Tuesday, October 26, 2010
We had a good frame of reference to start the process with because, ever since Corinne was tiny we have been emptying her BMs into the toilet, saying "bye-bye poop" and flushing the toilet together. She has also always accompanied me on my trips to the bathroom so the concept wasn't completely foreign to her. Memaw got her a potty book and a little potty for the playroom so that we would have a place for her to go on every floor of the house.
We started to introduce the idea over the summer and at first it was a challenge just to get her to sit on the toilet. If she showed any interest and would spend more than a few moments "trying" we would reward her with an m&m. That worked well to help abate any tentative emotions she had about the potty, but it didn't do much to teach her to use the potty. We had a really difficult time getting her to the bathroom at a time when she actually needed to void.
After limited success and much stress for all involved, we decided to take a break from potty-training. When everyone was much more relaxed we blocked off an entire weekend to spend at home and really focus our efforts. Corinne spent the weekend sans pants so that she would be sure to feel the results of any urge she may have. We also kept her sippy cup filled with liquid to ensure that there would be many teaching opportunities. After only a couple of accidents she started to show signs (or maybe I started to recognize the signs she had been showing all along!) when she needed to go and we got her to the potty in time to get some of her pee in the toilet. We made a huge deal out of this success with lots of cheering and clapping, Corinne was very proud and by the end of the day on Sunday she was doing great.
Monday we kept her home from school and she spent one more day training at home with GG who is a potty-training expert! She had a great day with GG and an evening of success when I got home from work. On Tuesday I sent her to school and talked to her teachers about her successful weekend and they agreed to work with her during the week. That first week she had accidents on a fairly regular basis so we went back to diapers for school and worked on the potty training at home. After a couple of great weekends and evenings at home we were ready to encourage her to use the potty at school.
At this point she is regularly in underwear all day, every day with the exception of nap time and overnight...but she's even starting to wake up during nap or in the middle of the night to use the potty, especially if she needs to have a BM. We have also nixed the m&m reward and instead incorporated a potty chart where she gets a sticker for a successful trip to the potty. She loves this and I have fun getting all kinds of different stickers - right now we have pumpkins for Halloween!
For a while I would put her in a pull-up if we were leaving the house for an extended period of time so that if she had an accident we wouldn't have to change her pants, we could just take off the pull-up. But now she is so comfortable using the potty that she will hold it until she can go in a toilet and when we are somewhere unfamiliar (restaurant, grocery store, etc.) one of the first things she wants to do is go to the restroom to check out the potty, find the wipes, flush the toilet and wash her hands. Then, if she needs to go while we are there she is confident in their facilities and comfortable enough to use their bathroom.
We are so proud of our little girl, way to go Corinne!
Friday, October 1, 2010
If each person on the team walks an average of 1 mile per day, the team is considered 'Bowl Eligible'
If each person on the team walks an average of 2.7 miles per day, the team is considered 'Top 25 Ranking'
If each person on the team walks an average of 5.2 miles per day, the team is considered 'Conference Champion'
If each person on the team walks an average of 7 miles per day, the team is considered 'National Champion'
This year I am the captain of my team and I have 4 other wonderful women walking with me. We are trying to think of fun and creative ways to earn our miles. So far, instead of taking the bus, I am walking in to my office after I drop Corinne off at school...and then walking back to her school at the end of the day. We are also planning to get together as a team to walk on Saturday mornings at one of the metro parks in and around the city...then maybe we'll pick a restaurant and have brunch after our walk.
Do you have any other ideas for ways we could Hit the Road as a team?
Thursday, September 30, 2010
One time she actually said, with her fingers over my mouth, "I paused you!" and I nodded that she was right. She has a very firm grasp on technology! For the next several minutes it became the pause game and Corinne thought it was great fun to exert her power. I love creating these little games with her and watching her absorb information and incorporate that information to create a new idea.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
We knew that if our baby was a girl that we wanted to find a name that started with the letter C since both of our mothers have names beginning with that letter. We liked Corinne.
Both my brother and I have middle names that have familial tribute - my brother's middle name is the male version of our mothers' first name and I share a middle name with my paternal grandmother. Still with me? So, I knew I wanted to do something similar for our child's middle name. Corinne's middle name is the female version of her father's middle name (Michael).
Practically since the day she was born we have had people asking us what we would call her for short...I didn't realize that Corinne was such a long name that it needed to be abbreviated. I think most people figured we would call her Cori. She is not and will never be Cori to me. I still most often refer to her as Corinne when I'm talking with someone about her and even when I am talking directly to her. However, over the last 21 months or so Corinne has had a myriad of nicknames, the most popular of which are Rin (the last syllable of her name and the way she refers to herself most of the time) or Rinna or Rinna-roo.
She also has plenty of pet-names that have absolutely nothing to do with her given name. When I was pregnant Brett & I would refer to her as 'bean' because that's what she looked like when we saw the firs ultrasound pictures. We don't call her that anymore...because that's not what she looks like anymore! These days I am more apt to call her 'punkin' or 'punky' or 'punky-doo' - none of these have anything to do with anything but they've stuck nonetheless.
And, in my mind I often refer to her as 'BG' which stems from those first few hours when she was simply Baby Girl Rome but has recently started to take on an abbreviation for big girl, our baby is growing up.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I officially turned 29 years old and celebrated with Brett, Corinne, my mom, my brother and his girlfriend (Hi, Hayley!) by having dinner at my favorite steak restaurant. It was relaxed and low-key which was exactly what I wanted.
For my birthday weekend, Brett & I left Corinne in the care of Grandma Chris and Uncle Scott and took a road trip to Chicago, IL to meet up with Brett's sister and her boyfriend, Jamie, to enjoy the festivities at Lollapalooza. This was my first trip away from Corinne and I was nervous about how I would handle the separation. I have to say that while I most definitely did not party the weekend away (what can I say, I am a slave to my routine - early to bed, early to rise...I think I was awake by 6:30 every morning) I had a great time and it was wonderful to spend so much time with Brett and to get to visit with Lindsey & Jamie.
Upon our return it was back to life as normal with the exception of some very special visitors in the middle of the week. We were lucky enough to be treated to dinner by Craig & Candy who have been friends of our family for many, many years. Craig & I share a birthday (separated by just a few years) and we have always shared a very close bond. I consider them my surrogate parents and Corinne apparently feels the same way since she started calling them Grandpa Craig and Grandma Candy while we were at dinner. I think they enjoyed meeting her and hope that we can get together on a regular basis in the future.
Some other announcements involving Corinne reaching BIG milestones are in the works so you can expect me to blog a bit more regularly (at least for a little while).
Monday, August 2, 2010
In front of the farmhouse there is a shaded area where visitors can try out recreational toys from the period. My grandparents had stilts in their garage and whenever we were visiting, particularly when my cousins were there, we would all take turns practicing on the stilts and I would often be able to go all the way around the house without losing my balance and falling off. I was thrilled when I saw that they had many pairs of stilts and after Corinne watched me walk around on them she decided to try them out - she did great!
The farmhouse was open and we toured the parlor, living room and kitchen. There were more toys on display and Corinne particularly enjoyed a wooden toy that you could drop a marble in the top and it would roll its way down 8-10 tracks back to the bottom. She also got a kick out of this wooden man with flexible leg & arm joints, she made him dance, sit down and walk while I tried to figure out a puzzle (no success).
A pump for the well was right outside the kitchen and they had several buckets sitting there with a sign that welcomed guests to fill the bucket and help water the plants in the garden. Corinne and I each toted our bucket down the path, hers much less full than mine. You can see one of the staff/volunteers off to the right side:
We chose to treat a cabbage to a nice cool drink, making sure to pour the water close to the root as instructed.
Corinne took off with the empty buckets and headed back for the water pump for a refill.
She was rewarded for doing such a good job of helping with the chores by taking a short break in a hammock. Once she got comfortable and felt secure she kicked me out so that she could laze in the shade by herself.
We explored the root cellar and the smoke house, then we crossed over a bridge covering a dry creek bed and saw a flock of geese down by the water where the creek flows when there has been rain.
Just on the other side of the bridge was a pen for sheep and a few were laying right along the fence so Corinne was able to reach in and pet the woolly sheep. She thought they were pretty great and I thought it was awesome that the park had installed hand sanitizer dispensers near the pen! Not exactly in keeping with the 1880's, but very much appreciated.
We toured the multi-bay barn that has been restored by Amish carpenters and saw horses, cows & calves, pigs, a mother duck with her ducklings, and even some turkeys! After about 2 hours we headed back toward the car, pausing at the house so that Corinne could take a ride on the wooden swing hanging from a great big shade tree.
It was a great day and I'm excited to go back sometime this fall during Apple Days when we can see a whole different side to the farm.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Corinne was happy to give her great-grandparents a tour of the house and kept a tight grip on their fingers when walking about and traversing the staircases. We played with puzzles and read books together before heading out to a restaurant for dinner. Corinne was very well behaved and colored on her place mat while we perused our menus. Once our order had been placed, Corinne decided it was time to socialize and sat with Grandma - trying on her pretty blue bracelet and playing with her colorful purse. After we had all eaten our fill Corinne snuggled up with Grandpa Busch and he shared a few bites of waffle fries with her.
On the way home Corinne got to open a very special package and she "oohed and ahhed" over her new Teddy Bear and immediately requested that her new pop-up book The Very Hungry Caterpillar be read over and over in the car. She was very careful with the pages helped count all of the foods the caterpillar ate his way through.
When it was time to say goodbye Corinne was generous with her hugs and kisses to Grandma and Grandpa Busch. It was a wonderful visit and I was surprised and happy to see how quickly Corinne accepted them into her circle.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
On Saturday morning Corinne and I walked up to my mom's house to pick her up en route to the community parade. We picked out a nice shady spot in the middle of someone's drive way (since they wouldn't be going anywhere during the parade!) and settled in to listen to the marching bands and enjoy the floats. Corinne did a great job - she waved to the veterans and clapped for any groups that she particularly enjoyed. She danced to the music and watched intently as kids on bikes and in gymnastics groups went by. I guess it might be time to start thinking about enrolling her in some activities! Uncle Scott joined us about halfway through and I think a new person helped to keep her settled, she was well behaved for the entire parade which lasted almost 90 minutes. We walked back to my mom's house and settled in for the afternoon.
Corinne took a late nap and seemed to be in a great mood. Her bedtime is usually 8:00 and she was still doing great at 9:00 when we packed up and headed to the park for the local fireworks. She handled the crowd well and played on the playground, without concern for the 150 other kids running around, until it was time to lay back and watch the sky explode with color. She enjoyed the first 5 minutes or so and she wasn't afraid but she was ready for the fireworks to be "all done" so we picked her up and started walking home. Corinne wanted to be held the whole way home and she watched the show with her head on our shoulders, occasionally telling us what color the fireworks were.
She slept soundly that night, but woke up right on time. I was sure she would sleep in at least a little bit...no rest for the weary! On Sunday we met my family at a park to have a picnic and cookout. There is a water park and I packed Corinne's swimsuit so she got to enjoy a reprieve from the heat and humidity while 'milking' a cow and panning for gold in the toddler's play area. She probably ran about a mile while chasing a soccer ball and tennis ball around on a basketball court with Uncle Scott and Hayley. She took a short nap after lunch and we headed home shortly after she woke up.
It was a great holiday weekend and so much fun to see things through the eyes of a child again.
Monday, June 7, 2010
We were living in a different house and Brett had a different job.
At this time last year Brett was teaching guitar at a studio and this year he is fostering Corinne's interest in music.
You never know where life is going to take you, but I'm looking forward to finding out how the next year unfolds for my little family.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Today is your 18-month birthday, you are 1 1/2. No longer a baby, but fully entrenched in toddler-hood. Things this year are so much more fun with you because everything is new to you. You were just too young last spring to notice the changes in the world around you, but this year you are enjoying the view as the world comes back to life. There are great big trees along both sides of the road in our neighborhood, they are home to droves of squirrels and every time you see a squirrel you make a noise of surprise and delight as though you just can't believe such awesome little critters are running around in your yard!
You have been very interested in all of the different flowers popping up all around our house and regardless of where they are growing you are determined to investigate. You listen intently when I tell you what kind of flower it is and what color the petals are. You are usually very gentle and only use one finger to touch the petals, leaves and stem. However. We also have weeds growing in our yard, yellow weeds that you seem to think are very pretty. Eventually these weeds go to seed and then you feel the need to blow their seeds all over the place, thus creating more weeds. When you grow up you will call them dandelions and hopefully you will stop your quest to help them take over the universe. You play this little game at grandma's house too, but grandma's yard has a pretty slide to distract you.
Anytime we are over at grandma's you request that someone come with you outside, you want to slide. We used to have to lift you up onto the platform and then you would hold our fingers as you cautiously slid back down to the ground. Rinse, repeat...over and over again. No more! You have figured out that your little tennis shoes provide enough traction to climb up the slide, so now you crawl up on your hands and feet. And, just the other day I watched as you went down the slide with your feet tucked under you. I like to call this James-Brown-style. Your uncle encourages your adventurous streak and I love watching the two of you play together.
Although you seem to have no fear when it comes to playing, your sense of personal hygiene is well intact. You love to brush your teeth with me in the morning as we are getting ready for the day and you enjoy the warm washcloth I use to clean your hands and face after each meal. If you find some dirt on your hands you say "Eiw" and ask that I remove the offending particle. You have taken it to a whole new level with your feet though. I often find you removing your shoes and socks (you still need a bit of help with your socks most of the time) and examining your feet for foozles. Other people call it toe jam or sock lint, but we call it foozles, a term coined by your father's cousin which I adopted because it just fits perfectly.
I hope you know how proud I am of you every day, you remind me to enjoy the season and to take the time to appreciate the world around me. You have helped make me a better person, you made me a mother.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I went back to work full-time at the beginning of April and now C attends school Monday-Thursday and still spends her Fridays with Grandma Chris. She has adjusted well to the additional day, but she knows that I used to pick her up at a certain time and now I am about 45 minutes 'late.' Her teachers at school are at a loss for how to help her through that last stretch of time - she starts asking for 'mama' and 'home' and is generally unhappy. It breaks my heart and we're trying to think creatively about how to distract and sooth her. One of her teachers suggested that we bring in pictures of 'mama' and 'daddy' so that when she asks for us she can see us and be reminded that we'll be there soon. That idea completely backfired and she became completely hysterical any time she saw our pictures.
This week we're going to try music. Music is completely stimulating for Corinne and she can sing and dance to the same song endlessly. Some of her favorites at home are Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes, The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Patty Cake, and Ring Around the Rosey. She knows where all of her body parts are for HSK&T, we do hand motions for Itsy-Bitsy and Patty Cake, and she spins and falls down during the appropriate times when we sing RAtR. It's adorable.
We've also suggested that when they notice that she's starting to get anxious they can give C her blanket or a toy from home, something special that is just hers that she wouldn't have seen all day and might get excited about. We'll see how it goes. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a great idea to help C with this transition. I know that with time she will adjust and become confident in our new schedule, but in the meantime I'm sad that I can't be everything for my little girl all the time.
Monday, April 12, 2010
A short time later a few patches of daffodils popped up, also at the front of the house.
And in the backyard these tulips are just starting to open
I believe this is a rhododendron, we have one at the front and one in the back of the house. I love the intensity of the color of the flowers.
There are other patches where we may eventually have blooms, but for now they seem to be content to leaf out without revealing any buds. I am hopeful that some might grow to be daylilies, but if not I plan to harvest some bulbs from my mom's yard this fall. There are 4 or 5 rose bushes in the backyard and while I have no previous experience with roses I am anxious to learn how to care for them.
I am really having fun getting to know our outdoor spaces, it will be a 4-season process and I will probably sit back this year while I am introduced to all of the hidden treasures. I would like to put in a vegetable garden and perhaps plan a few other projects but, as much as possible, I want to respect the plants that are already thriving in our midst.
Friday, April 9, 2010
C spends Fridays with my mom (thanks, mom!) and I go over to visit for a while after work before heading home. My brother was holding C and I noticed raised spots on either side of her lower back, just above her jeans. She was scratching at the spots and I figured she had been bitten by some type of insect. Since we live so close I quickly ran home to grab a tube of hydrocortizone cream to relieve the itching. When I got back I stripped her from the waist down so that I could apply the cream and change her diaper at the same time. As soon as I removed her jeans I saw that the swelling wrapped around both of her hips, down her thighs and ended at her knees. I yelled for my mom and ripped her shirt off to see if it was affecting her upper body - sure enough her upper arms were red & swollen down to her elbows. The raised areas were warm but C didn't appear to be in any discomfort or pain.
I called her pediatricians office only to find that they were closed, so I left a message for the doctor on call, packed up the diaper bag and headed to Children's Hospital. My mom drove and I called Brett from the car, he left work and met us at the hospital. On the way I realized that I forgot to grab my purse which contained my insurance card and ID, Scott & Hayley very kindly brought it to the hospital for me (thanks!).
By the time we arrived at the emergency room her swelling was receding and there were bright red marks along the outline of where the swelling had been. I don't mess around with swelling so I still wanted her to be examined. We were seen by the nurse with-in 10 minutes for vitals and preliminary screening and then sent back out to the waiting area. C hates medical professionals, she screamed throughout the entire screening and they were unable to get an accurate blood pressure because she was so wiggly. After about 45 minutes we headed back to a room and C was seen by a resident and an attending (screaming the whole time) who concluded that she had an ear infection and that the swelling could be a secondary symptom of the infection. We were given a prescription for amoxicillin and headed home.
When we left the hospital my cell phone service returned and a new voicemail came in from the doctor on-call at the pediatrician's office. She suggested that what I had described in my message sounded like urticaria - not life threatening and fairly common. Go ahead & look it up, search for some pictures so you have an idea of what my baby looked like. Are you back? Do you understand why I was so worried? The pediatrician suggested that, if we were facing a long wait time at the hospital, we just head home and bring C in to the pediatrician's Saturday morning office hours.
The next morning we did just that and although C's ears were a little red (she was screaming) the doctor didn't think that it warranted starting a 10-day course of antibiotics. We administered Motrin or Tylenol as needed for C's discomfort on Saturday (she slept horribly). Then on Sunday C was continuously seeping thick, neon green fluid from both eyes. As soon as it was wiped away, new fluid would form. Eiw! Something was definitely going on inside her little body so we filled the prescription for amoxicillin and after about 2 days she was back to a healthy version of herself.
So, what really happened? The honest answer is that we don't know for sure. But, after doing lots of research we have come to the conclusion that the uticaria was likely an environmental reaction from significant changes in temperature...it was cold on Friday and C went on a stroller ride. Something as simple as that. The green eye goop was probably some kind of virus that we knocked out with the antibiotics.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
We recently returned from a week of fun in Naples, FL with mee-maw and pa-paw (Brett’s parents). This was Corinne’s second round-trip flight, she was as great on this trip as she was when we flew to AZ in December – she’s a champion traveler.
Great-grandpa & grandma Busch were generous enough to let us stay at their condo which sits right on the beach. It was windy and cool, but Corinne didn’t mind – the sun was out and she didn’t have to wear a coat!
We had a great time playing in the sun and sand. Corinne enjoyed collecting shells in her bucket and experiencing the feel of sand under her feet and in her hands. She eventually gathered up her courage to let the water roll over her feet.
I think she had fun dressing up in cute spring clothes instead of the heavy winter fare she’s become used to.We spent a day at the Naples Zoo where Corinne had fun watching us feed the ducks. She passed out on my shoulder which never happens, so I was happy to feel the weight of her body resting in my arms. We explored the Naples Pier where we chased sea gulls and watched the older men fish.
Mornings were spent lounging lazily in our PJs cuddling and watching the pelicans dive-bomb the water searching for their breakfast.
When we were ready to head out for our adventure of the day Mee-maw was happy to keep Corinne entertained. She was a very well-behaved little lady when we went to dinner on 3 separate occasions.
We snuck up to North Fort Myers one day to visit GG Marilyn & Sam, Aunt Bernita & Uncle Jim, Aunt Deanie and Alex. Corinne was playful in the car but took an early nap on the way so she was sleepy and cautious when we first arrived. Corinne & GG Marilyn spent lots of time together and I know she will be thrilled to have “GG” back at home late this spring.Our time away gave us a hint of what warmer weather will bring this spring. Last year Corinne was a mere four months old, this year she is a full-fledged toddler exploring and experiencing the world with a youthful energy that I adore. I only hope that I can keep up!