Post Christmas we took a ski vacation with our family. It was a very exciting time as we got our little guy on skis for the first time! At not even 2.5yrs old it was a big deal for us. We will note that we didn't anticipate that we would have to find the smallest ski boots and shortest skis that the industry even makes. Despite it all our little guy did great when he had to tell us he had to pee or poop (it was usually a very inopportune time because stripping down a toddler from ski clothes is a pain). I should also note that the airplane ride and car trip up the mountain were all pretty much a breeze as he was either sleeping or entertained by his cousins or iPad filled with Caillou, Busytown Mysteries, or Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood episodes.
Fast forward a week later and wow did I know I had a Terrible Two's Toddler. Unfortunately we found out my grandmother's breast cancer had returned for a third time and would require 3 weeks of daily radiation treatment. Due to schedules and conflicts there was a week gap of needing help getting my grandmother to and from treatment and to have someone stay with her so my little guy and I flew out to help. All in all he was his great and entertaining self chatting it up, playing silly games, etc. But for whatever reason he did not want to leave my grandma when it came time for us to fly back home. He kept saying "no plane no plane I don't wanna". As we find a seat on the plane the meltdown starts; crying, screaming, and frantic stares. It's always great to hear at the same time your 2 year old is losing it that it's going to be a completely full flight and every seat will be filled. Ha, like anyone will want to sit near us. Sure enough someone got the lucky window seat vacant on our row and enjoyed 20 minutes of sheer chaos from my son. No trick, treat, or talking could stop him. And it got even better when he peed all over himself and his seat. A strip down change in front of everyone and some pretzels later he was fine but I was a wreck. It's crazy how just a few minutes can really embarrass you as a parent. I'd like to think most people understood it wasn't me being a bad mom that set him off into a screaming and crying fest but really just a terrible tantrum that gets the best of all 2 year olds sometimes. Traveling with a Toddler...sure hope I don't have to relive that for a while.
It's been a wild ride these past few weeks. Lots of shoppers is always a good thing but combine that with Icemageddon in Dallas that shut down the city for a good 4 days and potty training a toddler and its just complete chaos!
Potty training a little boy has to be easier in the summer time when you can just teach them to go pee in the yard. Lets be honest boys have a fascination us moms will never understand. But I knew we shouldn't wait any longer to start potty training because our little guy kept having accidents with his diaper on because he was holding his pee. When it finally dawned on me that I wasn't crazy, the diapers fit and should work, and that our son hated being wet or poopy he was ready. So his training potty was moved into the living room and he wore nothing but underwear and a shirt any time we were at home. Accidents happened Day 1-3 but pretty much after that we have been smooth sailing (a few hiccups here and there). When we are not at home he wears his underwear and a pull up on top so he still gets that wet feeling. By Day 7 he refused to wear the pull up when we were out, including nap time and bed time because he just got used to feeling dry and being in his underwear. Our method probably worked so well because we were all tied up at home come Day 3 because Dallas got a huge ice storm and traveling out was just not worth it based on countless wrecks visible from our street and beyond. We haven't mastered the big potty yet but go between the training potty and the big potty (yes potty is now a common term in our vernacular). The potty insert doesn't seem to work for him but we have it as another option should it make him feel more comfortable. Instead he just resorts to the climbing up and holding on method. Since he is not even 2.5years old and is in the 1% for height I think the stand up method is a ways off for us but I wouldn't count it out depending on the age and size of your little guy.
Learnings from our potty training have been the following:
1.) Accidents are the best way to teach them what to do
2.) Buy lots of underwear (and make sure they fit- Lego brand, Hannah Andersson, and Gymboree target the smaller guy in our opinion)
3.) Treat bags/bowls work (we have a #1 & #2 Treat Bag- higher rewards worked to train him on going #2)
4.) Positive reinforcement, never make him feel humiliated
5.) Encourage him to tell you and that he can go on his own
6.) Daniel Tiger's Potty Episode- that song is a good way to teach hygiene + timing
7.) Learning by example (friends also potty training helps encourage/influence)
Hipster Baby participated in the Happy Hollydays Bazaar this past weekend in Highland Park and had a great time. There were tons of sweet moms with their little ones in tow along with expecting moms. I know I tend to be stressed if I'm shopping with my little guy because his patience wears thin pretty quickly but I've found distractions like YouTube Elmo Celebrity Videos or an episode of Caillou or Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood can hold him off for just a little bit. Bribes of snacks or candy can help too (hey when you want to run errands you get desperate quickly, or at least I do). Somehow I find it reassuring when I see other moms using similar tactics that I use because guilt often sets in on whether or not I'm being a "good mom". No I'm not one to just set him in front of a TV or iPad all day but when I need to get something done I might put on a show and I'm sure I'm not alone.
Any way I had so much fun connecting with other moms, grandmas, friends, family etc and helping them find Holiday gifts or just cute boy clothes and accessories for the little men in their life. A big thanks to the ladies running the event this past weekend- it was great! And thanks to Atico Furniture www.aticofurniture.com for letting us use their Truss Industrial Bookshelf for display. Here are some fun pictures from the weekend.
The superhero pjs were very popular (detachable cape included).
Joah Love Chase Star 2fer Long Sleeve Shirt was also very popular.
And this little guy makes anything look adorable! He has on one of the Fore Axel & Hudson fedoras in size XS.
Planning a baby shower or birthday party for a little guy or soon to be born baby boy can be tons of fun or loads of daunting work. Here is a list of boy themes we love right now (in no particular order):
Toys come in all shapes and sizes from costing you (or the one gifting it) next to nothing or way too much. Starting off as little bitty guys I think favorite toys were not even true toys; tupperware, wooden spoons, and plastic measuring cups. But once he started trying to furniture surf I knew I had to get him a walker. His all time favorite toy was the VTech Sit to Stand Learning Walker. It made animal noises, lit up, and played music oh and of course it was a walker which gave me a brand new freedom before he could truly walk on his own.
Following that toy the next best things he got were an old fashion wooden train set with stackable blocks, a wooden push duck on a stick with rubber flapping feet and a wooden bumble bee pull toy. Those old fashion toys were purchased from an older man in town that makes wooden toys by hand. I'm sure Melissa and Doug have something similar but now that they have gone main stream I'm not sure the quality is there. Basic wooden toys cannot be beat.
Our Kidkraft retro kitchen and play food although not outwardly boy is a big hit with our son. But toys that top the Best Toys for Boys list includes:
1. Mega Blocks
2. Hot Wheels Monster Jams & Monster Jams Speed Demons
3. Bruder Roadmax Construction and Garbage Trucks
4. Bruder Toy Man Construction Trucks
5. Little Tikes Gas N Go Mower
6. Bosch Tool Work Bench
7. Little Tikes Cozy Truck
8. Ikea Kids Easel
9. Thomas the Train Wooden Train Set
10. Little People Dump Truck
There comes a point when getting more toys outside the Best of List becomes a hassle that is just adding to stuff in our home. That is when I wish people would give more worthwhile things like clothes- especially basics that will get a lot of use! Some ideas include pajamas, coats, basic long or short sleeve shirts, and a staple pair of pants. And man did I wish we got more cute baby boy clothes for him from showers. It figures the baby girls always get more clothes!
I don't remembering valuing a great night's sleep as much as I do now that I have a child. The last good night's sleep I had was drug induced during pre-term labor when my OB discharged me from the hospital with an Ambien and told me to go straight to bed upon taking it.
Flash forward to two years after giving birth and while sleep is better now than during the infant nighttime nursing sessions while still having to get up for a traditional job it still isn't amazing. I think I'm wired to wake up to the little peeps from my guy but lately I find I'm just waking up and cannot fall back asleep. Caffeine becomes my crutch and on days when my guy decides he won't nap I am just beside myself.
Being a working mom or not when your child decides not to take a nap, go to bed, or wake up at 2 or 3AM you feel like a zombie. I have been reading some great books lately and the best piece of wisdom I have read is that all children go through "seasons" and to just relax and remember how quickly they grow and move on to something else.
There is something innately common with boys that requires them to get messy. It is interwoven into their chromosomes. Even my oddball clean freak 2 year old son gets messy (he wants to help clean up). I'm sure anyone with young children can make this claim but its just different with boys. Running, climbing, jumping, digging, smearing...boys are messy.
Our journey into all things messy began with the typical explosive poops. You start to wonder how so much poop can come out of such a tiny human being! Spit up was also a common mess both on me and on him, but I think despite that spit up smell that seems to soil one pair of clothes after another, the poop still tops the list of worst things to clean up. Have you ever noticed that poop-mageddon always happens at the worst possible moment? Little man is wearing his cutest/nicest outfit and it's in the middle of church or an airplane rides.
Enter the wondrous products called STAIN REMOVERS into our lives. Sure we used our bout of stain remover pens before parenthood, but never before did we have to deal with poop-splosions until we had our son. I tried to plan for the worst and always carried a change of clothes for both me and him, carrying stain remover pens and wipes, and a plastic bag to "pack out" the worst, but alas you're never really prepared. A wise mother once told me you will never stop smelling poop after you have a child and wow was she right.
Now that our son is into toddlerhood we get all sorts of stains from pizza, pasta sauce, markers, ink, mud, etc. I'm not a stain remover brand pusher but we've tried Oxyclean, Tide, Bleach, and Resolve, but I'm not sure any one of those works better than the other. I suppose it all just seems to come down to timing of the stain treatment. I don't consider myself to be too much of a type A but I know as a mom if I've spent money on an "investment" piece of clothing like all the wonderful Hipster Baby clothes we offer I will try my hardest to keep clothes stain free. I also know down the road after future siblings have worn the same outfit and its still in decent shape I've succeeded in the world of stains and life with a son. And even if my future children aren't boys I know other moms will appreciate the care I've taken with his clothes when they buy them through consignment! (Hey I'm a real mom and appreciate the value of a good Consignment store/pop up, etc. But sadly I have found most Consignment boy sections completely lack quality boy clothes such as the ones we offer at Hipster Baby).
How do you handle giant messes with your child? Particularly pertaining to stains on clothing? And do you have any special clothing upkeep rituals for your little guy? Maybe splat mats throughout the house or spraying him down with a hose for extra special circumstances?
STAIN FIGHTER TIPS:
First scrape off any excess and then take these steps:
Baby Formula or Breastmilk: cold water, baking soda to prevent yellowing
Blood: rinse with cold water, pretreat then wash
Chocolate: pretreat then wash in hot water
Crayon: try adding baking soda in the wash
Glue: pretreat then wash in hot water
Grass: pretreat with detergent then hot water
Oil/Butter: a touch of dish soap, then wash a normal
Juice: rinse with cold water, pretreat and wash