would love to share the occasional update. A lot (a lot a lot a lot) has changed in the past few years, but one thing remains: my devotion to and obsession with reading. I now share this passion and nightly ritual with the most brilliant and hilarious toddler. We snuggle up each evening and select a few books to read together, and she takes my breath away as she grows and learns.

Unsurprisingly, I have strong opinions about children’s books, so we only read the good stuff. I figured this site was a good avenue for sharing our favorite finds!

To start, I’m sharing the current most-loved book: The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. The story is so sweet (about an imaginary being’s quest to find his friend). There’s a lot going on on each page, so we both find something new at every reading. We’re also learning new words, like “panda” and “octopus.” Really, this is a home run if you’re looking for a great gift, or if you’re just WORN THE HECK OUT from all the other books in rotation.

Plus, it is so stinking cute to hear a toddler say “Beekle.”

Enjoy!

 

The World’s Most Effective Alarm Clock

{Insert infomercial music here.}

Do you struggle to wake up every morning? Tired of hitting the snooze again and again? Wish you could rocket out of bed to greet the day?

Forget those high-priced alarm clocks that we all know don’t work.

Instead, allow me to introduce you to the world’s best, most effective alarm clock! GUARANTEED to get your heart pumping with adrenaline, your eyes wide open, your brain rid of any sleep, and your feet on the floor and sprinting!

Are you ready?!

It’s called… The Barfing Dog!*

Here’s how it works, step by step:

  1. Get dog
  2. Leave dog alone, unattended in house for a few hours with easy access to garbage (ensure garbage is stinky enough to attract dog)
  3. Come back, clean up garbage strewn across the house, and feed dog dinner
  4. Go to bed, allowing dog to join you (like you have a choice, but let’s pretend you do)
  5. Go to sleep; the deeper sleep, the better
  6. At a time not requested nor controllable, dog will crawl up to your head and and begin to barf onto your pillow. At the first guttural sound of “bleeeeeeechhhhh,” you will awake with heart-exploding alacrity, screaming “NOOOOOOOOO!!!” It’s like magic!
  7. Sprint across house holding barfing dog, depositing dog outside
  8. Strip entire bed and wash sheets in the middle of the night
  9. Do not go back to sleep
  10. Go to work! Embrace the day! You are AWAKE!

 

The Barfing Dog! is patent-pending.

Hey pretty lady
Deceptively adorable. Ridiculously pukey.

Yard Work Superpowers

First, I will say that I think I need to amend my daily workouts to help me better prepare for “real life.”

My husband woke up about an hour before I did yesterday to get a jump on yard work so that I could be helpful whenever I made my way out of bed. So I felt especially badly that after only about :30 minutes of me picking up leaves yesterday, he found me plopped on my back in the front yard whilst he continued to vigorously rake and rake and rake (and rake, and rake). I now know why he curses at the acorns or leaves when they just fall with reckless abandon after he works for hours in the yard. That sh*t is annoying.

After lunch, with all the piles of leaves now safely in bags, he was scrounging for ways I could help while staying out of the way, so he set me up to use the leaf blower (those dang leaves…) to clear off the drive and walkway. I’ve never used one of these before, and it is trickier than you might think, particularly if it’s windy, and doubly so if your next door neighbors are outside, watching you. I tried really hard not to blow the leaves into the neighbor’s yard, but there was really no helping it for this novice. I have no doubt that I looked rather dumb, or inconsiderate, or both, so I finally just gave up, figuring the wind would blow the leaves wherever in any case.

I did, however, very much enjoy watching the leaves rocket away from my feet; it made me feel like I was an X-Man with wind superpowers, just willing away debris in my path.

That part was awesome. And totally nerdy.

Newlywed-ness

This is my first post in a very long (verrrrry long) time. About a year ago, someone very special asked me to marry him, and in February 2013, we tied the knot. And, with about a month under my belt, I can say that I love being married. To know that, while life is short, our lives will now forever be intertwined is a cool, surreal feeling.

I feel like I spent my life heretofore as a sprinter, and now I’m settling in for the marathon, and it’s a total shift of mind, body, and spirit. Even in this newness, there is hard work, but there is joy. And in each day, I want to do good, to do right, and to laugh.

Image

Here’s a little story that has been tickling my funny-bone for the past few days:

My husband is well-regarded in his family (and by me) as a most excellent giver of gifts. I have no doubt that on my birthday next week, I will receive a healthy mix of the practical and the frivolous/pretty. I’ve made comments here and there about what I might like to receive, and he nods, filing the information away in that elephantine memory of his. 

This weekend, he borrowed my car to drive to see his extended family for a rainy afternoon, and when he returned he proudly announced: “I know what I’m getting you for your birthday this year!”

“Oh?” I coyly replied, sitting on the couch as he puttered around in the kitchen.

“Yep! One of those little umbrellas that fit in the door of your car.”

At this point, I’m staring forward, and he’s a few feet behind me. I can feel his eyes on the back of my head, and the horror that washes over him as he realizes what he’s just said is palpable. I say nothing, as he quickly covers his tracks, assuring me that he will certainly be getting me another present, too.

He laughs, and says, “I mean, that would be like getting you a vacuum cleaner for your birthday; I know better than that.”

I laugh, too, knowing all is well. He pauses and mutters, “though we do need a new vacuum cleaner…”

The Time Machine

My mind? Blown.

Mad Men returns this Sunday night (eek!), and Newsweek took the opportunity to create a retro-yet-current issue, highlighting real time stories, up-to-date news compared with where we were in the 60’s, plus a few photos and reports from over 40 years ago. I have never consumed a magazine quite so… rabidly. I am feasting on every single page: what is new, what is old? It is a vortex of eras, and I am spin, spin, spinning in it.

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The best part? The ads.

I notice ads. I dissect them – the visual and verbal messages, the intent and position. I am ruthless yet respectful. But these ads are fun. I am (dare I say it?) proud of these agencies and companies who either dug into the archives to resurrect art that has been collecting dust for a few decades, or created something appropriate even though the company on display has only been around this century. [AT&T? You really could have done something special. I’m not even going to show your lazy 4G ad here!]

I’m still pouring over the pages, but when I came to this Allstate ad, I just HAD to stop and write this post. Up until the below ad, the prior displays were cool but disconcerting, leaving my brain on unsure footing: QR codes and web addresses juxtaposed with decidedly-1960s set-ups. But, in my opinion, Allstate and their hilarious Mayhem nailed this issue; it is perfectly, delightfully anachronistic when it ends with “In 47 years, visit http://www.Allstate.com.” Genius.

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Well done, Newsweek.