Saturday, May 12, 2012

Potty training relapse

For a few weeks now, we've boasted that Aislin is completely potty trained.  Well.  She showed us what she thought about that by completely forgetting everything we'd taught her.  We're not exactly at square one, but to say we're one square away from square one probably isn't an exaggeration.  We've resorted to having her in pull-ups as sort of a compromise, but it's disheartening.  We'd rather have her in big-girl panties, but she has accidents all day long and exhausts our supply.  Thank God for our washer and dryer.  At least her Number Twos make it to the potty with reliability.

We've been trying to ween her, too.  At night, Aislin would ideally like to nurse until daybreak.  Well.  You can imagine how Kate feels about that.  Not supportive.  So instead of Kate sleeping with her, I sleep with her now.  When Aislin wakes up wanting "milkie" I take her to the living room and give her a bottle in the rocking chair.  For the past few nights, all I've had to do was get up and put her on my shoulder and she's asleep again.  "In full conk" as dad would say.  Kate gets more sleep that way, and I feel like I contribute more.  It's been working out pretty well. 

Here's a picture of Aislin in an outfit she got for her birthday.

She has a ton of energy, a lot of spunk, is capable of amazing amounts of destruction, and laughs all the time.  Bless her.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Potty training at the DMV

We're still potty training in the McClain house of pain, but it's going much better lately. Yesterday, Aislin walked herself into the bathroom, pulled down her pants, and sat on the potty all by herself. This was a momentous step. She's been leading up to this for a little while now, and to see it come to pass makes me swell with pride. I would swell even more if I weren't still a little bitter about a recent fiasco at the DMV.

Going to the DMV is hard enough already. You don't need a baby pooping through three layers of clothes to make it worse. The full story goes like this. Around 11:00, we left for Lebanon to have lunch with my grandmother, dad, and brother. I had the travel bag, her travel potty, gallon bags for the travel potty, and library books to return. We had showered and brushed our teeth ... eh, you don't need all the details. Suffice to say, I was loaded down but feeling confident. Once we got out of Philomath, I realized I didn't have a bottle for her or fresh panties. If she had an accident, it was game over. I figured worst case scenario, I'd have to pick up new panties at Walmart. We got to Lebanon accident free. After lunch, still no accident. Made it back to Corvallis to the DMV to get new tags on the car, no accident. I left the baby bag in the car (first mistake) and went inside. I got number 45, and they were on 42. There was a sign that said they only accept cash or checks, which I thought was strange, but there you are. I went to the ATM and withdrew enough money to cover it. Again, this is probably more than you are interested in, but the point is I was overloaded but confident. I felt on top of it. I was doing totally well, and the baby was proving herself to be very potty trained. After filling out the form, I pick up the baby and she's wet. I take her into the men's room to go potty, and that's where I discover she's more than wet. The baby bag's in the car. There's baby poop down to her knees, soaked through her clothes, and spreading all over the bathroom floor. The only thing I have to clean it up is DMV toilet paper. It was a hard time. I wrapped her dirty clothes in paper towels, and put her skirt back on; I didn't have anything else. I did my best, and then informed them there was a mess in the men's room. After getting the new tags, I rushed out to the car and changed her clothes and cleaned her up. Then I went to K-Mart and got new panties. Now, there's a package of panties that is just for the travel bag. Kate informed me later that there were pull-ups in the bag. So, potty training isn't without incidents now and then.

Aislin's been watching my old ninja turtle tapes, and I don't know how my parents put up with it. I think I do understand why they took the opportunity to buy new ones as soon as they could. When you get used to full seasons of shows on DVD, it's tough to go back to two episodes per video, and there are only five videos. We had to order season 2 on DVD. I'm eagerly anticipating its arrival.

I think that's all for now. Here's a video of Aislin doing a somersault.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Here's to another go

My friend Alicia said she missed my posts, so I'll try to re-commit to this blog. No promises. It's really turned out to be a fool's errand to keep up a blog, or three, while being a stay at home dad. That's been a big "well, duh" moment for me.

A lot has happened since April. In November, we were pleasantly surprised with an eviction notice. We had a handful of weeks to find a new place to live before they tore our apartment complex down. It added a little stress to our holiday season, it's safe to say. We found a place in Philomath, and we're much happier here. The kitchen is huge. It goes on for days. It's quite wonderful.

More recently, we went to Bandon to visit the West Coast Game Park Safari. They had baby lions and black leopards for visitors to pet. I played with a baby lion. They had lions, tigers, bears (oh my), leopards, monkeys ... it was a wild animal extravaganza. Aislin had a blast. On top of all the animals in the cages, there were deer, goats, llamas, and pheasants roaming around free. It was a really great time. We all smelled like a barn afterwards, but it was worth it. Here's a video of Aislin looking at the bears.

As you can see, she is walking and talking quite well. We went with Kate's parents, and a fun time was had by all.

Even more recently, we've begun the arduous task of potty training. It started out quite well. Aislin really took to the concept of "big girl panties" and "pee pee in the potty," but lately she's been regressing. Yesterday she had quite a few accidents. It has really tried our patience. One of the books we got said that the most child abuse begins when a child has an accident while potty training. It's a sad and horrible thing to think of. The child really only has a rudimentary concept of what's going on in her body. She can't be held totally responsible or be expected to pick up on it right away.

We've done potty training at the expense of weening. We thought that would be too much change at once. Aislin must be under a great deal of stress because she has been nursing like crazy during the night, making Kate's sleep nearly non-existent.

So, hard times in the McClain house of pain, but tempered with pride and fun. C'est la vie, I suppose.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Water babies and sass

Hello everyone. Let me explain some things openly and honestly. When I started this blog, I had recently seen Julie and Julia. I thought to myself, I'm an aspiring writer. I could blog about being a stay at home dad, like Julie did about cooking through Julia Child's cookbook. Here's the thing, though. Cooking is not as labor-intensive as being a stay at home dad. It doesn't take all day every day to cook something. It always takes me all day to take care of Aislin. By the end of the day, I'm exhausted. So I haven't posted in a while.

Kate signed Aislin and me up for water babies a while back, and we started last week. Aislin normally likes the water. She likes bathing. She'll play with toys in the water and splash and have a good time. Well, the pool is different. She's okay as long as she's on my shoulder. If she's not on my shoulder, it's not okay. She's firmly established herself as the sensitive one in the group. I was talking to Dad about this, and he said that it took me something like seven years before I was comfortable in the water. Whatever the activity is, if she is not on my shoulder, she's crying. She doesn't like being dunked, doing the arm motions, kicking, jumping off the side, nothing. She doesn't mind being on the instructor's shoulder, as long as it's not for very long. In spite of her lack of enthusiasm, we're keeping at it.

Kate's been sick with a sinus infection and a bout of pneumonia. At this point, she's missed a grand total of four days of work, I believe. When I was driving her home from the doctor's office, she was talking about how she felt awful. Jokingly, I told her to get over it. This is how we are. She says something serious to me and I respond jocundly and she whimpers and asks why I don't love her. Obviously, it's the system of a healthy relationship. Anyway. I told her to get over it. And Aislin says in the same tone, Yeah! A few days later, Kate was telling me I needed to change the baby's diaper. I said, "Change the baby's diaper, blah blah blah." Aislin responded "blah blah blah." We laughed very hard.

She's cruising the furniture solidly now. She can almost reach the top of the table, and Kate and I are worried about that because up until now it's been a safe place to put stuff we don't want her getting into. Not for much longer. A few nights ago, she was cruising along, and she stumbled. She hit the edge of the coffee table and cut the inside of her mouth. We're not sure where. She started bleeding, and that's when we freaked out. We've got a couple of shirts now that have blood stains on the left shoulder where we were trying to console her. We haven't found the cut, but it couldn't have been too bad since it stopped bleeding pretty quickly.

That's about all I have to report. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post again. I can't promise I'll be more on top of it from now on. The baby never naps. When she does nap, she doesn't sleep that night. She's crazy. I try putting her down so I can type or do something for myself, and she starts pulling books off the shelves or playing for the mouse and keyboard. She's also getting to the point where she has opinions. If she wants something but doesn't get it, she gets pretty mad about it and starts screaming. Meanwhile, I see posts on facebook of parents who have their new child sleeping in a separate bedroom and everything. What I wouldn't give to have Aislin sleeping in a different bedroom. Heck, I'd be glad to have her content to sleep in a different bed. More often than not, she's sleeping horizontally between Kate and me, so I have one shoulder blade hanging off the edge of the bed. She still hates her crib. She only naps in her car seat. What I need is a remote control for her. I can mute her when she's screaming, pause her when she's getting into my stuff, and rewind when she falls and hurts herself. It's the 21st Century. Anyone want to tell me why we don't have one of those yet?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Merry Christmas (belated)

All right. It's been a while, I know. In fact, several items that would be of particular interest have come and gone and faded from memory to obscurity. And yet, posts remain scant. I apologize. Things haven't exactly been hectic here, but I have been busy.

First of all, let me talk about what you want to hear about the most: my daughter. She clearly says "mama," now. She says it when she's unhappy, hungry, or in her arms. Sometimes she'll just say "ma ma ma ma" on and on. It's lovely. First, she said it to me. I said, "No I'm 'Da da.' Can you say 'Da da?'" and she smiled and shook her head. When I would ask her to say 'Da da' later, she'd spit. Kate saw all this, and she said, "Aislin would just rather say Ma ma instead," or something implying her preference. In response, Aislin said "Yeah." Goodness. Today, she started saying Da da to my immense pleasure. She also says "Bah bah," which could mean any number of things, but could be "Baby." She says it to her dolls, mostly.

She has five dolls now. Christmas came and went, and when the dust settled Aislin had five dolls. Two Raggedy Annes, a tiny doll, a doll whose body could also function as a pillow, and a more traditional doll. She loves them all. Here we were trying to be all gender-neutral, but when my mom brought out the doll she had growing up, Aislin went ballistic. So we all knew what we were getting her for Christmas. She got those five dolls, some clothes, and an illustrated Grimm's Fairy Tales from me. She likes the dolls best.

She's much more mobile now, as well. She crawls quite well. She's a little shaky still, but she can really get moving if she feels like it. Yesterday, Kate tried standing her up next to the coffee table, and Aislin can totally hold herself up. It won't be long before she's cruising the furniture.

As for me, I'm transcribing and reading. I'm enjoy my doctor's orders to a glass of red wine at dinner (I still can't get over that) and trying to walk more. Last week, I walked from our apartment to the public library, checked out a few books, then I walked down to Fred Meyer to check out the Redbox, and then I walked home. About a 45 minute walk, and it felt great. Towards the end, Aislin was getting a little sick of it, but it was cold and rainy. Haha! Taking a baby for a 45 minute walk on a cold, rainy morning. Parenting FAIL. Ah, she survived. Didn't even get sick. That's my girl. There's a book I put on hold at the library waiting for me, so I may make the trek again tomorrow. It will probably not be raining, just freezing cold. I may hold off to the afternoon, when it inevitably breaks into sunshine, like it did today.

I really like these winter days. They're freezing cold, it's true, but it's because the cloud cover that was functioning as a thermal blanket for the Willamette Valley lifted and we have these clear blue skies. Everyone complains about the cold. Well, I've noticed that a lot of people also complain about the heat. I, for one, don't mind the cold. This is Oregon. Sometimes it's cold.

Before Christmas, our friends Joel and Heather moved to LA. On their way out, they spent the night at our place because they had packed their bed. It was great seeing them one last time, though it would have been nice to spend more quality time with them. It felt like as soon as they got there we said goodnight. Then, they left early in the morning. Their company did what it seemed to always do: Leave us wanting more. A few weeks after, our friends Tim and Elisha stayed with us for a couple nights on their way back home to LA (LA!!) after spending Christmas with their families up here. Elisha and Kate used to live together, and they are some of the greatest people. Kate keeps saying how she hadn't realized how much she missed them, Elisha in particular.

Kate got some good pictures of Aislin, but I haven't uploaded them to the computer yet and it's late. I'll post them on my facebook tomorrow and include some in my next post. Sorry to leave you hanging like this, but you've got to be used to it by now. Aislin will be nine months old on the 14th, so I'll try to post at least around then.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Greatest doctor's visit ever

Okay, it has been pointed out to me that I should give you all an update since I talked about a lump on my stomach in my last post. Turns out it's the beginning of a hernia, and it was brought on by all the heavy lifting I've been doing lately. I just need to keep an eye on it, and stop lifting heavy things. If it gets worse, then they'll do something about it, but it will most likely get better on its own. My back pain is probably due to my sedentary lifestyle, or stress. Either way, exercise is the answer. So I'm going to be going on walks every day, hopefully. I'll try, anyway.

On a side note, I brought in my blood panel results. Wait, wait. Let me back up. At Kate's work, they offered complimentary blood panels to employees and their spouses, so I got some free blood work done. I'm healthy in most areas. I could lose some weight, blah blah blah. Diet and exercise, blah blah blah. Here's a cool thing: There are two types of cholesterol. One is good, the other is bad. The bad one, obviously they want it low. Mine was quite low enough. The good cholesterol they want it measured between 40 and 60. I don't know what the units are or what they relate to, I just know that mine was 20. Much too low. The doctor (I'm assuming) at the blood panel suggested fish oil and grape seed oil and diet and exercise. Okay. The doctor I saw a couple of days ago about my "hernia," suggested I also try having a small glass of red wine with dinner every night.

That's what I call the jackpot.

To top off the day, the final present I ordered for Kate online came in the mail as well as a book I ordered for myself. It was the greatest Monday in history.

While I was at the doctor's office, my friend Kevin watched Aislin. Now, when I'm caring for her and Kate comes home, Aislin bursts into tears because she's just so happy to see Mommy she needs to be in her arms right now. Well. When I came home from the doctor's office and Aislin saw me, she burst into tears. It was neat being on the other side of that phenomenon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

This has nothing to do with this post -- I went to the dentist today

I'm somewhat at a loss.

Aislin has done some amazing things recently. She's crawled a little bit, even. When she went in for her second flu shot, she didn't even cry. She's been fairly amiable and cheerful, but never so much that it gets old. She loves fake coughing. She's discovered a fondness for dolls, and ever since has been getting a new doll every week. There's so much.

Last weekend, we finally had our house-warming party. We found out that our apartment living room is not as well-suited to entertaining large numbers of guests like our old one. With everyone there, it felt a little cramped. Still, we had a good time. My friend Eric pointed out, during one of the many interludes during which Aislin took center stage, that watching her try to crawl was incredibly suspenseful. It sounds ridiculous, but it's totally true. She kneels there in a crawling position and rocks back and forth until she falls over. Each time, you think "Oh, this is it! She's going to do it! Maybe this time she'll finally do it!"

One afternoon, she was playing with her green ball -- it's actually MY green ball: it's a ninja turtles ball from when I was a child -- and it rolled out of her reach. She adjusted herself into her crawling position and reached out for it. She touched it just enough to push it just a little further out of reach. So she moved her knees and reached out for it again. This process repeated a few times and I knew what I was seeing, though I don't think she knew what she was doing. She hasn't really done it since.

Our good friends Joel and Heather are moving to Pasadena even as I'm typing this. There was a going away party which included a white elephant gift exchange. At this party, during one of the break-off-into-small-groups-and-chat segments, Aislin looked up at Joel from her mother's arms and waved and said, "hi." Joel's eyes reportedly popped out of his head. I'm not sure why I didn't see it; I must have been thinking about something else.

Like this lump on my belly. A few nights ago, I discovered I have a lump on my belly. It's not sensitive, and I'm seeing the doctor on Monday, but still -- disconcerting. Lumps aren't good. A lump of coal is good. A lump of flesh is not good. Read Merchant of Venice if you don't believe me.

I have all of these ideas and ambitions. I have ideas for stories and ambitions to blog more often and write more and transcribe more and be a more profitable member of the family. But Aislin wears me out. The only time I really have to write is after everyone else goes to bed. And why aren't I in bed? That's what I want to know. I'm exhausted.