blogging about daily life from Griffin, Georgia

Toilet Training in Less Than a Day

Category: Personal | Comments (0) | Valerie @ March 30th, 2008   

I’m sitting calmly on the sofa in my living room right now.  I’m sipping on a newly poured glass of wine (and I’m fairly certain that if I was driving and got pulled over I would be arrested for drunk driving because the three sips I’ve had have gone straight to my head due to the fact that I’ve had no food today).

I’ve debated now for a couple of hours whether or not I should write about my day today.   The mere handful of you out there who even knew I was attempting this big step in toddler-hood have, by now, received an email or a text from me that simply said, “Disaster.”  I know that handful of people well enough to know you would not reveal to another soul that I tried this today and failed.  I also know that the next time I see any of you, you will either not bring it up at all, or you will console me and convince me that the reason my child is not diaperless tonight is only because the timing was off and certainly not because of anything I did or didn’t do because I am the perfect mother and should never think otherwise.

That being said, my hesitance in letting the whole world know about my inadequacies is because there will be some of you out there who will feel the overwhelming desire to share with me what I should have done today and where I went wrong.  You will also feel the need to tell me stories of your own successful potty training experience with your child (so that I can learn from your infinite wisdom and have success the next time myself), even if it was decades ago that you did this–and you probably have reinvented the story in your mind so that it’s better than it actually was.

I’m sorry to be so harsh, but let me take this opportunity to inform you that I don’t want to hear it.  I don’t like people like you right now, although I am certain that the only reason for this is because I am worn down, sensitive (and apparently slightly drunk).  On the flip side, if you wish to share with me a time in your life where you felt you might have ruined your child’s life in one way or another when they were young, only to eventually find out that your child turned out just fine in the end, then bring it on.  I will welcome the commentary.

I have chosen to write about my day because I refuse to falsely come across as a mother who never feels afraid, and also because I feel sure in a few days (or maybe a few years) this story will make me laugh.  And because I believe this, I’m sure it might make you laugh now which will bring me great joy.  I enjoy it when other people laugh and feel joy, and if it’s at my expense, so be it. 

I will start at the beginning because you need to understand the turn of events that led up to today. 

About three months ago, Brittain began to show signs of “interest” in the potty.  She would acknowledge what I was doing when she would see me on the potty and she also began to announce when she was tee-teeing or pooping in her diaper.  Signs of interest.  Hmmm…could she possibly be ready to be potty-trained?  I did some quick, but thorough, research on potty chairs and called Dan one evening before he left work and asked him to pick one up before he came home.  He arrived home that night and he placed it back in the guest bathroom. 

After dinner, I carried Brittain back to the bathroom and pointed out HER potty.  I sat her down on it briefly with her clothes on.  And that was it.  We went about our business and began playing in the living room.  What happened next was surprising to all of us.  In the middle of her playing, she stopped and crawled back to the bathroom.  Note the word “crawl” here because no, she wasn’t walking yet.  Dan and I gave each other a strange look and fortunately he had the wherewithal to follow after her.  As for me, I was frozen in shock and therefore couldn’t move a muscle.  I could hear the conversation that ensued which began with “Do you want to use the potty?” and then “Yay!” (because she actually did use the potty).  The two of them came back to the living room with big smiles.  Seriously?  This is going to be easy! 

The next hour was spent making phone calls telling this good news to anyone that might care.  The next couple of days were no less exciting as she continued to ask at times if she could use her potty.  I did some fast decision making in the 48 hours that followed and decided that she was ready to be officially potty trained (even though she was only 17 months old).  On the recommendation of several people I purchased the book “Toilet Training in Less Than a Day.”  I heard many success stories that came from the methods used in this book, the main one being my own parents who trained both me and my sister in one day successfully.  However, after reading the first chapter in the book which discussed whether or not your child was ready, and also about the group of children they tested these methods on, I made the executive decision to put this off until she was 20 months old since the youngest child tested in the book that had had success was this age and no younger.  In the three months that followed, I left the potty chair out for her to see, but I never pressured her to use the potty.  There were a few occasions where she would ask to tee-tee in the potty in which case I would help her with her diaper so that she could do this.  There was also a time recently where she went back to the bathroom, removed her own diaper and proceeded on her own.  Now that was funny. 

The time had come.  She was 20 months old and we had a Saturday approaching where there were no plans.  Dan was working, so I would be able to offer her my full attention.  It was potty training time.  I completed the reading of the book.  I gathered all of the necessary supplies: a doll that wets, plenty of juices and anything else she might drink, candy and snack foods to use as “prizes” when she would use the bathroom in the potty.  I had my worksheets ready.  One was to write down the times of the “pants inspections.”  These were to take place every 5 minutes until she starts self-initiating the potty trips, then every 15 minutes after that.  The other was a “Prompted Toileting” sheet where I was to write down each time I prompted her to go to the potty.  The steps were etched into my brain.  I will give you a brief summary of the steps:

1. Have your child “train” the doll to go to the potty.  This entails giving the doll some water and then setting her on the potty to tee-tee.  Praise the doll.  Have a “potty party” if you will.  Get a piece of candy out to give the doll.  When the child asks for the candy, ask the child, “Can you tee-tee in the potty like the doll?”  The child should answer yes so you give the candy to the child.  (It’s a good first step for them to say that they WILL do it). 

2. Make the doll have an “accident.”  When your child feels the doll’s pants and sees that they’re wet, you say without raising your voice or sounding angry, “No, doll.  Big girls don’t tee-tee in their panties.  Mommy doesn’t like for you to tee-tee in your panties.”  (This is to show your child that you still love them if they tee-tee in their panties, but they need to learn to tee-tee in the potty.)  You then have the child do “practice runs” with the doll.  10 times to the potty from different areas in the house.  It’s basically 10 trial runs to the potty because this is what you’re going to do with your own child when she has an accident.  10 times, really?  A 20-month-old is going to have the patience to run back and forth to and from the potty, pull their pants down, sit on the potty, pull their pants back up and then do it all over again?  Can a 20-YEAR-old do this?   Okay.  Moving on.

3.  You then start the same sequence with your own child.  You do training pants “crotch checks” every 5 minutes (and also have them feel their own training pants crotch).  You reward them with a piece of candy and drink each time their pants are dry.  You also prompt them every 15 minutes to use the potty where they are supposed to go to the potty. They are supposed to pull their own pants down and sit there quietly until they start to urinate.  Give them praise and more treats if they go to the bathroom.  As I mentioned above, if/when they have an accident, you do the 10 “trial runs” to teach them what should have happened when they needed to go to the bathroom.  I have to say it again…really?  Trust the book.  I trust the book. 

The book states that the training should last 3 to 4 hours.  By the end, the child will be able to recognize when they have to go the bathroom, take themselves to the bathroom, pull their own pants down, use the bathroom, wipe themselves, empty the pot into the toilet, then flush the toilet.  Ok…I believe part of that. 

I spent some time last night doing some last minute reading online.  Any hot tips from any other mothers?  Anything I shouldn’t believe in this book?  Tell me now or forever hold your peace. 

I woke up this morning confident and positive about what was to come.  I was in a different boat than most parents going into this.  My child knows what a potty is, has used it quite a few times, and is quite comfortable with the potty itself and the thought of using the bathroom in it.  We began our day like any other.  Brittain woke up at her normal time, I changed her diaper and then warmed her milk.  We sat on my bed while she drank her milk and watched Disney channel until she was finished.  We then got up and brushed our teeth.  It was after this that I told her what a fun day we were going to have.  I told her that she was going to learn how to go to the potty by herself and be a big girl.  I then told her I had a prize for her which is when I presented her with the wetting doll.  She was excited about the doll and was anxious to hold it.  I let her hold it and then I presented her with her “big girl panties” which were nothing more than a pair of training pants.  I removed her diaper and slipped the training pants on her.  Wait.  They fit her perfectly and the book said to make sure they were loose-fitting so they could easily pull them up and down.  Fortunately, the book suggested cutting small slits in the sides so they would loosen up.  I took them off her and cut the slits.  I put them back on her.  WAY too big.  That’s okay.  They were loose and were staying about half-way over her behind.  They will do.  I have four pair.  I should use them sparingly. 

We then walked into the bathroom where we began giving the baby her bottle.  Uh-oh.  THIS doll starts IMMEDIATELY peeing when you give it water.  Crap.  Let’s improvise.  “OH!!!! (quickly sitting the baby on the potty) Look at Penelope (the doll’s name) go to the potty!  What a good girl she is!  Yay, doll, yay!  I think Penelope deserves a piece of candy, don’t you, Brittain?”  (She nods yes.)  I pull out a bite-size Three Musketeers (Brittain’s favorite).  “Here you go, Penelope.”  Brittain wants the piece of candy, of course.  Yes, exactly what she’s supposed to do.  “Brittain, can you tee-tee in the potty like Penelope?”  “Yes.”  “Okay, well here, you have the candy.”  (Yay.  This is going so well). 

The next step is to make the doll have an “accident.”  This was easy since the doll’s diaper was already wet.  I point it out to Brittain.  “Uh oh.  Penelope tee-teed in her pants.  She had an accident.”  I hug the doll and say, “No, Penelope.  Mommy doesn’t like it when you tee-tee in your panties.  Big girls don’t tee-tee in their panties.”  I look at Brittain and tears start streaming down her face.  This REALLY upset her.  Hmmm…I don’t remember reading in the book that this could happen.  I spend the next 15 minutes calming Brittain and the doll is promptly put out of sight.  Okay…moving on. 

We go into the kitchen where I can start pumping Brittain full of liquid (so that she will have to tee-tee a lot).  I offer four different juices.  “No, no, no, no.”  Omg.  What else do I have?  “Coke?”  (and not the caffeine-free kind).  “Yes.”  Crap.  That’s what she wants.  Well, it’s not alcohol.  Refer back to the book. “Give them ANYTHING they will drink.”  Ok.  Drink the coke.  That coke was gone in no time.  I start giving the 5-minute dry pants inspections.  She was doing great.  Yet, each time I knelt down and felt her crotch and then asked her to feel her own crotch and then said, “Good job, Brittain.  Your pants are dry!”, I looked up only to see a teenager standing in front of me saying, “Really, mom?  Are you serious with this?  You do realize that I’ve pulled my own diaper off and used the bathroom in that potty many times, right?”  (Keep in mind that Brittain’s communication skills are advanced.  I felt that I was doing things well below her level of comprehension.)  “Okay, sweet girl, you’re doing so good.  Tell mommy when you need to tee-tee in the potty.”  “Okay.” 

A few minutes passed during which I gave a verbal reminder each 45 seconds.  I kept my eyes directly on her and never looked away.  I’m pretty sure I almost burned a hole through her skin with my piercing eyes.  I saw a strange change in movement.  She was suddenly up on “all fours”, and before I could say, “Do you need to go pott…” I saw a piece of poop land on the floor underneath her. (I’m pretty sure that’s the most ladylike way to say that).  What?  I’m fairly certain I didn’t read about this in the book.  Think.  Think quickly.  What do I do?  I swoop her up, but not before she starts crying.  I’m supposed to take her and sit her on the potty and say to her, “No.  THIS is where the poop should go.”  Do I still say this?  She’s clearly upset.  Very upset.  Nope, this was SOOOO not in the book.  It’s only 5 steps to the bathroom, and in this case it only took 3 because I was taking long strides to miss the 2 piles of poop on the floor.  I sit her on the potty (clearly where she didn’t want to be).  She’s still screaming crying, “Mommy…hold you…hold you.”  Am I seriously supposed to be speaking to her in a calm voice saying, “No, honey, this is where the poop is supposed to go.”  Instead, I use the time that I’m trying to clean the poop off of her, me, and the floor just saying, “It’s okay.  It’s okay.  It’s just poop.  It was an accident.”  I try making my way into her room so that I can clean up the piles of poop.  No.  This was not going to work.  Apparently, my cleaning it up was a reminder that she did this, so I had to leave it for the time being.  We changed training pants (just let them be tight this time) and moved to another room so we could be calmed.  Yes, I said, ”We.” 

Once I figure out that Brittain has recovered, I start back with the process.  “Brittain, tell mommy when you have to tee-tee, okay?”  I also continue with the pants inspections, but allowing a little more than 5 minutes to elapse so that I don’t completely insult her intelligence.  I’m watching her closely.  Looking for a weird body movement, anything.  I mean, what’s going on?  Before today she would announce when she was tee-teeing.  Suddenly she starts, “No, no, no.”  “What’s wrong?”  Tee-tee on the floor.  I swoop her up again and I take a couple of steps (long steps again…still avoiding the poop) and she begins SCREAMING.  She is going nowhere near the potty.  I’m cursing the book in my mind.  Where was THIS example?  Okay, okay.  We don’t have to go to the potty.  I slip off the wet training pants and decide to put on a pair of pull-ups (on her, not me.  although I think i could have used them at this point).  I have only one more pair of training pants and I need a few minutes to think.  It’s very obvious that if I put the last pair of training pants on her, then she will very likely use the bathroom in them and then I’m screwed for the rest of the day.  I put the pull-ups on her and I get her calm again.  Another 20 minutes later I then start again.  ”Brittain, will you tell Mommy when you need to tee-tee in the potty?”  As she nods her head and says, “Yes,” I hear an audible sound of tinkling.  Yes, she just tee-teed in the pull-ups.  I smile at her and say, “That’s okay. You’re doing so good.”  I grab my phone and text my mom: “Disaster.”  Here are the texts that follow (and follow carefully the apparent misunderstanding of the word “steps”) :

Mom: what the heck.  r u stopping? i txt’d aunt susan not to interrupt til we heard from u.

Me: no, not stopping but only 1 more pair of clean training pants.  trying 2 do steps but its upsetting her 2 badly.  just cries.

Mom: dont do steps.. only fun.. nothing to upset.. use the pullups. i seem to remember u wearin nothing during training except shirt

Me: pullups 2 much like diapers. cant feel it if she pees. the steps r what makes it successful. might as well stop if i don’t do steps. she wont go near potty now.

Mom: u have read different stuff than me. the steps r not what makes successful. did u read dr. phil short article? just sent it to you. i know she might be reading your tenseness too. dont worry bout it. totally drop it if u r correctly assessing it. i found a great seat to use when traveling i think but u certainly dont need to teach her that or steps today. im not dressed or i would get more pants right now. hope u r not just pannicking

Me: i have 2 poop stains and 1 pee stain on my floor, she screams when i take her 2 the potty, and when i tell her she will get a prize if she tee tees in potty she stands right in front of me and pees. but of course its ME thats pannicking unnecessarily. i read the same book yall used with us written in 1971.

Mom: read both emails.  look, i’m trying to help. i’m NOT BLAMING U!!!!

Me: well, i won’t be able to be the one that trains her again. everything says that the same person can’t do it again since thats the person that it didn’t go well with. lucky me. i get to be the one that fails.

Mom: ok. you are doing great. want a margarita? the thing with 5 stars is adhesive toilet seat covers. LOVE THAT. You have almost 4 months to think about this again. meantime, if she starts training self, we can have these adhesive covers to use at home or on foldup chair with steps..and have that set up in the bathroom without saying a word. she’ll be curious. 

And that’s the end.  Oh, those two sheets of paper I had made up entitled, “Pants Inspections” and “Prompted Toileting”? Neither a word nor a check mark was entered on either one.

A couple of funny things about this string of texts: My mom read the word “steps.”  She told me later she thought I was referring to some kind of ladder or something leading up to the toilet that I had decided to throw into the mix.  She tried to sound supportive when she had really wanted to say, “Have you lost your mind?”  I was thinking she had lost hers  when she said “the steps are not what make it successful” which was basically saying,”Throw the book away!”  I was thinking, “If I don’t have steps, I don’t have anything!”  (We later had a phone conversation where we cleared up this misunderstanding.) 

The other funny thing for me was that as I was dealing with a child who wouldn’t even LOOK at the potty, much less urinate in it, my mother is suggesting travel potty accessories to use while we’re away from the house.  Seriously?  I’m worried that my child will never go near a toilet for the rest of her life and my mother is choosing Dora the Explorer potty seat covers.  CAN WE PLEASE FOCUS HERE?????

It was here that I decided to back off.  I get Brittain to change her pull-up (yes, she had tee-tee’d many times since i put the pull-up on her), but she says she wants to stay in the buff.  Fine.  Be naked.  I inconspicuously follow her around the house, continuing to give her Coke (still the only thing she will drink).  I’m waiting.  Waiting for her to have to pee.  She still won’t go near the potty.  I had to change that.  I switched it up a bit and got a piece of candy.  I took her to the potty, sat her on it, and gave her the piece of candy.  At this point I was just rewarding her for sitting on the potty.  I didn’t care whether she peed in it or not.  She didn’t tee-tee, but she did sit on it.  Over the next 30 minutes she continued to go back over to it and sit, but only for a second (at the most) and then she would pop back up and go about her business. 

At this point I was leaving it alone and I figured it was best to go back to business as usual.  I called Aunt Su Su and Mimi and told them they were clear to visit.  I felt it was important for Brittain to know that everything was the same.  Everyone still loved her.  Her using the potty or not using the potty had no bearing on the way anyone felt about her.  Mimi and Aunt SuSu arrived and Brittain was still walking around in the nude.  By this time it had been a little over an hour since she last urinated.  I had continued to give her liquids and she now had another full Coke along with a few ounces of juice.  Her stomach was twice the size of her entire body.  I thought that all three of our bladders were going to burst FOR her.  Just for fun, we continued to keep the conversation about the potty.  We would say, “I think I’ll go use the potty because I will feel SO much better.”  Unfortunately, it didn’t phase Brittain a bit.  After about 2 1/2 hours none of us could stand it.  We anticipated that the way this was going to end was that she would: (1) explode; (2) fill the entire house with an inch of urine; (3) tee-tee in a diaper if one of us would eventually put one on her.  I broke down and broke out the Mickey Mouse #4 diaper.  Relief.  I do believe we ALL felt it.  She was herself again. 

Yes, so SHE was herself again, but I was not.  I looked (and smelled) my house which resembled a war zone.  I looked (and smelled) myself.  I was wearing the same pair of yoga pants I had worn to work yesterday and also slept in.  The tank top I had on had been clean when I put it on this morning, but now reeked of urine as I had dried pee on the entire left side of it.  My eyes looked as if I had been on a 3-week drinking binge, and my hair was a nice combination of oily and tangled all at the same time.  Would someone mind watching over my child while I go to the bedroom and cry for about 4 hours?  I had the same feeling come over me as I did 16 months ago when I had to stop nursing Brittain because I wasn’t producing enough milk. I’ve failed my dear child again.

Of course my aunt and my mother had to leave (as if they have their own lives or something), and there I was with Brittain by myself again.  I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m weary.  She walks up to me, raises her arms and says, “Hold you?” (which is, by the way, the way she has always meant, “Hold me”).  Okay.  She still loves me.  She doesn’t think her mommy failed her.

I hold her for a long time and we watch Laurie Berkner videos (a favorite Noggin artist of hers) on You Tube on my laptop.  I am tired.  She is tired (but also slightly wired from the massive amount of caffeine and chocolate).  But she sat there still in my arms as if to let me know that it was all going to be okay. 

 Dan got home from work at about 6:30, and I was finally able to take a shower.  I came out of there still feeling worn down, but at least I had clean clothes on.  Brittain approached me again asking me to hold her, so I did.  I warmed her nightly cup of milk and headed back to the bedroom where she could drink it and wind down.  She finished her milk (and since she was still a bit wired) she continued to play with me on the bed.  She was so funny as she climbed on me to bounce and then pointed out my nose, ears and eyes and paid special attention to my stomach (which she loves to call a “pillow”).  I watched her and realized that she was going to be just fine.

So, the potty training didn’t go as planned.  So what?  We spent the day together and we survived it.  And I know that she’ll wake up in the morning just as she does every other morning, and we will continue life as we know it.  I have to look around and wonder, out of all the people I know, who still wears a diaper and isn’t potty-trained?  Oh yeah…NOBODY!  Okay.  I’ve calmed down now.  She’s okay.  And, I’m going to be okay…especially now that I’ve finished this glass of wine.  :-)  



Category: Personal,Pictures | Comments (0) | Valerie @ March 23rd, 2008   

At the end of most days I go to bed at night and I’m able to say to God that if I died that night, it would be okay because I would die happy. (There are, of course, those occasions when I ask him to please let me live through another night because I’d really like to have another chance. :-))
Then there are days like today. It’s 10:30 on Easter night and I’m reliving this day in my head. Today is what heaven must be like. I know it will be embedded into my memory forever.

This Easter weekend was funny, exciting, moving, touching, happy…and so many other adjectives that I can’t think of right now.

Before I go into the goings on of the weekend, I will begin with an admission. I’m an overachiever (or at least that’s what one of Dan’s coworkers said). Saturday morning was the annual Easter egg hunt at our church. Brittain has never taken part in an Easter egg hunt before, so how would she know what to do? I solved that very quickly by taking her on a “dry run” on Friday afternoon. She’s got to learn, right? I hid 8 eggs for her to practice with. She caught on very quickly and had a great time doing it.

We began by playing on the playground…






and then moved to “the hunt”:



The weekend continued the next morning at Griffin First United Methodist Church at the annual Easter egg hunt (Brittain’s first). By the time Mimi, Doot, Brittain and I arrived we were a well oiled machine. Video camera? Check. Nikon D40 (my camera)? Check. Nikon D80 (Aunt Susan’s camera)? Check. A 20-month old prepared to hung Easter eggs? Check.

I have to be honest. When we pulled into the parking lot, there were kids and parents everywhere and I became a little bit nervous. It was 10:00 on the dot. Out of the car. Go in. It was time. I calmed down when we walked into the fellowship hall. The Easter bunny was on the stage. There were activities for the kids, including a table to make easter cookies. Everyone was dressed in their Easter best with their baskets in hand.

Making cookies with Mimi:



But then it was time. They called Brittain’s age group. It was go time. We rushed to the door. Will she remember what she’s supposed to do? Will she understand that she needs to go quickly and pick up as many eggs as she can? Will she remember that she needs to put them in her basket?

The short amount of time that the kids were out there, it was perfect. It was fun. So much fun. She laughed (and I love that sound). She loved it. She had a wonderful time. We all had a wonderful time.



Brittain’s custom-made Easter basket made by Mimi:









Following the hunt, all the kids met up:






Then there was today. Let me first get the superficial stuff out of the way. The subject is Easter Clothes. I can’t help it. It’s fun. Dressing Brittain up in pretty clothes is fun. Brittain’s Easter outfit idea came from Cecilia. She emailed me a couple of months ago and said that the new rage for celebrity babies were these “pettiskirts.” Immediately when I saw them, I LOVED them. The decision was made for me. THIS was what I wanted Brittain to wear for Easter this year. I began the search online and found many sites that sold these pettiskirts, so I waited until a little closer to actually place the order. This was a big mistake. The word had obviously spread and this was definitely the hot item this Easter. Each site I found, the pettiskirts were back-ordered. I finally came across “Fairy Princess Clothing” site and was able to find the right color and size and it arrived just in time. She was a living doll (and everyone else thought so, too)! :-):









The next few pictures are of Will Mulder. Right after Brittain was born, Steve (his dad) asked if Brittain had a date for prom yet. He told me to go ahead and pencil Will in to be her date. I got these shots after church on Sunday. Will was being so sweet to Brittain. In this next picture you see him putting a sticker on her. She had a sparkle in her eye.:


I wish I had gotten a better view of this. Will made no bones about it. He was planting a kiss on her and he didn’t care who saw it:







Following church that day we had the family over to our house for our first Brittain Easter egg hunt. It was such a wonderful time together, and it was here where I felt so blessed. So happy. So thankful. We spent the morning at a beautiful church service with beautiful music. Then, we came home to spend time together and be thankful for each other and the reason we are here.

I love these pictures I took from the day. There are quite a few of them, so be patient.

Brittain greeted most of her guests from her new Cinderella tent that the Easter Bunny brought her that morning:



Gramy and Papa outdid themselves (as usual) with a HUGE Easter basket full of all kinds of goodies and new summer clothes:



Here was the funniest thing…in the picture below, Gramy is handing Brittain a pink, rubber watch. This apparently was the prize out of a box of cereal that Papa found. I’m assuming that including this watch in the basket was probably an afterthought. The funny thing is, out of that entire basket of great stuff, that rubber watch was her favorite item!


We provided bunny ears and flower petals for everyone. I couldn’t believe that everyone participated without complaining. It was great!




Showing Mimi her watch:




Showing Aunt Janice her watch:

And showing Aunt Susan her watch:

I was a little afraid at first that she was going to be burned out with the whole hunting Easter egg thing. She had already done this now two days in a row, so it was nothing new. But I was wrong. She ran out there to find those eggs like it was the most exciting thing she had ever done:








The next few pictures crack me up. I love the serious conversations everyone is having with these headbands on. Roger especially makes me laugh in this one:









The frog rain boots were a gift from Mimi and Doot. None of us could have imagined the effect these things would have. After everyone left and Brittain was playing with her new gifts, she would not let these boots out of her sight. She didn’t want to wear them, she just wanted to carry them around and talk to them. These boots became her friends!

Some great moments with Gramy. Here, she licks the icing off Brittain’s fingers. Who but a grandmother would do that?


Gramy asked what color the cup was and Brittain answered, “BLUE!” Gramy said, “No, it’s pink.” They went back and forth saying PINK, BLUE, PINK, BLUE!


Talk about having some servants…Brittain asked for her frog boots to be removed. Her feet were sweaty from having them on so Gramy proceeded to blow on the inside of her boots to cool them off. Aunt Susan blew directly on her feet to cool them off:



As Gramy and Papa were about to leave, Papa asked for a kiss so she gave him one. Then, she gave Gramy one. I guess she decided that one wasn’t enough because she kept going back and forth until she was all out of kisses for the evening:






Brittain called it an early night and was in bed by 8:00 (without a peep)!


Category: Personal | Comments (0) | Valerie @ March 21st, 2008   

I honestly cannot believe that it’s been since November that I posted on Brittain’s blog. There have been so many things that have happened…new developments with Brittain. It’s been an exciting few months, so I can’t wait for you to see new pictures of this little toddler!

When I last posted, I was thankful that the child was merely crawling. Now, she is running (yes, running) around. When she turned a year old we decided to start her in physical therapy. Babies Can’t Wait (an awesome program) came into our home once every two weeks to begin with, and less often after that, to monitor Brittain. At first her progress went very quickly. After her first session she started crawling. After that it was slow going, but we all stuck to what we were supposed to do and concentrated on encouraging Brittain to stand whenever possible. When it finally happened none of us could believe it. In fact, I look at her now and still can’t believe it. At 17 1/2 months old Brittain started walking. A mixture of emotions came with this. Relief and joy were the first ones. Then, I suddenly felt sad. My baby was growing up.

What has caught all of us by surprise the most is her verbal skills. We all started noticing that Brittain was saying a lot of words, but it wasn’t until I finally sat down to write them down did we realize just how much she was saying. At 17 months I made a list of words (what I could think of off the top of my head) and the count was at 230. Now, she is speaking in full sentences, can count from 1 to 10 on her own, and even sings (kind of) a few songs. You always know what she wants, or doesn’t want, for that matter. She makes it perfectly clear!

For me, I’m still doing my best to be the best mother I can be. Some days I feel like I’m accomplishing that. Other days, well, maybe not so much, but I continue to believe that this was what I was put on this earth to do. If I had to sum up the way I feel about my life today it’s that every day is the best day of my life…and it’s all because of my precious Brittain who brings more joy than I can ever put into words.

Enjoy the new pictures and catching up on Brittain’s life…