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17 November 2011

31 Flavors

Actually, one flavor and 31 months, but that will all make sense in a little bit.  Or maybe not.  I'm a wee bit tired.  And while I could be napping {since both of my girls are asleep!  At the same time!  In the same house!}, I desperately need to do a blog for my {mostly} sweet girls 31st {month} birthday!  I have also been wanting to blog about the discipline/rewards system that we have been doing with Olivia and update you on her potty-training SUCCESS!  So, you're getting all of those rolled into one big post.

Last night, when I realized that Olivia was turning 31 months today, it really hit me that she is growing up.  In five months, she will be THREE!  How can that even be possible?  Yet, at the same time, she is still such a little person who I think we sometimes expect too much out of.  Is it fair for us to expect her to sit quietly in a restaurant for 2 hours or to walk through the mall while we go shopping?  I really don't think it is, yet we do it and get frustrated with her when she acts like a two year old!  As a mom, I really need to adjust my expectations of her or else I am going to end up getting really frustrated all of the time.  When we are busy with toddler activities, she is typically really good and so I have been trying to come up with things for us to do to keep us busy.

We went to the playground twice on Wednesday and then met up with some new friends at a different park yesterday.  Today we went to the library and got new library cards and checked out some books.  {Even Olivia got her very own library card!}

To combat some of the problem behaviors we do have {sassiness, refusal to do things like nap or pick up her toys, and whining}, I started a rewards jar for her very loosely based off of the one here on Lullaby Lubbock.  David finished off a small jar of olives a couple of weeks ago so it was the perfect time to start.  I bought a couple of bags of craft pom poms at the Dollar Tree and we were set.  I explained to Olivia that whenever I saw her behaving well or doing something nice, I would reward her with a pom pom.  Since filling it all the way up might be too much of a delay for a reward, I decided that once it was halfway filled up, she could do something special with me.  For a couple of weeks, she got pom pom after pom pom for using nice words, cleaning up, obeying, or any other thing we saw that was deserving of praise.  She got {and continues to get} so excited every time she adds one to the jar.

By the end of last week, her jar was about halfway full.  So on Sunday, she and I went on a solo Mommy/Daughter date to FroYoNa for some yummy frozen yogurt!

Mama got rewarded too!

Do you remember these games??  I want one now!

The system seems to be helping and it's a lot easier to bribe, errr remind, her about the pom poms than it is some other special treat.

One of the big issues we were having after we moved out here was her refusal to take naps.  We got in a really bad habit {but, oh how I loved it} where I would rock her to sleep for her naps when I was pregnant and I would enjoy a little nap with her before I put her in her crib.  Well, once Sydney was born, that wasn't really a possibility, so she was really struggling with her naps.  SOMETHING had to be done because I could not go a day, especially multiple days, without her napping.  And, she was a Crankopotomus Rex by early evening.

So, one day, I pulled up Microsoft Word, "drew" a table with five boxes and slapped on a piece of Clip Art and printed off a few copies.  I told Olivia that every time she took a nap {or at least laid quietly in her crib} without crying, she would get a sticker.  Once she filled up the chart she could get a special surprise from Target.  Well, knock.on.wood, it has worked!  She has completed her collection of Strawberry Shortcake miniature dolls and is about to go pick out a new toy after filling today's chart.

As far as the potty training has gone, it has actually been pretty painless!  We started with the big girl panties exactly one month ago today and have only had about 3 or 4 minor accidents.  She wears her "nighttime panties" which are really pull-up/training pants for naps and at night, but is probably dry about 90% of the time.  The last couple of nights she has woken us up asking to use the potty and if she is wet in them, she does not want to keep them on.  {Which is not how she was when she was in diapers.  But, gosh, think about it.  It probably feels so much better now for her and now that she knows the difference, why would she be okay sitting in a wet diaper?}

The biggest issue we have had with the potty training is {TMI ahead...} going #2.  At first, she would hold it until her naptime or bedtime and go in her pull-ups.  When we went in for Sydney's 2 month check-up, I asked the pediatrician for some advice.  She had me get some Miralax (which is a powdered laxative) and told me to put it in Olivia's juice/water/milk in the mornings and it would basically force her to go so that she couldn't hold it anymore.  Well, of course my girl is about as stubborn as they come, so it took several days of doing that before she finally went on the potty.  We were offering double jelly beans, double pom poms and I even bought her a bigger Strawberry Shortcake doll to reward her thinking that would do the trick, but we were still struggling.  I read somewhere that you shouldn't pressure them to go, which I totally was.  I felt like all I was doing was asking her if she needed to go poopy on the potty.  They said that it needed to be on her terms and to explain that her body makes a poop a day and it is her job to put it in the potty.  I printed off a calendar, hung it by her potty and bought her a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse sticker book.  I told her that she could put a sticker on the calendar each day that she went on the potty and she has gone every single day since then!

Who knew stickers could be so motivating?!  She has even done great with going potty in public places.  I am SO proud of her every time she goes.  It's so amazing that someone so young has caught on to it so easily.  {I know most kids are around her age when they are potty-trained, but when you think about it, it is a BIG DEAL!}

David and I are going to read the Love and Logic book again to work more on a set discipline system with her.  We really want her to be well-behaved and we know that the more effort we put into it now, the easier it will be for everyone in the long run.

*I hope this doesn't come across as sounding like Olivia misbehaves all of the time because that isn't the case at all.  She acts like a very typical two year old who thinks the world is all about her, her, HER!  But, she is also so incredibly smart, funny and loving too. And we are so incredibly blessed to be her parents!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!


Poppy said...

Awesome Sis, you are such a good mother. Olivia is very bright as we all know. She continues to amaze me everyday. I am so proud of you and David as young parents. You make your mom and dad very proud everyday. Olivia is a very lucky lil gal.


Mom Cooper said...

Oh Poppy, I couldn't have said it better. Children learn by example and on and on it goes!! You and David hang in there, you both are wonderful, loving parents to both of your girls. They are blessed and you are too.

Love you all.

Irma said...

Typical behavior of 2 year olds. Her world is indeed all about her! Keep up the great parenting. I happen to know some adults who think that way...and they are not nice or fun to be around! (Maybe if I come up with a sticker game of my own...and fill it up, Peter will take me to a jewerly store to trade my stickers in for a diamond!)