20 Months

June 4th marks Bubba’s 20 month day, which means…. four more months until he turns two! The early days absolutely did not fly by but now things seem to be moving along much faster. Good and bad, I suppose. He is starting to have a favorite stuffed animal during the last few weeks. By and large he completely ignored this sheep that has been in the corner of his bed since around late summer or early fall of last year. Recently he showed some interest in it and I gave it to him during a nursing session to keep his little hands busy. We also have explored Sheepy’s features, pointing out his ears and nose along with Bubba’s ears and nose. Now he has Sheepy for pretty much every nap and even had Sheepy his in hands when he woke up early yesterday morning to move from his bed to our bed.

Bubba has also learned a lot of body parts, including nose, mouth, teeth/tongue (still working on the specifics of that), chin, ears, knees, toes, and hands. We are working on cheeks and elbows at the moment. He is willing to follow simple directions to copy things in books like clapping, stretching his arms up, and kissing.

Potty learning is still ongoing. Within the last week or two, Bubba has started signing potty occasionally. The kicker is that it is only AFTER going in his trainer. Still a step forward is a step forward.  He seems to be more willing and able to hold it in when we’re out and about. He holds it longer then than he will at home.

We are planning on going camping at least once in July and possibly again in August by ourselves for the first time since we’ve been
married and for the first time with a toddler. We purchased a 6-person tent and I’ve started making a list of supplies to collect or borrow. We are both pretty excited to camp and also to see how Bubba does with camping. He really enjoys exploring, collecting, digging, and playing with water so I’m pretty sure he is going to have a great time. I’m only really worried about dealing with him and the fire and how well he will sleep. We’ve made arrangements to board our dogs. I wish they were better behaved so we could bring them with us. Unfortunately none of our friends or family is available for dog-sitting next month, so they’re going to be stuck in cages for a few days. After our big July trip, we may try some weekend camping (if sites are available) at some of the local area campgrounds. We are fortunate to have a number of options that are very close by. I am figuring we can see how the dogs do on a trip or two when we have the option of driving back home and dropping them off for the day or night if they’re being too obnoxious or loud. I have fond memories of camping growing up and I would like to share that with Bubba. I’ve also been checking out campground options in between our home and where my parents live. They are about 6 hours away, so it would be nice if we could find a middle ground to meet up at if they’re able to camp with us.

In health news, I’ve been suffering through allergies for about a month. I take Claratin but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t help that much because there have been plenty of days where I am laid out unable to do anything but lay around miserable. I ran out of Claratin at the end of May and decided not to purchase anymore because theoretically I should be almost done with my  spring time allergies. I am planning on going to the doctor next year before allergy season kicks in and see if they can give me something stronger. Several years ago I saw a military doctor and they pretty much shrugged it off saying that there isn’t much they can do when the pollen levels get so high. Since then I’ve been just using over-the-counter Claratin but I’m hoping a different doctor will be more helpful. I also won’t be dealing with pregnancy or nursing so I will have more options. My nose hasn’t been running as much the last week or two but now my itchy eyes have really kicked in. I have to say I’m truly tired of feeling lousy all the time. I feel pretty excited when I feel well enough to do a few simple chores around the house in the morning instead of laying back down after doing breakfast for everyone.

I also have developed a lump behind one of my ears, right where the bottom of my ear lobe connects to my neck this last week. At first I thought it was probably just a pimple, but it got bigger and more painful than any pimple. I finally called and made a dermatology appointment because it was freaking me out and very painful. I have to be tremendously careful about laying on that side when I’m trying to sleep. I checked in with “Dr. Google” and found that it might be a sebaceous cyst. Tea tree oil was one of the suggestions which I happen to have. I’ve been using that the last couple of days and I think today it might be smaller. It still hurts if I move my head to the point where it will pull on the skin but it doesn’t hurt so much in general when I’m not touching it. I can’t wait to see the doctor and hopefully get something to treat it.

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Potty Training Update

Bubba is making improvements with his bladder control. If there is a lot going on, he doesn’t want to sit on the potty and has accidents. But this morning he got up at and used the potty at about 7:40 and then held it all the way to the doctor’s office and through the first part of his exam. We put him on the toilet in the rest room and he did not want to go or sit there. After a couple of minutes we gave up and figured he would have an accident before we got him back on. We were waiting for his eyes to get dilated so just before our time was up, we tried again and I was surprised to find him still dry! He actually used the potty that time when we sat him on it. That was almost two hours of holding it. The between the rest of the exam, driving to the bakery to get food, and driving home was another two hours. I put him on the potty at home, against expecting he would be wet. He was dry and immediately used the potty! We all sat down to eat our lunch and during lunch he started indicating he was going trying to poop so I grabbed him out of his chair and got him on the potty before anything happened. He made it all in the potty. All in all I’m really impressed with him today!

He still isn’t indicating that he has to go, but his ability to hold it is increasing and occasionally we find him pulling on his clothes which seems to be an indicator that he has to go. Sometimes he will sit on the potty with his clothes on and once we help him out of his pants he will go. I feel like we are making a definite improvement. We are looking into getting a travel potty to help him be more comfortable on big toilets when we’re out and about. I found one that is usable on big toilet seats and can also be converted into a small potty if you use a bag with it. Other than being slightly larger than the foldable ones I’ve seen, it seems to be an ideal combination. We can leave it in the trunk if we’ve been running about and have an easy option for him to use. I think discomfort is a big issue with him not wanting to use toilets in restrooms. If I didn’t feel stable, I wouldn’t want to sit and relax long enough to do my business either. Carrying around something to use on toilets isn’t my idea of fun, but I think in the long run it will be for the best.

18 Months Welless Visit

Yesterday was Bubba’s check up at the pediatrician for turning 18 months. We were pleased he broke the 20 pound mark! I was secretly hoping he would surprise us and be more than 20, but alas he was 20.45 I think. The good news is that he is steadily increasing on the growth chart and keeping along a good curve of his own. He is now is the 6th percentile for weight. He wasn’t even on the growth chart at all for a long long time, so 6 is great. On the other hand, we are still dealing with the issue of his special high calorie formula. After switching insurance companies (not by our choice), we found out that the new insurance doesn’t want to cover any of his formula. If we pay out of pocket, it will be $126 a month that we were not paying before. He basically only drinks the formula, with a tiny bit of water or a few sips of juice here or there. He eats significantly better than he did when we first put him on the formula but to me he still doesn’t seem to be eating very much in general. Since he is still on a slow and steady increase in weight versus a huge upswing, we are hesitant to mess with what is working. The doctor and her staff were working on trying to get the insurance to cover the cost of the formula as a medical necessity yesterday. I haven’t heard any updates on it for today. The other negative thing is that they did a preliminary eye test on him with some special machine they have and determined that he may be farsighted. His doctor recommended that we take him to a pediatric ophthalmologist to be further evaluated. I am pretty down that we have another issue to be concerned with him. Granted, a lot of people have eye problems, and his dad wore glasses for a very long time (until eye surgery as an adult). My mom also had surgery for one of her eyes turning inward when she was two. So while it is relatively common, I am just tired of having one more thing to think about and wonder if it’s going to be something bigger. I really would like to go to a wellness check up and come away feeling great about everything. The good news is that we are now at the point of 6 months between wellness visits which is a big improvement over the amount of appointments for parents of newborns or special needs babies have.

I wrote an 18 month letter to Bubba to let him know how proud we are of him and what he is accomplishing in life at this point. I hope someday when he is older he will appreciate them or when he has kids of his own he will find it interesting to know what he was doing at certain stages. I have to go back and edit it because I forgot a few things! He gives kisses and blows kisses with Daddy quite freely right now. He loves giving Daddy kisses before bedtime and sometimes I get them, too. He is starting to do imaginary play now. He will pick up pretend in between two fingers and hand it to you several times. My mom was doing it back and forth with him several times during their visit about two weeks ago and it was adorable to watch. My other favorite thing that he does now is pulling my hands around him to hold him. He will grab my hands when he sits in my lap and put them around his waist. And not just one hand, but both! He will also doing it if we are laying down to cuddle before sleeping. It just melts my heart to know that he wants to be held and snuggled tight.

ImageWe took Hubby and I took Bubba in for his first haircut this week, too! He did really great, even for the clippers. When Hubby first put him down in the car seat at the barber shop he cried and I thought we were going to be doomed to hearing him cry the whole time. This lady sitting next to me started telling me how her son, now 11 and sitting calmly in the barber’s chair, used to cry and scream for his first several haircuts….. Not very helpful of her. Nevertheless, Bubba made us all happy when he started getting interested in a little VW bug with doors that opened and closed. Once he started playing with the toy the barber was able to snip freely and even pulled out the clippers with no reaction from Bubba. He looks very cute with his hair straight and trimmed across the back. The front is only a little shorter so part looks very similar to me. I spent some time later on that day trying to get a decent picture of the back but I’m not sure if any of them came out well. A lot of pictures of Bubba tend to be blurry. I will have to look and post them later if I find any good ones. Do you have any cute stories about first haircuts?

We had to return one of our Best Bottoms trainers (with the set of three liners) because the stitching was coming apart. I was not pleased to have to give it up since our stash of trainers is limited. They are much easier to use than trying to deal with putting diapers back on him, so I hope to get it replaced as soon as possible. We had three trainers with a total of 9 liners, which on a good day was fine, but on a bad day we needed to use alternate combinations of diapers, prefolds, etc on him. The elastic waist of the trainers makes it easier to just pull up and down (which is the whole point) instead of dealing with the snaps on his diaper covers and hoping things aren’t getting bunched up while putting them on. I’ve extended his time between potty times to 45 minutes which is does well with more often than not. He still isn’t letting us know when he needs to pee and sometimes gives us a hard time about sitting still on the potty. Some of it, I think, is him knowing he doesn’t have to do anything and not wanting to sit there when he could be playing. The pediatrician mentioned that we didn’t even need to think about potty training until at least two during our visit. I said we had already started a bit with him and it was going well. I thought it was a bit odd for the pediatrician to be bringing up potty training out of the blue. Seems completely not medically related (baring special circumstances, of course) to me. I suppose if the parents had concerns it would be natural to discuss it with the doctor, but I just thought it was odd for the doctor to bring it up. Oh well.

Timing

Potty Training OutfitPutting a toddler on the potty every 30 minutes is a bit tedious. And all the hand washing is drying out my skin and nails…. On the plus side he has stayed dry a lot longer than the other days with our somewhat more relaxed schedule.

Bubba’s typical day at home clothes are now trainers with leggings and a shirt. I’m sure someday he will love to see what kind of horrible outfits his mother dressed him in.

Happy 18 Months little man!

Pre-Sale

Today was the pre-sale for a local consignment sale that we are consigning things in. It is our first time consigning things (we’ll see how it pans out before we decide if it’s worth the effort to do it again) and one of the perks is access to the pre-sale the day before the regular sale for the general public. Bubba now has a selection of clothes to wear for the summer and plenty of two piece pajamas sets for our potty training experience. He also has Crocs, in lieu of rain boots which I couldn’t find, a rain coat, and some awesome new toys. I was super excited to find not one, but two, Bruder trucks for good prices. Both of which regularly retails for around $45 to $50 and I got for $8 and $12! He is now the proud owner of the cement mixer and probably for Easter will be getting the logging truck. They’re not exactly for his age range so I have to make sure he’ll be okay with them. I want to be sure he is going to take good care of them or they will be put away for a while. I also scored a Pound a Peg from Melissa and Doug, a collapsible tunnel, two new board books, and a Little People boat with the people – all of which are more age appropriate for him. So, other than a chocolate bunny, I think his Easter basket is going to be all set! This will be his first basket. We weren’t up to doing one last year since it seemed a bit silly to be giving a five month old his own basket for Easter.

My parents came down to visit for the weekend and my mom brought our old potty that she apparently had hidden in the garage since I had mentioned getting a second one for Bubba. It’s a bit grungy from being through three kids and sitting in the garage for twenty plus years, but I wiped it down and set it up next to his current one to see what he thought. This one has a flip lid like a bigger toilet. His current potty is the Baby Bjorn potty chair with no lid. When he is done using it I have him lift the lid and the seat of the big toilet, pick up the bowl of his potty and dump the contents in the toilet (which he enjoys immensely). When he saw the new potty sitting next to his current one, he picked the lid up and took the (empty) bowl from his other potty to pretend he was dumping it from one to the other! It was pretty cute. I’m not sure what he will think of using the new one because the bowl doesn’t lift out the same was the Bjorn does. It has to slide out the back which I imagine will be problematic considering we enlist his help with emptying it into the toilet. We’ll see how it goes.

Well, I’m signing off for now. We have a big day of sight seeing tomorrow while the family is visiting. Yes, despite the rain…. We may be a bit soggy.

Poop Talk

 

Best Bottom Trainers

Since Bubba was a preemie, had Failure to Thrive, and we’re potty training “early” it seems to be nearly impossible to find appropriately fitted training pants for him to use! I’d rather avoid disposable pull ups and, while we’ve started with diapers, the snaps and bulk with diapers make it very difficult to use. Lately he prefers standing up for changes (after using the potty) or it turns into me being a diaper changing ninja on moving toddler. His current favorite bathroom activity is emptying the little potty into the toilet and playing with the flushing handle on the big toilet. Getting dressed again pales in comparison.

Hah, that reminds me! Today he pooped on the floor. Other than poop smeared on the rim of the potty none of it ended up where it belonged. He started in the diaper and then, after getting tired of sitting on his potty, he got up and played with the toilet. When I was trying to convince him to put his clothes back on (assuming he had finished) he started squatting on the floor….. and the rest is history.

We are trying the Best Bottom Training Pants on him now. They fit overall, but his legs are thin compared to the size of the leg opening. If they had more stretch, it would be fine I imagine. However, they’re not snug so if he ends up with a lot going on down there I can see stuff leaking out the leg holes. We only bought one set which includes the “pant” and three inserts. The small says 20 – 28 lbs so I was hoping they would work. I’m pretty sure he is 20 pounds, but he is a thin 20 pounder which makes all the difference. For now I’m just going to do a bit of a test run with the three inserts that we have before ordering more.  I wanted to get the Gerber Training Pants since they’re relatively cheap and I thought I would be able to see more easily when he wet in them. However, the smallest they run only starts out at 24lbs which is definitely too big.

He gets that the potty is for peeing, but he doesn’t have any concept of holding it in or attempting to go to the potty on his own at the moment. He will use the potty more often than not when I set him on it which is good progress. The last day or two has been discouraging since he has deciding playing with the toilet is more enticing than sitting still on the little potty. I guess we just keep working on it!