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ONE MORE MONTH AND MY BABIEST BABY IS GOING TO BE TWO!
…I can’t even handle it right now.
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MADDEN JAMES | 10 THINGS RIGHT NOW
1. Your speech is becoming much clearer, but you add an “-sh” sound onto everything and I’m pretty sure you’re going to have a lisp. It’s actually pretty adorable.
2. You have become attached to a little green stuffed monster from Yo Gabba Gabba. This stuffed monster has been floating around the house since Emma was a baby, and even though it’s been in your crib/on your bed for almost two years, you’ve just now suddenly and randomly decided to take it everywhere with you.
3. When you’re genuinely angry OR in a goofy mood you stomp your right foot yell “NO!” When you’re angry, it’s accompanied by crying and isn’t cute at all. When you’re in a goofy mood, it’s accompanied by giggling and it’s super fucking, inexplicably cute.
4. Your dad succeeded in getting you hooked on the boogie thing. He did this with Emma, too, and now whenever you guys pick your boogers, you stick your booger-covered hand out and yell “BOOG!!!!” He will collect them from you. I WILL NOT.
5. You get a kick out of telling knock knock jokes. You suck at it and never make it past the initial “knock knock” part, but you think it’s hilarious. You think YOU are hilarious.
6. Another new “thing” is putting your finger up to your mouth and hushing everyone with, “Shhhh! Tee wyatt!” You always, always have a huge smile on your face when you do this and you always, always break into giggles after you tell everyone to be quiet/tee wyatt.
7. You’re fascinated by trains and trucks. Your wooden train set is your favorite toy, and you love every truck you see. The construction zone at the end of our street, and the main intersection you can clearly see from your bedroom window, only feeds this obsession. Even after we put you down to bed, we can hear you excitedly exclaiming, “Truck!” and “Big truck!” and “Bye bye truck!”
8. “Uuuuuummmmm” is your new default answer to almost every question I ask you. You just repeat it over and over without ever giving an actual answer, and you think it’s super funny. Which it is. Except for when it’s frustrating.
9. Your favorite way to get from upstairs to downstairs is to “slide”. You reach out for my hand with your right hand (always, ALWAYS your right hand) and say “Slide! Mommy, sit!”
10. One night I let you jump from the top of the Expedit shelf-turned-clothing-and-toy-storage-and-makeshift-changing-table onto your bed (it’s literally right up against your bed) and ever since it’s become part of your nightly routine. After bath, diapering, and pj time you excitedly position yourself at the edge, count to 3, and jump face-first onto your bed. Because you’re awesome.
I sound like a broken record at this point, I KNOW. But I’m still going to say it: slowly but surely I’m getting caught up on this project. I talked a little bit earlier this year about how one of the most stressful/un-fun parts about this project for me last year was focusing too much on design and aesthetic and not enough of documenting moments; about how this project became more of an experiment in design than a lesson in memorykeeping. It really bothered me and I promised that I was going to care less about what my pages looked like this year (or at least care if they didn’t look “perfect”), but that’s a lie. When all is said and done, I have WAY too much fun pretending I’m creative and playing designer to not care just as much about how my pages look about what memories are being stored in them.
Anyway, all that to say: I love this week’s layout. LOVE.
WEEK OF | February 10 – 16
ANYTHING SPECIAL THIS WEEK | I guess Valentine’s Day was the only “special” thing to happen this week…?
TECHNIQUES USED THIS WEEK | A lot of changes to my process for this week. Unless I used a pre-printed journaling or filler card that came with rounded corners (or unless it was one I printed out a couple weeks ago and already rounded), I kept square corners this week. I’ve never been a huge fan of square corners in my own album (and certainly not a fan of mixed edges — rounded and square), but after seeing Rachel’s Week 7 layout last week, I was sold on trying it again. And I love the result.
In keeping with inspiration from Rachel’s Week 7, I also decided to keep a small white border around my photos. Back in the day when film was still the big thing, this is ALWAYS how I had my photos printed. It just gives it a cleaner, crisper, better look and feel. Especially when the photos are black and white.
I typically love the look of typed journaling — on other people’s layouts, not my own. In fact, earlier this year I even mentioned in a previous post that I prefer handwritten journaling. Aaaaand, just kidding! I’m not a huge fan of my handwriting — it looks great in the course of day-to-day life, but when I try to apply it to PL, it becomes a hot, hot mess. And not in a good way. I really love the look of Rachel’s, Caylee’s, and Catherine’s PL — simple, but not overly simple to the point of boring — and I love the look of the typed journaling in their albums, so I decided to give it another chance. I used a regular PL 3×4 grid card for the striped-edge card above the photo of Emma and I in her hospital bed, and I used a Caylee Grey handwritten overlay for the card detailing our Valentine’s Day.
I’ve been sitting on this ‘bread and butter’ card for about a month now. I’m not crazy about the colors, so I’d planned on using it as a stencil; I was going to affix it over a plain white card and use glue + glitter (or embossing powder!) to create a card I love, but it works well here. However, I was bored with just a plain piece of white or colored paper behind it, so I scanned in some of Emma’s artwork (she’s 3), sized it down to 6×4, and slipped it behind the ‘bread and butter’ card.
I’m super happy with how it turned out, and I’m super happy that if I want to make a glitter or embossing powder-enhanced version of this card later on, I still can.
A few other techniques this week: scanning in the Valentine’s Day artwork the kids made at school, re-coloring Rachel’s B&W striped card and adding glitter snowflake sequin thingies (they came in last July’s Studio Calico PL kit. Why July? I don’t know.), sizing down a FREE desktop wallpaper from Studio Calico and using it as the title card, creating a fun House of Cards 6×4 card (I’m obsessed), creating my own diamond template (inspired by the no-longer-available-for-purchase Design Editor template), shrinking down the absolutely gorgeous brush script “love” card to fit on the diamond template copycat, and affixing small embellishments along the way.
OVERALL THOUGHTS | Love, love, LOVE this week. Honestly, it’s probably my favorite layout yet, from this year or last year.
SUPPLIES USED | PL Photo Pocket Pages Design A, Paislee Press Week In Review Cards, Caylee Grey handwritten weekly title card, Big City Quiet B&W Striped card (re-colored), Studio Calico FREE March Wallpaper (sized to fit a 6×4 card), House of Cards cast photo, PL 3×4 grid card, Caylee Grey ‘I LOVE YOU’ Overlay, Caylee Grey Weekday Overlays, Rachel DelGrosso striped card, Diamond Digital Template (I made this one myself, based off of Design Editor’s SC April 2013 Designer Digital collection, which I can no longer locate for sale online), Penny Springmann ‘love’ brush script card (sized waaaayyyyy down to fit my diamond template), SMASH date stamp, and embellishments from Studio Calico Project Life Kits.
^^^ Don’t worry. That’s chocolate around her mouth. Not…umm…not something else. ^^^
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Going pee in the potty isn’t a skill that needs constant practice after it’s been mastered…
So can someone tell me why after a little over a year of being totally, completely, all-the-way-for-sure, no-accidents-during-the-day, staying-dry-through-night potty trained, last summer Emma suddenly decided to refuse to pee in the potty and insisted on going in her pants? And then can you tell me why after three-ish months of that annoying-as-fuck routine she just as suddenly reverted back to being a fully potty trained toddler by Thanksgiving 2013? And then, for the love of everything that is dear to me (strawberry toaster strudels and my iPhone, FYI), can you tell me why in THE FUCK last weekend Emma decided to stop peeing in the potty and started going in her pants again?
Someone? ANYONE? Because I don’t get it.
I DON’T FUCKING GET IT.
I don’t get it and it’s so far beyond frustrating because I have no idea why she’s doing it. I have no idea how to fix it, to make her stop. A few people have suggested it could be a reaction to a big life event, but nothing has happened. We’ve had no changes in our routine; no new siblings or roommates or anything; we haven’t moved; we didn’t get a pet; there’s been no major changes at all.
Some people have also suggested it might be an attention-seeking behavior, but I have a hard time reconciling that idea because she puts forth a huge effort to hide her accidents. She will stay in her pee-soaked clothes like nothing happened until she can nonchalantly slip away to get new underwear and pants from upstairs; she will steadfastly insist she did NOT pee her pants when I ask her, even when it’s blatantly obvious that she has; and this past Wednesday she even pretended to be playing house with her blankets on the floor when really she was trying to clean up where she had peed on the carpet (this AFTER she peed in her pants on the way out the door in the morning, AFTER she peed in her pants while in her carseat on the way home from daycare that evening, AFTER peeing again in her pants once we got home, and AFTER peeing on the rug once already that evening).
I am so thoroughly discouraged and frustrated and exhausted by this cyclical habit of hers, and I have no idea where to go from here because I have no idea what provokes these cycles to start and end. I have no idea why she does this.
Honestly, she had less regression during the initial potty training process than she’s had over the past six months or so. Hell, we’ve even had less pee-the-bed situations over the last TWO+ YEARS than we’ve had of pee-her-pants situations in the last week alone. But here’s the kicker — she’s not having accidents at school. She’s only have them at home. Or in the car. And when they happen, she doesn’t say a word beforehand about having to go potty. She just…goes.
We’ve tried the staying calm thing (RJ’s much better at this tactic than I am). We’ve tried the asking her constantly if she has to go approach. We’ve tried the forcing her to sit on the potty every however-often (the interval ranges from 15 to 60 minutes) until she goes method. We’ve tried the go-sit-on-the-potty-and-try-to-go bit immediately after we catch her in pee-soaked clothes. We’ve tried the if-you-pee-in-your-pants-you-don’t-get-to-wear-underwear-or-pants-until-you-go-potty-in-the-potty-three-consecutive-times rule. We’ve even tried the you-don’t-get-to-wear-underwear-or-pants-all-day rule. And even when she doesn’t have underwear or pants on, SHE STILL GOES POTTY NOT IN THE POTTY (i.e. on the floor).
Is she just not aware of the ‘urge’ to go? Is she ignoring it. Is it something else entirely? Is she consciously deciding to not use the potty? Obviously she still ‘gets’ the concept of potty training, because she goes pee in the potty just fine at school and because she still goes pee in the potty at home — she just goes pee not in the potty a little more than she goes pee in the potty at home.
I talked to her doctor about the issue when it happened before, but he wasn’t very helpful. The only suggestion he gave was, “Well, try putting her on the potty more frequently and that should fix it.” Newsflash: it didn’t fix it. Not then, and not now. Especially since she’s older now and when we do the I’m-going-to-force-you-to-sit-on-the-potty-until-you-go bit, she screams and cries and locks out her knees and flexes her hips and literally refuses to sit on the potty.
So, fellow moms of current and past toddlers — WHAT THE FUCK? What am I doing wrong? Why is she being such a little ass? Is it because she’s a ginger? Is it ‘acting out’? Is it a legit medical issue? Is there a way to stop it? To ‘fix’ it? At this point, I’m willing to try anything short of voodoo. Give me your advice; throw it at me.
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