Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Potty Training!

I have wonderful news! At two years and 5 months old, Canaan is potty training! Actually, he is almost completely potty trained now. We are SO proud! Up until this point, he was not interested in going in the potty, though he would occasionally at bathtime. Most of the time if we asked him if he wanted to go, he would say, "No!" So, once we got over the initial hump of not wanting to do this (this took the whole first day and some strong persuasion), we were doing great!

Semi-Method- We did a loose method of full blown potty training as suggested in the book on Potty Training by the people who put out the Babywise books. They say that once big boy underwear goes on, there are no more diapers! (We let Canaan sleep in diapers for now b/c we don't have a matress protector yet.) We set aside about 3 days where we weren't going anywhere (Canaan, Max and I) or doing anything except potty training. I fed Canaan crackers all day so that he would drink all day, thus making him need to "go" more and get extra practice. The premise is to encourage "dry-ness" rather than going in the potty. We encouraged both. I would ask him every 5 minutes if he was dry. We would feel his underwear and give high fives and "good jobs" when he was dry. When he peed in the potty, he got an M&M or a sticker on his potty chart. If he started going in his underwear but stopped and finished in the potty, he still got an M&M. The first two days, we hung out only in his bedroom. I turned the heater on and dressed him in a shirt and his underwear with no pants or socks (no socks b/c they just got wet when he had an accident in his underwear). Oh, we had a kid training potty too that was in his bedroom for easy access!

DAY ONE- The first day, we put on "big boy underwear" and read our potty book that we have been reading the past few months. We talked about going in the potty. I would ask him if he was dry. Whenever I asked him if he needed to pee in his potty, he invariable said, "no." After two accidents, I stopped asking if he wanted to pee, but rather told him that he needed to try to pee in the potty. This was accompanied with much crying. The first time, we waited on the potty for a little bit, but as soon as he got up and pulled up his underwear, he went in them. Ummm. The next time, we waited at the potty for 10 minutes, while he cried the whole time. But it all ended when he finally peed! Yeah. Success at last! The next time I told him he needed to try, the time was halved (for crying and how long it took him to go). After that, there was just a little complaining each time, but he usually would go quickly. Asking him if he was dry every few minutes helped remind him that he was in big boy underwear and not in a diaper any more. He had about 7 accidents and about 10 full success that day. Some of the accidents were just half accidents- he would start in his underwear, but stop and finish in the potty. We quickly figured out that Canaan prefered to stand when he used the potty- which is fine, just a bit messy if done without a bit of help!

DAY TWO- Only two accidents! Mommy and Daddy are so proud and so hopeful! Is it really going to be this easy?

DAYS THREE and FOUR- Things were going so well, we transitioned to the big boy potty. Canaan stands on a step stool to pee. Only one accident each day! AND, to top it off, Canaan started asking to go the potty regularly without being reminded!!! We had church at David and Livia's and he even went at their house. This meant a new environment and a friend to play with- but he still stopped to ask to potty! Mommy and Daddy can't believe he is being such a big boy and that this is going so well!

DAY FIVE- We took our first extended outing: to the mall! I was a bit worried and put on plastic underwear over his regular underwear and packed an extra pair of EVERYTHING for him. He asked twice to go the bathroom and we made it to the bathroom each time! Mommy and Daddy are ecstatic!

DAY SIX- Today we are on day six. His accidents the past few days have only been involving "#2." He will start to go in his underwear, realize what is happening, and then go to the potty to finish. He still needs help getting his underwear and pants fully off and on, though he does the majority by himself. We are about to finish our pack of M&M's, and that will probably be the end of gift rewards. Of course we will probably continue praising him and telling him what a big boy he is! He will sometimes tell me, "I am so proud of ME!" when he goes in the potty! What a funny boy I have! Mommy and Daddy feel SOOO blessed!

SIDE NOTE- Canaan loved picking out his M&M's. He ate first all the yellow and brown ones. Those are his favorite colors! :) And, Canaan has woken up from almost all his naps completely dry, and occasionally completely dry in the mornings too!

Apartment Pictures

Hi everyone! Well, we spent most of the month of February with our apartment torn apart. Not only were we taking care of an infant and had an extra person staying with us (my Mom- who was tons of help!), but we were getting some work done on our apartment to make it more liveable and homelike. One of the changes was the new wallpaper that was put up. Here are some before and after pictures of different rooms. Hope you enjoy.
PS. Some of the pictures are blurring. Sorry about that!
Notice the rug hanging on the wall? That is very Soviet style. There were rugs hanging on the walls of both the bedrooms when we moved in. They came down quickly. :)

-Isn't the "road rug" incredible cute? Dougle found it as a scrap on clearance at a building store! What a awesome Daddy! We hop e to get some decorations up on the walls soon.

This picture doesn't do the terribleness of this room proper justice! The livingroom was VERY dark (poor lighting), and the wallpaper was a bit overwhelmingly brown. I told Dougle I felt like I was living in a cave when in the livingroom!

The whole place brightened up after this lighter color was put up. Plus we got some lamps to help out, a rug and a new couch (the ones that came with the apartment were ripped and peices were broken off that exposed sharp edges and screws).

This is a blurry picture, but we were cleaning the kitchen. When we moved in, the whole kitchen and everything in it was covered with a film of grease. It was gross, but the cabinets all looked like new after we were done! Notice also the floor and the wallpaper patterns!


We got new tile (the tile was falling off the wall and there were chunks of cement wall exposed where there was tile missing), new wallpaper, new lights/ceiling, and new flooring. The cabinets and large appliances are the same.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Growing Updates

Canaan is almost two years, five months old! I must admit, I was
 talking the other day about how I thought Canaan would have lots mo
re hair at this point than he does! His hair HAS grown a lot, but it looks like baby fuzz, thin and sparce. It is also a light brown color, so you can't see what he does have very well. But, I think his lack of hair makes him incredibly cute. Besides, I don't think I am ready to have to start FIXING hair yet! Especially since we are still in hat weather. 

Canaan talks more and more everyday. He always talks in sentences, t
hough at times they are grammatically and humorously incorrect. He uses new phrases all the time that he picks up. Have I mentioned that he talks a lot? Well, he talks constantly. 
All day long there is a little voice not far, talking to m
e about something, asking me questions, commentating on what is happening, etc. I have decided he would be a WONDERFUL companion for a blind person, since he narrates everything he does, as well as what others are doing. Dougle thinks he would make a great sports commen
I am not sure Max will ever start talking, because I am not sure he will be able to get a work in edge-wise! Ha. Once we were taking a walk when my mom was here. Canaan and Max were in the stroller and we had the rain guard over them to keep them from the wet rain-snow slush that was falling. After walking about 10 minutes down the street, my Mom commented on how this was the longest she had heard Canaan be quiet. I disagreed. I speculated that he hadn't been quiet, we just couldn't hear him. Sure enough, we bent down close to him and could hear him chattering about the busses and cars passing us by on the road!

He is just now starting to pick up on a few Russian words, beyond the numbers, hello, goodbye, please and thank you that he has known for a while. He understands mo
re Russian than he speaks. And when I try to pointedly work with him on Russian words, he usually just says, "Mommy, no speak Russian." I imagine the more time we start spending with Ukrainians, the faster and the more he will start picking it up. Recently, though, we've just been inside our house...having a new baby has done that to us! :)

Canaan has started doing summer-salts, thanks to the instruction of his fine teacher and uncle: David. He does them really well, I think, getting over his head and going straight most of the time. Mommy does them well too, since he likes me to do them with him sometimes! He started jumping a month or two ago. He loves to jump in place or do a skip-jump. In our apartment, I just try to have him jump on the carpet so as not to disturb completely our neighbors below us! He has also taken a step up in his drawing. For a long time, he would just draw straight horizontal or vertical lines. Then we learned squiggles and circles and he would just scribble sometimes. The other day, he started drawing faces of people. We draw faces for each member of our family and put different hair styles on them to tell them apart. Well, the other day, he drew a circle (a two year old circle, anyway) and put eyes and a mouth in it, as well as some hair on top! I was SOOOO IMPRESSED. Of course, I am the Mom, so I am supposed to be so impressed and proud of everything he does. But, for his age, I think it was amazing! :) He has also started noticing the lines on coloring book pictures and has started to stay somewhat inside the lines. This is VERY new, as of 2 days ago. He still goes outside the lines quite a bit, but it is more concentrated scribbling and most of it is inside the lines of the main picture. 


I really thought Canaan was such a good baby. He had his challenging moments, but he was overall a good baby. I was really scared that Max was going to be my problem child. So far, he is a dream baby! 

Today, at six weeks old, I laid Max down to cry himself to sleep. He sleeps well in his bed every night, but during the day he wants to be held. After holding him a majority of the morning and early afternoon (while attempting to potty train Canaan), I decided he needed to nap on his own this afternoon. Plus, he was fussy and just wouldn't sleep well in my arms. Canaan, at nine weeks old, cried for 90 minutes before falling asleep. Max cried for all of 4 1/2 minutes and fell asleep. Then, he slept like a baby for three hours. Life is wonderful for this Mommy! 

Max is a pacifier baby. He loves his paci and often falls to sleep only if is he sucking on one. So far, his preference is for Advent pacifiers, while Canaan's was for Mams. And we've been giving him a pacifier since day 2, but he still is a great nurser as well. In fact, he eats so well that at his 4 week check-up, he weighed a healthy 10 lbs, 2 ounces! He had gained 2 pounds in his first four weeks of life! He is definitely my chubby baby. Canaan never had a fat roll on him. He was skinny, except for his face/cheeks, which made him look like a chunk. Max, however, has the cutest little rolls around his thighs and tooshy. I am having to remember to clean his diaper area between the rolls, something I never had to worry about with Canaan! Max also grew almost an inch during his first four weeks. He is just taking off!

Max rolled over for the first time at 4 weeks old!! We are in awe. He has rolled, from his tummy to his back, several times since. I think he is a bit ahead of the rolling curve for his age!

Other miscilaneous information about our newest addition is that Max still doesn't cry in his baths. He cried a tiny bit during his first baths, but since has not cried. He doesn't like having his face wiped off, but I often have to clean his little eyes because he has a lot of mucous and sleepers that matt his eyes; I think it must be from a clogged tear duct. Max proved to be a great car sleeper. On our recent trip to Donetsk, he slept almost the whole trip, and while he was awake, he just looked out the window at the sky. Max also has some pretty big cheeks. They are starting to get a little hang-dog look. Adorable! And, in case anyone was wondering, he still has about one diaper every 5-6 days. 

Tales of a Two Year Old Toddler

So, I am amazed at how much Canaan talks and the things he picks up on. I've been wanting to write a post with funny things, so I have been trying to keep track of them when I can. He says so many funny things, but if I don't write them down, I just forget. Here are a few things we've chuckled over recently! 
I want to try to keep writing down funny things so I will remember and can share them periodically with you all!

Potty Time
When Canaan first went #2 in the potty (he's just done it once- we are about to start serious potty training soon), he was just as amazed and surprised as we were. He was sitting on the toilet, looking down between his legs at the water and said, "Mommy, there is a fish! I made a fish!" When we flushed after he was finished, he looked back into the potty and asked, "Where did the fish go?" 

A Way Around It
Canaan: Don't watch me Mommy. (He was coloring.)
Mommy: I can watch you if I want.
Canaan: No!
Mommy: Don't tell me 'no.' 
Canaan: Mommy, go over there and do more dishes!

It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To
When Canaan starts getting grumpy or whiney or is crying over something he should be (like crying because he has to share), then we send him to his room to cry. Sometimes I will ask if he wants to go cry in his room. Every-once-in-a-while, he will say Yes. Stinker. So, I will send him. The other day, he was whiney about something and he just looked at me and said, "I cry here in the LIVINGROOM, Mommy!"

Double Meaning
Mommy: (Talking to Daddy) That would be nice.
Canaan: Be nice: share with Chi and Silas!
Can you tell what we are STILL working on with Canaan??!!

From the Mouth of Babes
Recently we returned from a road trip. (More about that on our other blog.) As we were driving down the road, we chatted about the nature with Canaan some. We talked about the trees and clouds, etc. Later, out of the blue, Dougle and I paused in a conversation we were having as Canaan started: Dear God, (I looked back and his hands were folded in his lap.) Thank you for the trees. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

A Matter of Perspective
So, sometimes Canaan likes to hold Max. One time he said, "I carry Max." I looked over at him, and he had his small little hands cupped together, like Max would fit right there in them! Another time, I had Max's head laying across his lap and his body on the couch. After a few minutes, Max's hand flopped over onto Canaan's leg from where it had been on Max's own stomach. Though he was holding Max this whole time, at this point Canaan cried out to me, "Mommy, Max NO touch me!" What a crazy kid! 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I love being a Mommy!

Today I am very thankful for my 3 boys. I love being a wife. I tell Dougle how glad I am that he is stuck with me forever! And I love being a Mommy too. It is wonderful in so many ways that I wouldn't have imagined. As Canaan grows older, we wonder what we did to deserve him! He cracks us up all the time. And he is so much more wonderful and different than anything I imagined a child of Dougle and I's to be. For one, he talks non-stop. And he is a little ham. When he is around people he knows, he loves being the center of attention. We just love him and laugh at him all the time! And Max is such a blessing too. We are enjoying everyday of his babyhood and look forward to watching him as he grows and develops too!
Here are just some random things I've wanted to write about lately that have to do with the boys. Hope you enjoy!

  • Max only has a poopy diaper once every 4-6 days. Crazy, but nice. However, he does have STINKY gas everyday, making him our little "stinker."
  • Max had a 4 week doctor visit, in which he weighed 10 lbs 2 oz. He has gained 2 pounds since birth! He also has grown almost an inch. 
  • Max has lots more sleepers and eye gunk than I remember Canaan having. And, I noticed he looked bow-legged, but looked it up. Did you know all babyies are bow legged?! Interesting. They straighten out naturally when they start walking. 
  • I love it now that Max is starting to focus on more things he looks at. It is precious when he looks up into my eyes, though he is more often drawn to look at my unruly hairdoes- especially in the morning before I've showered!
  • Canaan has started drawing "people" on his white board. He draws a circle for the face and puts two eyes (most of the time inside the circle!), a mouth and sometimes hair. It is so cute! He even tells us who he drew. 
  • When Max starts fussing a bit (which is very rare), Canaan runs and gets a "fire" (pacifier) and puts it in his mouth as he says, "Here you go Max." 
  • Canaan has just started asking me to put Max down in his bouncy chair so I can play with him. When I can, Max does great. But sometimes he asks when I am feeding Max and I have to explain that I can't. The other day he asked me to let Daddy feed Max- and I had to tell him that wouldn't work very well! 
  • Canaan has started to pick out his own clothes now. His favorite shirt to wear is a striped sweater that Ernestine Maynard bought him a long time ago. He chooses it everytime he sees it. On warm days, I have to hide it so he won't sweat wearing it all day! And he likes to tell people what he is wearing...what shirt, pants, socks, etc. And when we tell him to get ready to go, he tells us what all we need to put, coat and his Lightning McQueen hat!
  • Max is a great sleeper. He is on a 3 hours schedule at nights, but slept 4 hours last night!
  • Canaan has recently started to do multiple piece puzzles! I am amazed. We have a 16 and 24 piece puzzle and he does very well on them!
  • Ever since we brought Max home, Canaan has seemed so much bigger than he was before! At first, he felt SO MUCH heavier than I remembered, and so much older than I remembered him being. I guess he wasn't my baby anymore- I was all of a sudden aware I had more of a toddler in Canaan!
  • Canaan's favorite color recently is yellow. He chooses yellow things over any other color.
  • Canaan loves corn and peas still. (If I could only get him to eat fruit!) He also loves peanut butter and chicken nuggets. And, he takes after his Mommy in that he loves Chocolate! He will randomly ask for cookies, brownies or cake during the day! Silly boy. And he only drinks milk, water and orange juice, though he thinks he would like to drink coke. We are putting that one off as long as we can!  
  • Canaan likes to sing, when it is his idea. Of course, he also will sing, even if he doesn't initially want to, if Daddy and I BOTH are singing. He loves the song "Jingle Bells" from a movie he has been watching. And he even sits and tries to sing with us during group and church. It is great! When we get in the car, he always requests the music be turned on. 
  • Though I love motherhood, I do find myself looking forward to nap times during the day!It is nice having time to rest or catch up on things while Canaan- and of course, Max- sleep. What will I do when Canaan stops napping? Hopefully it won't be for a long time!! :)
Hope you enjoyed the random facts of our life recently!