Saturday, November 13, 2010

No more diapers?!

Guess whose these are...

That's right!
At 19 months old, Ella Rose has finally graduated from cloth diapers to panties as she now regularly uses her potty.
Not bad, right?? :)

Granted it's not a perfect system yet as she really is only comfortable using her potty (thanks, Arc ReSale Store!) And, if left in the company of anyone other than Mama and Daddy, it's likely that she'll fail to communicate her elimination needs...and have an accident. Oopsies!
But still~ All in all, our happy household is very much enjoying this step forward -- Ella especially. :)

I know that everybody has their own way of going about potty training and it's not like Ella Rose is terribly young in comparison to most children, but I still thought I'd take this time to share our way of introducing it into her life as reference for other parents out there tackling the big ol' P.T. stage.
Here goes!

(1) The Rhythms

It's quite clear to me that most of these efforts are not so much Ella's as my own. Knowing her elimination patterns and watching for signals to get her where she needs to be to keep from soiling herself. That's my job~!
Although I'd been Elimination Communicating as best I could starting when Ella Rose was 4 months old, all I really did was catch her first elimination of the day -- which consisted of holding her over some container immediately after waking in the morning, to save just one more diaper. She didn't necessarily signal anything to me (at least, nothing that I picked up on). It was just me realizing that that was a constant pattern in her biological functions.
The potty aspect of the whole deal started when Ella Rose was maybe about 8 or 9 months old. Same deal, only on a potty. It slowly but surely progressed to noticing that she also had to empty her bladder immediately after napping. So just with those sleep patterns perceived, I was good to "catch" at least two potty trips a day.
Finally, starting around 17 months old, when Ella Rose was really holding her pee pretty well, simply offering a trip to the potty right before an outing and immediately upon returning was good enough to catch all her elimination needs. Then, with one more sit on the potty right before bedtime, that cinched the deal and I realized Ella really didn't need the diaper on anymore.

(2) Location, location, location

Ever since I first nabbed her little potty back in October of last year, it's been a staple fixture in our bathroom so that Ella Rose could get used to its sight and always knew that bathroom = where you do your business ;)
Some folks recommend having different potty stations throughout the house for the convenience of the child, and I see where they're coming from. But in our case, the one sole potty in the bathroom was plenty enough for Ella.
And it was definitely very much personalized to accommodate her as you'll see below...

(2) Making it fun!

As I mentioned before, with Ella Rose sitting on the potty first thing in the morning, it was important to keep her happy while on that potty no matter how chilly it could be in those winter mornings. And that was all thanks to the loyal group of books we kept by the potty. That has not changed to this day, and I think it's her favorite time to read, period!

Again, around the 17 months mark, when she started happily agreeing to sit on the potty in general, we introduced other sources of entertainment that helped greatly too.
Namely, her little sea-life friends... (thanks to Alexis' pop, Eric~!)

And, most recently, crayons!

What better a place to really let the "creative juices" flow.
Get it? Eh? Eh?? Punnnnn~

So yep! That's all I can really say on the matter.
And that's another 2010 New Year's Resolution taken care of. Phew!
Now to see if Ella Rose could maybe graduate to using the big person potty~?
Because, for now, it looks like we'll be taking Li'l Miss Potty with us all the way to Tucson! Ha!

Until then, Happy Pottying~!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Mantel

Hi, again!
Sorry for not writing in so long, but we have been busy, busy, busy! :)

And now we are fully into the Autumn Season and entering the Holiday/Winter one too!
But I'm glad that before that happened, I was able to instate what I hope will become more of a tradition around here!
Our Seasonal Mantelpiece:

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Amanda Blake (or "Soule Mama") has become a real source of inspiration for me ever since Ella Rose was born. And she has reminded me how beautiful and important it is to be aware of the changing cycles of seasons, to embrace them, and to bring them into the home so that our homes reflect the nature outside.
So here is the Autumn 2010 version of the Seasonal Mantelpiece. Not much, but it warms the area immensely, I think ;)
The branch was something I picked up while on a walk with Tak'e and I must admit I don't know what species of tree it came from, but I'm glad it has a nice home now. :)
Ella Rose and I have been picking up all the beautiful leaves we've been seeing on our walks and in the park, and adding them to our display. And we even have a seasonal "greeting card" (a Happy Halloween shout from Ella Rose's great-grandmother!)
As Winter starts to take hold here in the Northwest, we'll probably see a sprinkling of pine cones and needles, and some crafty homemade snowflakes too! :)

Until then, Happy Autumn and stay warm!!