Saturday, August 18, 2012

Loooong Update: Summer and Potty Training

Thanks to all of you who are still reading.  I haven't given up the blog and it's time for a long overdue update on our summer.  In late June, A&H took swim lessons every morning for a week.  For the first two days, you would have thought we were physically torturing them.  I wondered if I had attempted swim lessons way too early.  On days 3 and 4, they did not scream bloody murder for the entire 45 minutes, and Harper actually enjoyed kicking and blowing bubbles.  On day 5, however, probably because we didn't have our lovely assistant, Emily Henegar, along with us, they reverted back to cries of panic.  Allie was particularity traumatized.

They seem to have mostly gotten over it since then, though, and I'm relieved that they were not terrified of the pool for the rest of the summer.  Harper seemed to have forgotten the matter altogether except for her acquired bubble-blowing and kicking skills, and she now jumps into pools with gusto.  For Allie, it depends on the day.  She starts off with a death grip on me in the pool but usually eventually giddily kicks around in her puddle jumper (souped-up floaties that make the pool doable for me).  Taking them to the pool lately is a lot of fun.  There's nothing like their pure joy when they are kicking around.

We spent the Fourth of July in Cashiers, NC.  At a fourth of July parade, they rode on a fire engine and waved their red, white, and blue and they were good stroller riders in a 5K.  Glad that my Dad pushed them most of the way on some serious hills!

After dinner on the 4th but while it was still to light for fireworks, they had a ball running around the putting green with their friends.  Allie ended up with an entourage of two or three older kids who she led around by the hands for a good hour.  At the first crack of the fireworks, Allie shot about three feet in the air.  It took her a few minutes to recover, but she seemed to enjoy the show (Harper liked all of it).  Now, at least daily they remind me that "Fireworks go BOOM."

As you can see below, Harper was thrilled the balloon man made her an Elmo. 

Later in July, we had a fabulous full week at my grandparent's place in Blue Mountain Beach, FL with our friends the Dutsons.  Pool and Dad everyday made this vacation heaven for me and A&H.  It actually felt like a vacation!

Michael and some friends are have been fairly regular about taking the kids for Saturday morning breakfast at the West Egg.  After breakfast, everyone goes to watch the train go under the bridge.  Whenever we get close to the Westside Urban Market, Allie and Harper start demanding "see train, see train!"

I also had the crazy idea of attempting potty training boot camp.  Harper talked about going potty all the time and did not like having a dirty diaper, and the little dance freak-out she did when she had to go was bugging me, so I bought a book about potty training twins before two in 4 days and followed its method.  We marked off a weekend after all of our trips to roll up the rugs, put them in big-girl underwear, and spend the whole weekend running to the potty and celebrating any small successes.

Allie proved to be a treat-winning machine.  Almost every time I sit her on the potty she tinkles and we have a celebration.  The only problem is that she does not tell me when she needs to go, so the only way to avoid cleaning up messes every hour is for me to remember to take her to the potty every hour.  This is not fun, especially when we are in public.  So I've weakened my resolve and I'm going back to the gradual potty training method with Allie.  She wears pull-ups, training pants or diapers when we are out and big-girl underwear at home when I am feeling energetic.

Potty training boot camp failed for Harper.  One of the main reasons I decided to try potty training early is because I read that it can save a lot of fighting because younger toddlers are not as stubborn or afraid about the potty. Well, it seems that at 21 months, Harper's stubbornness can compete with any two-year old's.  Sometimes she would sit on the potty for a long time, but never with any results.  After one day of boot camp, she refused to sit on the potty and would dance around trying to hold it in until she finally shocked herself as she peed on her legs.  We tried everything we could think of, but in the end the best option seemed to be to go back to diapers until she wants to use the potty.  Back to diapers she went and she no longer complains about needing to go potty like she did before, but just does her business and then promptly asks me to "get it out."  When we are out, she does like to beg to go to the bathroom but of course never sits on the potty for more than 2 seconds.  It feels wrong to tell her to just go in her diaper, but I'm also over making useless trips to a public restroom.  The weekend lost to bootcamp was not a total failure thanks to Allie pulling through and some serious family bonding.  If I can step up my game, I may be able to declare Allie potty trained for the daytime before she turns two.  Time will tell.

Hanging out in the animal bin inside our tent.  Realized before it was too late that no diapers and a bin full of stuffed animals was not the best combo.

 A new piano to pass the time.
Got this idea off Pinterest: Nut boats! Nuts, sticks, play dough, and leaves.

We celebrated my parents' 30th wedding anniversary with dinner at Empire State South.  Allie and Harper are always thrilled to run around on their bocce court.

And finally, my friend Anna Lee Mutter invited us to Gainsville for a day on the farm.  We swam; played with Phoebe; saw a boa constrictor, donkeys, roosters, and chickens; and fed their Sub-Saharan tortoise!  

And because I know you are just dying for more pictures, here is the whole album.