Team Erickson

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How to make your own cloth dusting mitt September 24, 2012

Filed under: Home — teamerickson @ 2:16 pm

It’s so simple.

And yet the idea just came to me today when I realized the dust was beginning to pile up on my shelves.

I have one of those reusable dusting wand things, but I hadn’t washed it for a while. Ew. And I’ve really wanted a dusting mitt, but didn’t want to fork over the money when I had a perfectly good wand. My desperation to dust coupled with my stinginess and refusal to buy a new mitt led to this bright idea…

So here’s how to make your own reusable cloth dusting mitt from things you already have around your house.

1. Find an old cotton sock.

2. Sniff it to make sure it’s clean.

3. Put it on your hand.

4. Dust the nastiness out of your house.

5. Toss the now dirty sock into the laundry bin.


Tips and troubleshooting:

1. If the sock is dirty, find another one. (Hint: look in your drawer.) Or, if you’re the type that doesn’t give a damn, use the part of the sock that goes on the top of your foot.

2. If your house is really dusty (or really large), grab a pair of socks and use both hands. Careful though, this move is for experienced dusters only.

3. You might also try turning the sock as you go, so you can get more dusting power from just one sock.


I really can’t believe I hadn’t thought of this before. And now I really can’t believe people actually pay money for those dusting mitts. That mitt is a sock for your hand, people!!


Crap Mastery… Day 5 August 17, 2012

Filed under: Gunnar — teamerickson @ 10:46 pm

AKA, potty training. I’ve recently heard that some people don’t like to use the phrase “potty training.” To that I say, why the heck not? Is crap mastery better? I’m really not sure, but either way I think Gunnar is getting there!

This is my last post entirely dedicated to crap mastery. I know this may distress some of you and might even cause you to go into a little depression not being able to read about all the gory details of pee and poo, but let’s just say it’s for the best.

We had another long morning, but things are finally getting back to “normal” in our house. I’ve felt out of sorts for the whole week as this potty thing has really taken over my whole life. It’s all I focus on. I keep wondering when the literal crap is going to hit the proverbial fan. Is he going to pee? When is it going to happen? Will he tell me in time? If not, what’s going to get peed on? Does he have to go now? Did he forget? Should I remind him? If I ask him if he needs to go, will he even tell me the truth? I sincerely doubt it.

The last two days have revealed a truth about my son: he doesn’t really go potty in the morning. Both yesterday and today I was on pins and needles in the morning waiting for him to have to go. But he just didn’t. I put him on the potty and nothing happened. Both days he went pee right around or during lunch time. This leads me to conclude that I need to RELAX. He’ll do it when he needs to.

We ate lunch today around 11:15am. He had some peas. That was all he wanted. During the middle of his pea eating, he looked up and said, “Poo! Poo!” I took him and set him on the pot and he peed right away. Then he sat there talking and singing to himself for another 5 or 10 minutes. He finally called out for me to come get him. He had peed and pooped! Woohoo! I think he’s really getting this thing down! I got him a sticker, a balloon, and a helicopter. (Apparently Matchbox also makes helicopters and includes them in their five packs.) He was so excited and played with the helicopter for another few minutes till it was time for a nap.

I put him down and waited to hear the sound of silence.

No such luck.

On any normal day, this would be completely fine. I’d just leave him up there to talk and sing and play in his crib. The kid needs his alone time. And so does Mama.

However, today we have a doctor appointment for Gunnar in the afternoon. If he doesn’t sleep, we’re going to have a crankypants and possibly a peepeepants and maybe even a poopoopants on our hands. Bad news for mama. I don’t want to put him in a diaper for his appointment, so I think we’re going to have to use the plastic training pants and hope for the best.

(I wrote the above stuff during Gunnar’s “nap” time, here’s how the rest of our day went…)

All right, made it to and from the doctor with two kids and all their junk. 🙂 I put Gunnar in his plastic lined training pants for his appointment and crossed my fingers, hoping that if he did pee it wouldn’t overflow out of them. When we got to the office I put him on the toilet. He didn’t go. When we were leaving the office I put him on the toilet. I was worried now because I thought he’d probably end up going in the car on the way home. And if that’s not bad enough, I wasn’t even driving my car, I was borrowing Joel & Ket’s car! So I sped all the way home, ran Gunnar inside, and plopped him on the toilet. Still nothing. Why wasn’t he peeing?

It was right about this time that I remembered I hadn’t given him any juice today. Normally I don’t give Gunnar any juice at all, but I wanted him to have to go pee a lot this week, so I gave him juice every day to make him go. But today I cut him off. So it appears that my kid doesn’t actually go very often unless he’s pumped full of juice. Lucky me!

I got Vivvi, who was now screaming hysterically, upstairs and into bed, and I set Gunnar on the toilet again so I could nurse Vivvi to sleep. While I was nursing her I heard a tinkle or two, and I did my best whisper cheer for him. Woohoo Gunnar!

Then we went downstairs and talked with Nana Bonnie & Papa Les on Skype. Fun! And Gunnar played and played and played.

I fed him some baked cod, grapes, and yogurt for dinner. During the middle of it, he said, “Poo! Poo!” So I picked him up, and as I was setting him on the toilet I noticed I was suddenly wet. Apparently he’d started going pee in his chair, peed on the way to the toilet, and then peed some more on the toilet. Just perfect.

After that I decided it was bed time so I took him upstairs and rocked him for a while. I love those cuddle times at the end of the day, when all is right with the world.

I’d like to thank J for being a great support during this time I’ve gotten to get out and run my stress off at night and he’s stayed in with the kids. I’d also like to thank Vivvi for going through what I can only suppose is a growth spurt this week. She slept a TON, which left me with only one kid to worry about. And lastly I’d like to thank Gunnar for learning this stuff quickly. Sure, we’ve still got a little ways to go before we’re accident free and a long ways to go before we’re without diapers at nap time and night time, but I’m ok with that.

Stats for the day…
Poops: 1
Pees: 3
Accidents: 1

Just a few things for the record books and words of advice for moms who are thinking about potty training…

(I am not the be all or end all of potty training, this is just what I found while working with my own kid, so take it or leave it.)

1. If you think your kid might be ready, DO IT. Don’t wait. (Of course, if you have a vacation in the near future or some sort of stressful life event, maybe wait till after that, but don’t wait too long!) I know I’m just a one man study in potty training a toddler, but it has been pretty easy, and I think it’s because Gunnar knew he needed to do what Mama asked of him. No reasoning. No excuses. Just do it.

2. If you have a boy, get something with a pee guard. It’s well worth it. What I ended up purchasing is this seat. I like it because it has handles, it’s totally portable, and it has a pee guard. In hindsight, however, I probably would have purchased something like this from Ikea. He can squat on it and it opens up everything down there. It’s also short enough that he could probably get on and off it himself. In fact, I may still yet purchase one, come on, it’s $5.

3. Don’t push your kid too hard. I just left Gunnar on the seat and gave him some privacy and he did his own thing in his own time. Some kids just need a little space.

4. Reward your kid for a job well done. I used stickers, balloons, balls, cars, and lots and lots and lots of praise. All of these things are relatively cheap. Some people use food rewards, which can also work. I liked using the stickers, however, because they last. They’re something he can look at and focus on when he’s going potty, whereas food just goes right into the belly and is forgotten about a few minutes later. Also, I don’t personally want to use food because J and I have both struggled with weight issues our whole lives. Enough said about that.

5. Choose a week when you won’t be going anywhere. We had an appointment today, but I figured it would be ok since it was at the end of the week. But seriously, you don’t want to have the stress on you or your kid if he has an accident in the middle of all the kids playing at the park. Those already trained five and six year olds will have a heyday pointing and laughing. Jerks.

6. Make your kid wear underwear, especially if you have a boy. I know there’s that method out there that tells you to let your kid run naked around the house. I’m telling you, if you have a boy, DON’T DO IT. Boys think it’s cool when they figure out they can pee on things. When they find this out, they don’t want to pee on the toilet, they want to pee on the carpet, on the fridge, on the front door, on the cat, and, heaven forbid, on their little sister. Put undies on the kid. He really really REALLY won’t like how it feels to pee in those.

All right, that’s it for now. Hope you enjoyed my five day series on Crap Mastery. I promise my next post will not be about pee. Or poop. But I may still mention it from time to time.


Potty Training… Day 4 August 16, 2012

Filed under: Gunnar — teamerickson @ 10:19 pm

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday. It’s been one of those weeks where time moves sooo quickly and sooo slowly at the same time. Thank goodness the weekend will be here soon and I’ll have some help from J!

When I got Gunnar up this morning, he already had poop in his diaper. I was a little disappointed, since he probably wouldn’t go poop again for a while. Maybe even not until tomorrow. Ah well.

I picked him up and got his undies on and we went downstairs. He ate some breakfast and then played. And played. And played. I stuck him on the toilet a couple of times to see if anything would happen, but he wasn’t going at all. I was starting to think that letting him play and pee outside yesterday afternoon might not have been a good idea.

It was already 11am. Nap time was coming soon. Oh man. I was starting to get nervous, thinking he might just hold it all in till nap time, then let it go in his diaper. Grrrr.

Right around 11:10, he gave me the signal (grabbing his man parts with a nervous look), so I quickly rushed him to the toilet. As I was scooping him up to put him on the toilet, an idea occurred to me. What if I cheer him on just for giving the sign and sitting on the potty? So I started cheering for him and clapping. Then I stepped out of the bathroom to give him a little privacy. Sure enough I heard a tinkle tinkle! So I cheered for him again! I gave him a sticker and a balloon and we both clapped for his success.

A little while later he started crying for no reason. He started limping so I thought he hurt his foot. I sat him down on my lap and he just kept right on crying. Finally I thought this might be a potty thing. So I cheered for him as I took him to the potty, and he went again! Woohoo!

Toward the end of lunch time he started saying, “Poo! Poo!” So I set him on the pot and left him alone for a few minutes. I stood outside the open bathroom door, around the corner so he couldn’t see me, and I prayed for poop. I don’t know that I’ve ever prayed for poop before, but I did today. Nap time was coming in just a few short minutes and I wanted him to poop on the potty, not in his diaper, so he could cheer and be proud of himself. I prayed and prayed and prayed and waited for about 5 or 10 minutes. I didn’t hear much, though there may have been a tinkle or two in there. Finally he called out, “Mama!” I asked him if he was done and took him of the potty when he said yes. When I looked down into the toilet, I beheld a joyous sight – a small poop! I jumped for joy and cheered for Gunnar and pointed to his poo masterpiece. He proudly flushed the toilet and I gave him his prize – a new car. Fun!

Gunnar playing with his poo car.

Driving his poo car on mama’s knee. Nice.

He was so proud. He started running around the room. He was playing with his new car and he was really excited. I told him it was time for a nap and he shook his head no. I went over to grab him, but he ran to the bathroom and said, “Poo! Poo!” He backed himself up to the toilet, so I lifted him on it. I was figuring this was yet another ploy to get out of going to sleep. But I left him in there anyway to see what he’d do. I heard a couple grunts, and then he called out that he was done. I took him off the potty and it was FULL of poop!!! Woohoo! I was so excited! I clapped and gave him lots of praise again. He flushed and we got another new car out for him to play with.

I decided I wanted to try out the plastic training pants for nap time. I put him in them and put him to bed. But he wasn’t falling asleep. I figured he’d probably gone pee in them. So I went in to change him. He was dry. I figured he might be uncomfortable because he’s so used to a diaper during sleep time and he didn’t want to have an accident. So I asked if he’d like a diaper and he said yes. I put him in his diaper and he passed out.

Vivvi was up by now so we played for a little bit and I took time to read my Bible and do a journal entry. Vivvi was tired again around 1:30 so I put her down for a nap. Then I got to have some mommy time! I feel like I haven’t had alone time since this whole process started, so having some time by myself was refreshing! I did what I wanted to do. I ate a hot lunch of leftovers. I went on Facebook. I started writing my blog entry for the day. I played some solitaire. I ate some watermelon. It was awesome.

Gunnar got up and had poop in his diaper, so we took it downstairs and flushed it. He played around for a long while. I kept reminding him to let me know if he needed to go potty. He was standing right by the bathroom and gave me the look, I rushed over to grab him but didn’t get there in time and he peed all over the floor. He did finish a little on the toilet, so I only counted that one as half an accident. He knew it was about to happen, so that’s the important part.

He peed a couple more times during the day, and I gave him stickers and balloons. He loves those motivators!

Then near the end of the day he had a pretty big pee accident on the floor. I was talking with Nana Caroline on the phone and probably wasn’t paying enough attention to Gunnar, and he lost it. He was pretty upset, but I calmed him and let him know it was ok. It was probably my fault anyway. 🙂

Gunnar sharing his favorite bear with Vivvi. Such a sweet big brother!

When dinner time came I gave him some peas and rice pasta mac n cheese, which he gobbled up! I knew he needed to pee during the middle of his meal, so with much protest from him, I set him on the potty and left him for a minute. And he went! Sweet!

Toward the end of dinner he started saying, “Poo! Poo!” so I put him on the toilet and left him there for a good long while, probably 5 or 10 minutes. I heard a few grunts and finally went back in to check on him just as J was walking in the door. I took him off the pot and there was a little poo in there! So daddy got to celebrate with Gunnar too. Woohoo! We gave him his THIRD car for the day, let him run around for a few more minutes, then sent him to bed.

Here’s the daily count:

Poops on the potty: 3!!!

Pees on the potty: 9

Accidents: 1.5

Miles run by mom to burn off the stress at the end of the day: 3.07!!!

Sticker chart for the day. The P! stands for poop!


Potty Training… Day 3!! August 15, 2012

Filed under: Gunnar — teamerickson @ 11:01 pm

This potty training thing is hard work. It’s exhausting in just about every way imaginable.

Mentally – Doubting yourself for ever thinking this was a good idea. Trying to figure out what the kid is thinking and how to teach him what to do. Trying to come up with new ways to make it exciting. Figuring out how to balance two kids at once while one is potty training  and the other is a screaming 3 month old who needs to be fed and put down for a nap. Yeah…

Emotionally – Keeping that happy face on when all you want to do is scream, cry, pull your hair out, or all three at the same time. And keeping all your emotions in check so the kid doesn’t see how upset you are that he just peepeed all over your floor. Also, finding the energy to get SUPER DUPER EXCITED when peepee does finally happen on the toilet.

Physically – Lifting a 30lb kid on and off the pot several times a day is no joke. This also includes squatting down so you’re on eye level with him, sometimes sitting on the hard floor for long periods of time, and let’s not forget all the jumping up and running to the bathroom when he says “Mama!”

Well this morning my hard work really started to pay off!

Gunnar went pee on the potty three times! One of those three times was even in the middle of lunch time when he was in his high chair! He said, “Mama!” and grabbed his man parts. So I grabbed him and threw him on the potty and he went! I was so proud!



This is going pretty well.

He woke up from nap time yelling, “Poo! Poo!” This is not all that unusual considering he has been saying poo to try to get out of napping. So I figured it was probably not a sign of things to come.

We went down stairs and he played for a few minutes. Then he said, “Poo!” again, so I ran him to the toilet. I sat him down and got him the balloons he’d earned today because he wanted to play with them. Then I left him alone (door open of course), as has been the best scenario for getting him to go.

I heard some pee so I walked back in and said, “Yay Gunnar! You went pee! Yay! Mama is so proud of you!” I asked if he was done then picked him up off the pot. And lo and behold there was poop in the potty!!!!! I freaked out with excitement! I showed him the poop and said, “Good job! You made that in the toilet!” He didn’t seem as thrilled as I was, and quickly flushed it down the toilet. 🙂

Gunnar got a big prize for going poop – a new car!

It’s a little Matchbox Jeep Wrangler. He was pretty stoked about it.

He went pee a couple more times after that.

We walked outside to drop a letter in the mailbox and when we got back, Vivvi was crying, so I went upstairs to get her. Shortly after I got back down, Gunnar had his first accident of the day. He was super bummed about it. And he didn’t want to go on the toilet after that. We spent another hour and a half downstairs, with me periodically putting him on the potty, but nothing happened.

Eventually Vivvi was ready to go back to bed so I took Gunnar upstairs and had him sit on the toilet up there so I could watch him go and nurse Vivvi at the same time. He still didn’t go, but at least I was back to only watching one kid.

Both Gunnar and I had had a full day, so I decided it was time to just have some fun. We went outside and I filled up his kiddie pool and let him play. He peed several times in his undies, which he loved. 🙂 It gave me a break from all the worrying too.

We went back inside for dinner. After dinner he sat on the potty for about 15 minutes. I think he was about to go, but then J got home so he got distracted and wanted to get down. I ran back outside to look for the car he had earned today so he could show his dad, and Gunnar followed me out there and proceeded to pee. NICE.

I picked him up and we went upstairs and got ready for bed. Right when I got his diaper and clothes on, he said, “Poo! Poo!” I asked him if he needed to go potty and he cried and said yes. So I took him downstairs and set him on the potty. Nothing happened. And of course, right when I let him off the potty he was fine and started running around. I have to hand it to him, he’s a pretty good manipulator. He really knows how to get out of bed time.

All right, that’s it for today. Here’s hoping that we both have a good and stress-free day tomorrow with no accidents!!!


Potty Training… Day 2 August 14, 2012

Filed under: Gunnar — teamerickson @ 9:32 pm

The end of the day yesterday gave me great hope for this morning.

That flame of hope was quickly snuffed out.

He just wasn’t going again. And he didn’t want to be on the potty. After two accidents, I decided it was time for more immersion therapy. So we sat on the toilet for probably about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. (Let me interject here that this is not as torturous as it sounds. Once he gets over the fear, which takes about 5 minutes, he’s totally fine with sitting on the potty and watching videos and playing with his toys.)

See? He’s happy as a clam.

Finally he decided he couldn’t hold his pee in any longer, so he started to let it out. This made him cry and scream for a few seconds… until he looked down and actually saw what was happening. Then he thought it was pretty cool. He even ran his fingers through his pee stream. Nice. Such a typical boy.

He was rewarded with a sticker and a balloon, along with lots and lots of praise and cheering from mama.

High five for Gunnar!!

I put on new undies and let him off the pot to run around a play for a while. Again, I reminded him every couple of minutes to “tell mom when you need to go peepee or poopoo.”

After a little while he ran up to me and gave me the look. I ran him into the bathroom and he peed on the potty!! I was so proud! He was rewarded with another balloon and another sticker. I put his clean undies back on and let him play.

Play time in big boy undies!

The next time he had to go he ran into the bathroom. I ran in after him and plopped him on the potty and he went again! Woohoo! We were finally getting it down! This time he got another sticker to add to his growing collection. He’s pretty excited about those stickers.

Right before nap time I was reminding him again about telling mom if he needs to go pee or poo and he started going all over the floor. But I scooped him up and ran him to the bathroom so he could finish on the pot, and we still celebrated with a sticker and lots of praise from mama. He clapped for himself too. He likes watching his pee go into the pot, then dumping the little pot into the big toilet and flushing it away.

I put a diaper on him for today’s nap time. I figure that I pumped him so full of juice that there’s no way he’s going to be able to hold it in for the full nap time. Well, he pooped in it half way through nap time. Bummer. I really wanted him to get that out on the potty. But I know it’ll eventually happen. One step at a time.

My plan is that I’ll diaper him for nap and night time through this week, so we can at least get the basics down. Then next week I’ll just use the training pants for nap time, but a diaper still for night time. Then when he’s ready, I’ll take away the night time diaper.

So back to the story…

He didn’t nap at all. Just jumped around in his crib, sang to himself, and whined. As with most kids, when Gunnar doesn’t nap, he usually turns into a hyper-crazed disobedient pile of whines. But today was a little different. He was still hyper and a little disobedient, but I was expecting for him to throw the whole potty thing out the window. But he didn’t! He was excited to go on the potty!

In fact, for the rest of the afternoon he went pee on the potty. He didn’t have a single accident until dinner time, and that’s pretty understandable because he was locked in his chair and preoccupied with delicious food. He wore the same undies the whole time. I was so proud! And he earned more stickers for his chart. He loved that part!

Fun fun fun!

When the day was done, Gunnar had earned TEN stickers for going pee on the potty! And he only had a couple of accidents!

Sticker chart! The first two are from yesterday. The rest are from today!!

Now for a few things I have discovered while potty training my kiddo:

1. Potty training is a waiting game. It feels more like an exercise in the development of my patience than a lesson in teaching Gunnar how to use the potty. Most of the day is occupied by sitting and waiting and trying to entertain my restless kiddo. It’s akin to a 16 year old waiting in line at the DMV. You know something great is coming, but it’s taking forty forevers. And you have to deal with cranky people the whole time you’re there.

2. Gunnar kinda likes a little privacy every once in a while. I discovered this when I stepped out of the bathroom after waiting for a few minutes for him to pee. I left him by himself on the potty so I could grab a couple of things, and sure enough a few seconds later I heard a “tinkle tinkle tinkle!” I rushed back in and there he was, so proud of himself!

3. He’ll poop when he wants. My whole plan was to poop train first because I’ve heard that when you poop train, peeing pretty much follows automatically. Made sense to me so I thought I’d do it. Obviously, Gunnar did not agree. And honestly that’s fine. If he saves it for his diapers at night, there’s nothing I can do. He’ll eventually figure it out.

4. Ya gotta figure out what motivates the kid. For Gunnar, it’s stickers. Balls and balloons help too, but he really wants to earn another sticker. It’s fantastic.

5. I’m a cautious believer that potty training earlier is the way to go for most kids. I’ve heard it was easier, and I’m believing it to be true as of right now. He can’t talk his way out of it, and he knows that if mama wants him to stay on the toilet, he’s gonna have to stay on the toilet. Also, he’s motivated by smiley face stickers. Come on. That’s awesome.

All right, enough for tonight. I’ve gotta go enjoy the cupcake that J brought home for me, along with another lavender soak in the tub.


Vivvi says hi!!


Potty Training… Day 1 August 13, 2012

Filed under: Gunnar — teamerickson @ 8:49 pm


We started potty training Gunnar today.

Some of you may say it’s a little early. I may be inclined to agree with you, we shall see. 🙂 However, I’ve heard some arguments recently that potty training before two can be easier. For one, most kids are excited to please their parents at an earlier age. They want to earn mom and dad’s approval. For two, they’re not quite so strong willed at this age. They don’t feel they have as much control over what they do or don’t do, which makes them more adaptable.

Gunnar started giving us some potty training signs in the last few weeks as well. He started taking his poo out of his diaper at nap time and throwing it, just like a regular old gorilla at the zoo. NICE. He also told us when he went poo and asked for a new diaper. And just recently he began telling me when he was about to go poo. Obviously it’s uncomfortable for the kid to have poo in his diaper. He doesn’t like it. So it’s time to try something new.

I’m giving it my best this week. Gonna put forth all my effort and energy into seeing this kiddo pee and poo on the potty.

Here’s a recap of our day:

We woke up this morning and I took his diaper off and we said goodbye to diapers forever. I showed him his new underwear and asked him which pair he’d like to put on. He chose the black and gray striped ones. (He looked super cute in them!)

I took him downstairs and knelt next to his potty chair and said, “Today we are going to use the potty chair for peepee and poopoo. So exciting! We aren’t going to go peepee and poopoo in our diapers anymore. We are going to use the potty chair!” I helped him pull down his undies and sat him down on the chair for an introduction. He stayed there about 5 seconds and then asked to get up.

I locked us both in the back room of the house with the baby gate since there are wood floors back there. Makes for a much easier clean up.

We ate breakfast and played and NOTHING happened. I sat him on the potty every 30 minutes or so, but he wasn’t interested. So we watched a few youtube videos about going potty. This one is my favorite. Just cracks me up! And Gunnar was super interested in it too.

He sat on the big toilet a few times, then went back to his potty chair.

Then we had our first accident. Uh-oh. He peed on the floor. But I ran him to the potty and he sat on it for a minute and I clapped for him and said, “Good job! You can go peepee in the potty!” He seemed pretty proud of himself.

He had one more accident after that, but did really well with sitting on the potty.

Then he started pointing at the potty and saying, “Poo!” So I asked if he wanted to sit on it and poo and he said yes. I put him on the potty and he grunted a little and let out some toots. I was super excited that this was going to be it! But nothing else came out. However, I am excited that it sounds as if he may be getting the idea.

After a few more tries at poo (he kept wanting to sit on the potty, but would then get frustrated), I decided he was tired and it was time for a nap. I put on plastic lined training pants for nap time and sent him to bed.

When he woke up from his nap I rushed upstairs, thinking he might be dry.


He was soaked.

But there was no poo. So that’s always nice.

I got him up and sat him on the potty. Nothing happened. Ah well.

After nap time he seemed to be quite distraught about the whole potty thing. He kept making a big fuss when I would set him on the potty. And he’d cry the whole 5 seconds he was on there.

After a few rounds of this, I decided it was time for a little bit of immersion therapy. I set him on the toilet and held him there. And held him there. And held him there. He screamed for a little bit, so I hugged him while he was on the toilet. I talked with him. We practiced counting. I asked him to point to body parts. I gave him a wipe and told him to wipe mommy’s eyes/ears/cheeks/mouth/nose/etc. I came up with every distraction and game known to man to keep him on there. Toys. Juice. Snack. Car. Ball. Even youtube.

He stayed on there for quite a while. I have no idea how long. Torture? Possibly. But I can say now that he is confident on the potty. He can even sit by himself so I can run and grab whatever it is he wants or needs.



He actually went a few times while he was stuck on there. I was so proud! Each time I gave him a prize. Our prizes consisted of balls and balloons. Two of his favorite things. He played with each prize for a while till he went peepee again.

Finally I let him down and put some undies back on him. He had two or three more accidents, but stopped himself in the middle of them and finished on the potty. After that, I kept reminding him every couple of minutes, “Remember to go to the potty when you need to go peepee or poopoo.” I said it over and over and over again. And after a few times of saying it he ran up to me and gave me the “look” so I grabbed him and set him on the potty and he went peepee! He initiated it himself! We cheered and clapped and jumped up and down and called the Nana’s and Papa’s to tell them so they could cheer for him as well. He was very proud of himself.

He went peepee on the potty one more time after this and then it was bedtime. We went upstairs and took a much needed bath. While he was in the bath, he asked to get out so he could go peepee. I was, again, so incredibly proud of him!

Bed time was finally here and I put him in a diaper. I know. But I can’t do night time wetness every night till he figures it out. And I am taking advice from a mother of four who trained each of her kids before 2 years of age AND ran an in-home daycare for years and years. And she said night time diapers are just fine till they start waking up dry. So I’m supposing she knows what she’s talking about.

I haven’t even mentioned Vivvi this whole time. She slept most of the morning, got up after Gunnar had gone down for his nap, went back down before Gunnar got up, then woke up to play around 3pm. Needless to say, the day was fairly easy till then. When I had to run with two at the same time, things got crazy. She was screaming. He was screaming. Mama was stressed. And no one was happy.

Now all I have to say is I’m exhausted. I’m sitting here typing and drinking a Bud Light Lime with grenadine added for fun. And I may yet still have a glass of wine and a lavender soak in the tub. It’s mama’s turn to relax.


The Whole Story May 3, 2012

Filed under: Genevieve,Pregnancy — teamerickson @ 1:00 pm

Disclaimer: This is a very detailed account of how Genevieve came into the world. I wanted to remember it all, so I recorded it all. I don’t think it’s one of those “too much information” things, but you might. So read with caution… 🙂

Well let’s see. I guess I’ve got to start on Friday morning. My mom flew in from seeing my sister in Vegas, so Gunnar and I headed out to pick her up from the airport. We spent a fun day together, then in the afternoon went to my doctor appointment. I saw Dr. H. Lee and she stripped my membranes. She also told me I was a solid 3cm, almost 4! I was loaded with anticipation that this would surely be the weekend I’d go into labor!

Saturday morning I woke up and was still pregnant. I didn’t have any contractions and my water was still intact. Booo. But right around 10am that all started to change. I began having some fairly regular contractions. They started at around 8 minutes apart and quickly moved closer to the 5 minute apart mark. I was about to call my doctor and head to the hospital when my contractions suddenly slowed.  Major booooo. I was really looking forward to getting this process underway.

Even though my labor had slowed we decided to call up our wonderful friends Judah and Candace to see if they could take Gunnar for the day and possibly the night. Candace came right over and picked him up, so Mom, J, and I decided to head out to the mall to see if my labor would pick up.

I was secretly hoping my water would suddenly break in the middle of the food court at the mall. What a story! And kinda gross. No such luck. My contractions were a steady 6 minutes apart, but weren’t getting any faster or harder. I was getting tired after two hours of walking so we headed back home for a nap.

My contractions slowed considerably during nap time. They were around 10 minutes apart, but they were also really, really hard. I couldn’t talk through them and really had to concentrate on my breathing. I had a stretch of about 30-40 minutes where I didn’t have any contractions, so I actually slept during that time. I decided to get up again after a couple really hard contractions. I needed to get my mind off of the whole labor thing.

After sitting on the couch for a while, my contractions picked up, then slowed, then picked up, then slowed. It was so frustrating! I just wanted something to happen! So we went on another walk around the neighborhood to see if they’d get more regular or if my water would break. Again, no such luck.

It was around 8pm when we got back home from the walk and boy was I discouraged. I hadn’t been able to eat hardly anything all day because of all the contracting (it really doesn’t make for a good appetite) and I was super grumpy. We watched a few episodes of America’s Funniest Videos on Netflix to get my mind off things. It actually helped. And the laughter made me feel a lot better.

I called the doctor to let her know what was going on and see what her advice was. She said I could come into the hospital if I wanted and they could check me and monitor me, or I could stay home and that was fine too. I opted to stay home for a bit longer because I was afraid I’d be put on some sort of countdown if I went into the hospital.

Around 10pm J and I headed up to bed to see if we could sleep at all. J had no problem sleeping, but I was having a really rough time. My contractions were still 8-10 minutes apart, but they were really, really, really hard, the worst I’d had all day. There were a couple times where I grabbed J’s arm and woke him up so I could at least have a witness to the craziness in my belly.

Around midnight, after a couple hours of no sleep for me, I finally decided that I wanted to go to the hospital. Either I was going to get an epidural so I could sleep, or I was going to have them break my water and get this thing over with!!

I called two of my close girlfriends and asked if they wanted to come along for moral support. They had been on call during the previous week just in case my mom didn’t make it in time to be with me for the birth, but I decided to ask them along anyway. Both Jonelle and Ashleigh hopped right out of bed and got ready to meet us at the hospital.

Well wouldn’t ya know it, as we were getting on the entrance ramp to the freeway, we saw flashing blue and red lights behind us. Yes, we were being pulled over by the police. J wasn’t speeding, so we knew immediately that the problem was our broken headlight that J hadn’t had a chance to replace yet. When the officer walked up to the car, J speedily announced that his wife was in labor. The officer responded that he certainly wasn’t going to keep us for a broken headlight in that case, and asked if we needed an escort or an ambulance. We said we didn’t and he wished us luck and sent us on our way. This was J’s first time getting out of a ticket! Woohoo!

We got to the hospital around 12:30 or 1am and Jonelle and Ashleigh arrived shortly thereafter. I never really thought I’d want other people at my birth, but it was actually awesome to have them there. I had been awake pretty much all day and was exhausted by this time, and it was just so nice to have their extra energy in the room to encourage me, pray for me, and spur me on.

The nurse got me into a room and checked me and I was already 5-6 cm dilated without any consistent labor! Woohoo! I waited for about an hour and huffed and puffed through some more contractions, and I decided I needed to go potty so J helped me up to go. The nurse warned us that if I felt any pressure while going potty I needed to let her know right away. Well wouldn’t ya know I felt immediate pressure right when I sat down. She sternly told me to get right back in bed. Didn’t even get to go. She checked me and I was 6-7 cm dilated. Wowza! So this thing was really going!

I decided to get an epidural at this time. I was totally exhausted from laboring all day and needed some relief. The anesthesiologist came in and everyone except for J had to leave the room. It took the doc a long while to get the epidural in. I felt like I was sitting there forever! And J almost passed out. He’s still not sure why, but he just got really light headed all of a sudden. Weird. Anyway, so the epidural kicked in and I felt much better.

Then I got the shakes. Oh, the shakes. It’s a lot like the shakes you get when you go into shock. I guess it’s a normal side effect, but I don’t remember getting that with my last epidural. Then my blood pressure started to drop. What the what? At one point I was 94/36. Seriously?! I was scared so J came back to hold my hand. And then I got nauseous. Oh my word at the side effects!

When the doc and nurse finally got everything in balance I felt much better. My mom and Jonelle and Ashleigh got to come back in the room after that. They prayed for me, then turned out all the lights and I rested for about an hour or so. The nurse came back in because I was feeling a lot of pressure. She checked me and I was 8 cm dilated. Then she helped me turn from lying on my left side to lying on my right side and I immediately felt A LOT MORE pressure. So she checked me again and… BOOM I was 10 cm dilated just from turning over!

Nurses started running everywhere to get things ready. My water was still intact so they were waiting for my doctor to get there to pop it. Well, that didn’t happen. I had about four contractions after I was 10 cm and my water broke. And WHOA DANG did I feel the pressure then! My epidural had worn off a little and I hadn’t pushed the pain button in time, so I really felt it! I announced to the room, “My water just broke!… Or… I just pooped.” To which everyone responded, “No, it was your water.” Oh thank God. I really couldn’t tell.

My nurse had stepped out of the room for a moment and was nowhere to be found. And neither was my doctor. J ran out into the hall and yelled for someone to come. It was a funny scene and I totally would have laughed if I wasn’t in so much pain.

So my nurse finally came in and said the doctor was on her way. She got me into the leg supports on the bed and had me scoot down into the birthing position. She very sternly told me not to push and I very sternly told her that I wasn’t but the baby was coming out on her own! She was already crowning without a single push from me.

FINALLY my doctor showed up. She asked how I was doing and I replied, “Dr. Woodman, we gotta make this fast.” She got ready and at the next contraction she said, “Ok, you can push now.” So I pushed once and Genevieve’s head came out. I pushed once more and her shoulders were out. Then I gave a half push and the rest of her was out! Praise the Lord it was a super easy delivery!

Genevieve Elaine was born on April 22 at 5:03am. She was 7lbs 15oz and 21 inches long. My mom said she screamed just like me. Good set of lungs!

Genevieve shares a birthday with her Grandpa Les and her Great Grandma June. So far she’s been a pretty easy baby. She’s sleeping a lot, like newborns do. I usually get a 4-5 hour stretch of sleep at night, which is awesome. And she has a sweet little cry. I’ve found that I’ve bonded with her faster than with Gunnar because I know what it means to have a baby this time. Gunnar opened our eyes to the awesome meaning of the parent-child relationship, so we’re so much more prepared this time. I also feel a lot better with this recovery so that certainly makes things easier.

I’m doing my best to give as many hugs and kisses to Gunnar as I can so he doesn’t feel left out. Hopefully he will see Genevieve as a fun addition to our family, not a threat to his time with mama. I think he’s adjusting really well so far. He thinks she’s pretty cool. He likes to point at her and poke her in the forehead. He calls her “stah,” as in “si-stah” or sister. He’s even shared his toys with her a few times, putting them in her bouncy seat. This makes my mama heart totally happy! I love my two babes so much!