Our Imperfect Lives


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P is for Potty

Another winter weekend in Massachusetts; another snow storm. While spending the day hiding from the cold and snow on this particular Sunday, we decided to be productive parents and we had a “potty training blitz” with Sport.

We were expecting the snow and we were fully stocked for the blitz including ‘big boy underpants,’ a froggy potty chair, lots of salty snacks including popcorn, crackers and tortilla chips, a doll that wets itself and a Sesame Street book about potty training. We were ready and it was “go time!”

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We locked ourselves in the kitchen all morning long because the tile floor would make for an easier accident cleanup. While we were a little terrified about the idea of spending the whole day with both kids in the kitchen and only talking about going to the bathroom, Sport seemed pretty pumped about all of the attention from Mommy and Mama.

Now, we weren’t exactly starting this process form scratch, we’ve been having Sport sit on the potty for a couple months now. He was pretty consistent: we put him on the potty, he’d pee. Of course, he’d also pee in his diaper – a lot. And for some reason when he was at daycare, where they also had him sit on the potty, he rarely went; he usually sat for a minute and then just got a fresh diaper.

OK, so to the project at hand… Meg was the lead. She had read a book about the whole “potty training in a day” process. She explained the process to Sport using the doll. The doll went on the potty successfully, the doll wet her pants, and the doll practiced using the potty. Then it was Sport’s turn. We wrapped his big boy pants up like a present to make them seem even more special. He was pretty excited. They had sports balls on them, footballs, soccer balls, baseballs – all his favorites.

The blitz started off great. He used the potty a couple of times and threw back his strawberry lemonades. Then he had his first accident. And what an accident! Marcy and Sport were sitting on a blanket on the kitchen floor reading a book and at first we thought he had spilt his lemonade because there was so much liquid!

The blanket went immediately into the washer, but it wasn’t time just yet to turn it on. First, Sport had to practice racing to the potty in his wet pants and he was not a fan! Wet diapers never bothered him, but wet underwear and wet sweatpants did. The book says he should practice (go to where he was when he wet himself, rush to the potty, pull his pants down, sit on the potty, and pull his pants up) ten times. That seemed excessive to us. We had him practice five times. Then he had to clean up after himself, including using a sponge to clean up the pee that wasn’t soaked up by the blanket and taking off his wet clothes.

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So, we had an accident, a very wet accident. He had a couple more accidents, thankfully not as nearly as wet, but the morning went really well. When nap time rolled around we tried to get Sport into a pair of pull-ups so we could save ourselves the hassle of having to wash all of his linens. He wanted nothing to do with the pull-ups! So we let him climb into his big boy bed with his big boy underpants and we just resigned ourselves to washing everything on his bed before bedtime.

Over three hours later, low and behold – dry pants! He also had a full froggy potty in the corner of his room. He woke up, peed in his potty, and crawled back into bed all on his own! We were proud Moms!

We of course knew it wasn’t done, but golly – what a start. Since he had such a successful nap we decided to let him escape the confines of the kitchen. He made it all the way until just before bath time that night before he had another accident. All in all a potty blitz win.

Day two of potty training was a “school day” so Sport went to daycare. He was excited to show his teacher, Mr. M, his new big boy pants. Thankfully Meg spoke with Sport’s teachers about our potty training plans and they were very supportive. We sent him to school with 4 pairs of extra pants and underwear. If he went through all of those it was on to the extra outfit that was already at school and pull-ups.

They had to change him once. Only once.

The rest of the week he had either no accidents or one accident at school, and well one of the accidents wasn’t really an accident. He peed on the potty but just didn’t get his pants far enough down and he peed in the potty and on his pants.

We’re sure accidents are still going to happen but the size five diapers in our house are now officially looking for a new home.


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Snowed In

Until last month we had had a pretty low key winter as far as snow accumulation goes, but Mother Nature wasn’t about to let us New Englanders off the hook – so she dumped nearly five feet of snow on us in just a couple of weeks. And the vast majority of that snow came in two different blizzards, yes BLIZZARDS. So, we apologize for the tardiness of our blog postings but, we’ve had our hands full (with very, very cold snow).

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The first blizzard, which was big enough to come with its very own name, Juno, hit on a Monday night and carried through until Tuesday evening. We were stuck at home for the better part of a week trying to dig out. Meg, and the rest of the city’s students, teachers and staff, missed a whole week of school.

This particular storm really started off with a bang because on Mother Nature’s coattails came a whole lot of germs. Meg and Sunshine both got hit with the flu on Monday. As the snow first started piling up outside, inside Sunshine was fussing and crying and refusing to sleep in her crib. So, Marcy had to hunker down for a long night with an infant on her chest. While Marcy tried to sleep, Meg was having an equally long night splitting her time between the bathroom and the couch. It was one heck of a way to start a new week.

While school was closed for Meg, Sunshine and Sport, Marcy had to work from home throughout the storm. Working from home with Meg being sick made things a bit tricky, especially since this was the first time Marcy had worked from home as a mother. Normally, a work from home day meant Marcy hid out in the home office with snacks, water and her computer, but with Meg and Sunshine (and their germs) taking over the TV room and a toddler bursting with energy – hiding in the office wasn’t an option.

Marcy ended up moving her workspace back and forth from the chair in Sport’s room to the kitchen table. Each locale brought new activities for Sport – painting, play dough, basketball, soccer, and football – anything to keep him busy. While we’re delighted that Sport isn’t one of those kids who will waste away his day watching cartoons, it sure would have been helpful if he’d wanted to watch just a little TV…

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While the flu and working from home made snow days one through four a little complicated, we survived and we even came out the other end healthy… or so we thought.

Enter snow storm two, this one wasn’t as brutal, it only brought one foot of snow and more sickness. This time it was Sport who got hit. We knew once he actually slowed down we had a problem on our hands, although we really wish we saw it coming a little sooner. You see, we were at a family party the day that it hit, the day before more snow.

When the party had rolled around we were ecstatic because both Meg and Sunshine were healthy and ready to eat, drink and be merry with the whole family, many of whom we hadn’t seen since Sport and Sunshine joined the family, but the healthy, free living didn’t last. After getting a good fill of basketball with the cousins and uncles, Sport succumbed to a fever. Yes, his forehead was warm to the touch but the true sign that he wasn’t feeling well was that he sat through more than 15 minutes of a movie while at the party and then sat through an entire movie at home while cuddled on the couch with Meg, and yet another the following morning.

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Sport was feeling a bit better the next day, the fever had subsided although he had a cough and he really was a “boogie monster.” The daycare rules are: 24 hours fever free before a child can return. Of course, thanks to the snow, that rule was a moot point. Yes, Sport’s fever was gone, and no, it hadn’t been 24 hours yet, but there was no school to worry about – thanks to yet more snow.

This time even though everyone was home again and Marcy had to work from home, we were a two parent household again (instead of the 1.5 parent household when Meg was sick), life was a bit easier. Of course, this luxury didn’t last.

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Our next snow storm (that’s right we got hit again) had Marcy confined to her bed with a raging headache and nausea. It was Meg’s turn to get an up close and personal appreciation and awe of single parents. Marcy had already experienced it and as a united front of a two-parent household we were both wondering how single parents manage.

It’s now been a month of weekly snow storms; our street has so much snow that it’s turned into a one lane street, our driveway is five feet longer than it should be, and our dogs have burrowed a race track in our backyard. Sadly the snow is so high that Sport has a hard time walking in it – it’s taller than he is by far. Plus, the temperatures have been so low, that it would be unwise for us to take the kids outside for any prolonged period of time. But, we persevere and hope that someday the sun will come out and it will be warm enough to play outside again – even if we have to play with snow shoes or a sled. Until then, we’re figuring out how to stay busy indoors.