Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Flush it to Sydney!"

This blog post is a bit late, 5 months late in fact. WARNING: Do not read this blogpost, if you are not interested in details of toilet training.

Just before Easter our boy was finally toilet trained. He was aged 3 and a quarter. It was a long time in the making from start to finish.... He likes to test our patience a little. Anyway he started to show signs of interest back in the summer of 2010, just after he turned 2. This photo was taken when he was aged two. He totally surprised me one day when he did a number two in the toilet, when Lincoln was a newborn. Maddi being the helpful sister wiped for him and was excited to announce to me the exciting news. I got my hopes up a little, and thought that it may just be easier than I had anticipated. I thought I was so lucky to have a newborn and a toddler that was toilet training himself. After all it is a real no no to toilet train a child with big changes in his life. We had moved house and then the following day he had a new sibling, so I never wanted to push him to do it at this stage in his life. But if he wanted to do it himself, I was fine with that. Progress just stopped after a while and he had no interest to do it again.

Then with the warmer weather of summer, just after he turned 3, we tried again.We are lucky enough to live close to the town centre and live close enough to hear the Memorial Clock Tower. From 8am until 9pm everyday, this clock chimes a song on the hour in a minor scale. I used to think that it was so depressing being in a minor scale, but am now so used to hearing it.  On the half hour it dings just the once. This had Maddi stumped a lot, as she would often think it was 1 O'clock!  I have found this clock chime so handy over the years. If I'm out in the garden or elsewhere I know exactly what time it is as I don't wear a watch and have not for years because of the accidental scratching on the kids. I thought that we could use this clock to our advantage. So I started to get little Alex tuned into to listening for the chime. So every time he heard the clock he was to go to the toilet. It was very unlikely that he would have an accident in half an hour. It became quite a novelty at first, and Maddi got so involved in listening for the clock, that everytime she would hear it she wanted to be the first to announce that it was "toilet time!." Nothing like a bit of help and reminder from his big sister!

Then after a while of accidents, number ones were mastered without the aid of the clock. He took great delight in flushing his wees to Sydney. Well he used to say "flush it to Sydney!". Then it was time to master the number twos, because it's not nice at all having to clean underpants everyday with number twos inside. Sorry to be a bit gross with the details! We had a box of presents that he was to choose a present every time he did a number two. That box didn't even get a look in for a couple of months. So after some time, Alex and I did a roster of toilet supervision. Every night after tea, one of us would sit with him at the toilet for about half an hour. We most often would read books to him and went through lots of new books that we had borrowed from the library. Then one day...... a number two finally happened while he was on the loo. He was so excited, and we were too. It was like we had won Tatslotto! He then quickly obtained his gifts of funny glasses, glow in the dark stars, a magic painting book, cars, lollies and other things. After that day we only had a few setbacks, but he finally mastered toilet training with a bit of encouragement from us all and some presents..

All his number twos are being flushed to Sydney now. No idea why he decided they were going to Sydney and not Melbourne, but we are happy that they go to Sydney everyday. Sometimes twice a day! Sorry about sending our mess to you Auntie Gina, Damien, Beth and Uncle Chrish! He still wears nappies to bed but doesn't very often wet them at night. The only trouble we really have now is his independance of wiping. We have to listen out for when he is on the loo otherwise not all of it makes it to Sydney- Some stays on the seat and in his underpants. Sorry about all the details. He was toliet trained just in time to go to visit Moppy and Poppy while we went to Melbourne for the weekend back in May. We are so proud of our boy. He is now trying to teach Linc that art of toilet training. It is so nice to have one sibling pass their knowledge and encouragement of toilet training to their younger sibling. I think Linc will one day thank Maddi for her modesty in this photo!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An 80th Birthday

Back in early August we had a special occasion that brought us down to Hobart for the weekend. It was Alex's Nana's 80th birthday. Alex's Nana is a very special lady, always one to think of others and is such a humble lady. It's hard to believe that she is 80 years old as she is still so busy and young at heart. The kids love their Great Nana, and they are lucky to have her involved in their lives. She is always so busy knitting items for the great grandkids and is known for her very practical smock bibs that have been an asset to the kids wardrobes over the years! The above photo was taken during Christmas 2009.

We celebrated on her actual birthday by going to Blueskies Restaurant, with extended family and friends, from the state and some from interstate. Gina and Damien came down for the weekend and surpised Nana with their visit. It was nice that the occasion brought lots of the family together, as it becomes rarer for family get togethers. Maddi and Alex spent time and became acquainted with their second cousins Joshua and Megan. It turns out that Maddi and Megan are the same age, so that had lots to talk about.  I must upload some photos of the occassion from Alex's phone.

We also got to meet Beth our niece and cousin for the first time. Beth is such a beautiful baby. She was four weeks old when we met her over the weekend. She looks a lot like Damien and reminds me a lot of Maddi as a baby. Maybe all baby girls do! She was sleeping well already and Gina is so relaxed and calm as a mother that she seems like she is an old hand. Perhaps all the babies that she has photopgraphed that have pooed and spewed on her over the years, has helped her with the experience!

Linc doesn't seem so babyish anymore. Although the whole weekend he was such high maintenance. He wasn't feeling great the whole weekend and was very clingy and insecure. I was exhausted the whole weekend as I had a sinus infection and Linc wasn't sleeping so well, and the only way he would sleep was to lay right on top of my body. Lucky he is light, otherwise I would of had back problems for the next week. It almost felt like we had a newborn! Little Alex did his nightly awakenings and vommitted after tea on Sunday night, so it was so busy dealing with all the sickness and lack of sleep. We didn't really know that he was sick as he just bounces still and doesn't ever tell us that he is feeling unwell.  Unfortunately, because I wasn't well and didn't want to spread anything to Beth, I didn't give her any cuddles and holds.

Alex and the kids were lucky enough to interact with Beth closely. Alex is such a cluckster when it comes to babies. It was nice to see him with his very first blood niece.

 On Monday morning we got some photos of all the cousins together. These photos crack me up as Will is so busy and wouldn't sit still for the photo. He kept trying to escape. After a while we figured it was easier to put him on the chair so he would stick around a little longer.Will is such a character, he was always cracking us up with his antics.

Before we left we had lunch with Gina, Beth, Becc and Will at Nando's. I love that Nando's conforms with our dietary requirements. We also discovered a great patesserie in North Hobart called Sweet Envy. It felt like a touch of Melbourne had come to Hobart. I had my tastebuds out for some macaroons, but they had sold out, so instead I got a piece of cake. We left Hobart in the late afternoon. It was lovely to meet Beth and be there for Nana's special occasion. I love that Alex has the flexibility in his work to have long weekends. Weekends with the family are the best weekends. Don't grow up too fast Beth. I want to have a cuddle, while you're little.