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Planning for our Trip–Countries to Visit

I’ve been asked by so many people, “Where exactly are you going on this big adventure?”

The answer is–we’re not ‘exactly’ sure.
We have a list of places where we’d like to spend time and things we’d like to see, but we don’t have the year planned out, nor do we want to.
There will be times we arrive in a place and find ourselves thinking “When can
we leave?” (Answer:  Give it 3 days, if you still hate it, listen to your gut and get out.)
And then again there will be places we adore and we’ll never want to leave (we know this from experience when we got ‘lost’ on Utila, Honduras for far longer than we’d anticipated).
There will be fabulous Air Asia tickets that go on sale and direct us to another far flung destination because for that price, why not?
We’ll be guided by weather patterns and monsoons and heat and rain.
Oh the places we’ll go!
We’ll meet other families who will share their stories and our travel plans will change all over again.

But since I’m a planner, of course I need to map it out.
Here are the countries we hope to visit–not necessarily in this order, although we will be flying into Bangkok and we do hope to finish and fly out of South India.

Thailand – 3 months
Cambodia – 1 month
Vietnam – 1 month
Laos – 1 month
Burma – 1 month
Indonesia – 1 month
Malaysia – 3 months
South India – 2 months

Yes, I know that is 13 months.  Obviously things will change here and there, but this is the overall main plan.
We would love, love, love to visit South Africa but I just don’t know if that will happen as it will increase our budget greatly.

If we decide to extend our trip to what we refer to as “The 2 Year Plan” (and yes, this has definitely been discussed) then we’ll be heading back to the Americas…..South America.

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Gluten Free Almond Cakes

I’m sharing this as I’ve made these for so many people, they’re a big hit and they always ask for the recipe, adapted from Elana’s Pantry.
Our family is not gluten free but a number of my friends are and I know it’s becoming more and more common.

I have a number of ‘pancake’ recipes that I make for my toddlers, but I call them ‘cakes’ because
who doesn’t want cake?!  Even if you call them cakes, they are packed full of protein and are a healthy snack for kids
These are perfect for travel or a nice afternoon treat.

If you want to really to indulge, spread with Nutella and enjoy!

Almond (Pan) Cakes

  1. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, water, vanilla and honey
  2. Add almond flour, salt and baking soda and mix until thoroughly combined
  3. Heat coconut oil on skillet over medium low to medium heat
  4. Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of batter at a time onto the skillet
  5. Pancakes will form little bubbles, when bubbles open, flip pancakes over and cook other side
  6. Remove from heat to a plate
  7. Repeat process with remaining batter, add more oil to skillet as needed
Yields 18 small pancakes
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Our Travel Lifestyle Goals–VOTE!

**After you read this post, please go to my poll on the right side of this page and VOTE!**

We have many goals to achieve before we set out for a year of travel with our twins.  The biggies are listed below.  There are tons more like scanning documents and selling our stuff and figuring out what to keep and what goes in storage, but that’s for another post, a different list.
I wrote previously about our plans for a year of travel with kids, but now I’ll break it down even further.

Here’s where we stand with one year to go:

Financial Goals:


Accumulate enough frequent flier miles for us all to fly free roundtrip, NYC-Bangkok — 100%

  • We focused on American Airline miles so we could fly their partner airline, Cathay Pacific.  Originally the plan was to do a one-way stopover in Hong Kong (one of Cathay’s hubs) on the way to Bangkok.  It would break up a really long flight, plus it’s a city we would love to visit and we both have friends who live there.  However, the airline has changed the frequent flier policy and stopovers are no longer allowed.  We’ll still be stopping in Hong Kong, but only to change flights on our way to Bangkok.
  • The airlines now issue tickets in one way segments.  This means we need 8 tickets–4 one ways to get us there and 4 to get us back.  Currently, we have enough American Airlines miles for 6.75 tickets and enough Delta miles for 2 tickets.  
  • The plan is to keep accumulating AA miles so we can all fly together.  However, IF we had to, we would split up coming home and Kate would fly with one child on AA and I would fly with the other child on Delta.

Earn an adequate amount of Starwood/Marriott/Hyatt/Hilton hotel points to ‘cushion’ our stay from time to time when we need a break — 100%

  • We don’t really have a set ‘goal’ for this as all hotel chains have vastly different categories and points needed.  However, we have the most points in Starwood as they have excellent hotels in Asia and require fewer points per stay than the other chains.
  • For now, we have enough points for just a couple of nights each in a Marriott/Hyatt/Hilton.  This should work out well when we hit a new location and just need a day or to of ‘recovery’ time while we look around for longer-term lodging or an apartment rental.
  • The Starwood points will come in very handy as we have enough so far for a week’s true vacation at a fancy resort like this or this or this, and we’ll still have plenty leftover for 5 or 6 nights elsewhere along the way when we need a bit of luxury.
  • We will have ‘preferred Gold status’ for Starwood which means free upgrades, gifts, club room, late check out, etc.  It’s a super nice perk to have while traveling.

Reserve savings to sustain us for 6 months upon return (in case it takes awhile to find work) — 100%

  • I honestly think Kate will have a job lined up before we even return OR she’ll discover something in another country along the way OR…..something else.  Nevertheless, it’s always good to have the cushion and we don’t want to leave without knowing it’s there for us when we return.

Save enough money to travel for one year without working — 65%

  • We started seriously planning for our trip in January 2012–just 8 months ago–and we’re already at 65%.  I have no doubts we can reach our goal with 12 more months to save.  But, let’s say we felt that itch to leave in 4 or 5 months….and we were at 75% and had found a way to earn money on the road…then we might decide we were OK with not reaching 100% upon departure.  Maybe.

Personal Goals:

Develop a location independent income stream — 0% – 100%

  • This is something I’m currently researching in terms of my writing and blogging.  I know I can make money doing this.  Now, I just have to do it and do it right.
  • Kate has leads from past employers for project work she can do remotely.  So, for her, perhaps this goal is 100%.

Potty Train the boys (except for nights) — 100%

  • Currently they are daytime trained.  Yes, I have to ‘remind’ them and yes, we still have accidents but less and less each day.  
  • If we still have to use diapers at night while we travel I am totally fine with this, especially since we’ll be sleeping on mattresses and linens other than our own…

Switch boys to ‘real’ beds — 0%

  • Oh my.  I tried to switch them to toddler beds with disastrous results.  They are back in cribs.
  • This one scares me so much I don’t even want to try it again and I’m tempted to just want until we’re all in a hotel room together and I have no choice.

Go Stroller-Free — 50%

  • They are good little walkers and can go quite far before getting truly tired.  As long as I keep pushing us to not use the stroller here at home, I’m confident they can build up their stamina to keep up while traveling.  Especially since we’re not going to be doing long walks/hikes, etc.  
  • Plus there will always be a bus / motorbike / tuk tuk / songtaew / taxi / boat / skytrain / back of a pick up truck / ferry / donkey cart / elephant / subway — just around the corner to rescue us!  Did I miss any forms of transport?!

No Naps Needed — 40%

  • I really don’t want them to ‘drop’ their nap because damn, I love that mid-day break.  But, they have already started doing this themselves.  
  • Ideally we will all have some ‘down time’ during the heat of the day where we can just relax and recharge.  Even if they don’t nap, they can still power through the rest of the day.

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Digital Nomads? Location Independent? Vagabonds?

Travel, and how to do it long term, is never far from my thoughts these days.

It’s something I’ve wanted to do with my kids even before I had kids.
Having twins threw a tiny wrench into the plans as it’s a wee bit harder to travel with two tiny tots instead of one (and then perhaps, another) but we have managed so far and done quite well.
Now we’re gearing up for our next big adventure.  
A year off starting September/October 2013.  Well, at this point, we have agreed on travels through South East Asia and South India for one year and as we go along we can assess.
Just yesterday Kate told me “Let’s just agree that if we are miserable after six months, we’ll call it quits and come back home.”
I solemnly told her, “Of course.  Or, I’ll at least let you buy a ticket and you can go home (just kidding).”
Quitting is not really an option for me–I’m ready to travel for 2 or 3 years!
I love the planning part of travel, but I hate the waiting part.
Right now it’s all about:
  • waiting, 
  • saving money, 
  • accumulating airline points and hotel points, 
  • planning for roadschooling/homeschooling/unschooling,
  • cleaning out the apartment by selling/donating/storing our stuff,
  • finding the perfect long-term subletter for our apartment,
  • oh, and figuring out who is going to take care of our sweet cat (mom?).
While we wait, I ponder “What will we become as a family?”
Will we be a wandering vagabond family taking a year off and not working?
Will we successfully find work along the way and become location independent digital nomads?
Will Kate be lured into an international lifestyle and decide to search for full time work in Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong?
The ideal goal is to make money while traveling.  HOW to do this is the hot question.
Our plan is for Kate to work about 20 hours a week while on the road.  There are projects she can do remotely and a possibility she can do some work with her current company as well.
I would also like to be working and am currently researching ways towards creating my own income stream.
So here we are.  One year to go.  Or maybe only four more months.
There’s been a lot of talk lately of leaving after Christmas…..
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Weaning My 2.5 Year Old

The day came.  And then it lingered…
I didn’t set out to wean him.  In fact, I was quite happy with our relationship but I also knew that it would come to an end.  Probably sooner than later.

When I set out to ‘try’ breastfeeding my twins, I was completely clueless.
For some reason, I came home from the hospital determined to breastfeed but hadn’t even opened my pump, read the instructions or was aware that I needed to sterilize the parts.  Not good things to discover on the night you get home and realize you need to pump–now.
I knew there could be complications.  I knew there was a learning curve.  I vaguely knew of quite a few things about breastfeeding.  There were books on breastfeeding decorating my shelves.  Not that I’d read them.
I suppose, I was in complete denial that there would be any problems whatsoever.  Or maybe I figured it would be so hard that it wouldn’t work and I’d just switch to formula.  After all, I never was a very good student if the subject didn’t come naturally to me (a huge weakness of mine that as you can see plagues me to this day).

The fact that I ended up being so passionate about breastfeeding came as quite a shock to me.  Especially because it was to this day one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (and stuck to it).  This ‘thing’ had a tight grip on me and I would not fail.
Looking back, I probably should’ve given myself a break.  I should have looked at it as a great thing to do, but not as something I “failed” at doing.
And even though I breastfed one twin for 18 months and the other for 2.5 years, there are those in the militant camp who might still chastise my efforts because–from time to time–I did supplement with formula.  Yes, overall I breastfed but there were times

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We Have Itty Bitty Titties

Some of the best conversations happen in the dark while in bed.  Don’t you agree?  This also applies to toddlers (at least mine).

Last night as I was saying good night to the boys, Max said “You are my mommy”.
“Yes, I am.”
“You are my MaMaMee!” (They used to call me this before they figured out I was Mommy and Chicken was Mama)
“That’s right, I’ll always be your mamamee”
“You have boobies.”
“Yes, yes I do.”
Sebastian pipes up with “You have big ones, but Max and I have
little tiny ones.”
Hmmm.
“Yours make mommy milk, but Max and I can’t make mommy milk.”
“That’s true, you do have little boobies, but girls make the mommy milk.”
Max, “Let me try your mommy milk right now!”

I oblige, standing there at the crib looking only slightly different from that very controversial Time magazine cover.  He hasn’t even tried to nurse in over a week, but what the hell.
After about 10 seconds he declares there’s only a little bit and I pull my shirt back down.

“I want to be a girl,” he says.
“Why?” I ask.
“So, I can make mommy milk.  Then there will be more.”
“Hmm, it would be hard for you to make mommy milk for yourself.”
“You should make more, Mommy.”
“I wish I could, Max.  But it doesn’t last forever and it lasted a really long time for you.  You were so lucky to have mommy milk as long as you did (2.5 years).  I’d have to make a baby to get more mommy milk.”
“Like Neal?”  Max asks excitedly, “You could have a baby like his little sister.  Then I would have mommy milk again!”
“Ummm, but if I had another baby, the mommy milk would be for the new baby.”
“Mommy, don’t make a baby, ok?” Sebastian pipes up.
“It’s OK Mommy” agreed Max.

Whew, glad that’s settled.  No one is pining for an extra little brother or sister over here!  We’re done, people, done.  The milk shop is out of business.  And I’ve got the itty bitty titties to prove it.  Such a sad sight these sorry, deflated little balloons on my chest.  They did an important job, but the battle scars are  severe!

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How not to write a real post when you are so far behind you can’t catch up

The summer has flown by and there’s just so much to say I honestly don’t know where to start.

It’s bullets for now plus something new–FB status updates.  Because I can hammer something out on FB but can’t manage to get my shit together for a decent post.
Nevertheless, some of these post are just too good not to share.
I’m coming clean with real names because I just don’t have the time/energy to care to change them.  Eventually this was going to happen.
Now I have absolutely no secrets.  You know everything.
Grunter= Maximo
Whoop Whoop/W2=Sebastian
Chicken=Kate

  • I’ve been nanny-free for almost 3 months.  Just me and the kids 24/7.  I didn’t think I could do it, but I can and I am.
  • Kate has been traveling for work more and more.  I’m single mom in the city a few time a month for days at a time.  So far, no nervous breakdowns.
  • We didn’t succeed in potty training Round One (Costa Rica in March) or Round Two (early June) 
  • The boys have all but dropped their nap
  • We bought bikes and child seats and are getting every dollar out of them exploring the city and Brooklyn.  Love family biking!
  • Between twins that don’t nap and me not having any help, I haven’t made much time to write
  • We spent a lovely week upstate in the Adirondacks with the boys and my parents (who drove 3 days to meet us there) followed by a week on Cape Cod.  Many miles of beautiful bike rides.  Vacation totally disrupts early potty training.
  • The boys are wicked smart and hilarious.

June 13:
Chicken: I think I gained 2 pounds. Do I look fat?
Me: It’s only 2 pounds, it probably muscle. No, you don’t look fat. When did you weigh yourself?
Chicken: This afternoon after I worked out.
Me: You don’t weigh yourself in the afternoon. You know that.
Grunter: Do it first ting in da morning.
OMG, this kid hears and remembers EVERYTHING.

June 12:
I am about 99% consistent on my follow through. My kids know this. Today, Mr. Max, who has decided not to nap and be a terror instead, was doing something he was not supposed to do. I gave him a warning and ended it with a “I mean it, Max.”. He did it anyway. I was too tired to care. And he (rather triumphantly I believe) declared, “Mommy didn’t mean it!” So smart these little munchkins. And a good reminder to be consistent.

June 14:
Washing dishes today and listening to the boys playing fireman in the living room. I cannot see the living room from my kitchen. The boys are naked. I momentarily panic thinking about what they are using as a ‘hose’ to put out the fire?? So I do what any mother would do, I called out to remind them that “real firemen use the potty when they have to pee.” And you know what? They did:)

June 17:
Toddlers not napping on the weekends….this is becoming a pattern. And one is completely naked in his crib. We’ll see how that goes. At least they’ve never tried to climb out. And they did sleep until almost 8am. Could be worse, right?

June 18:
I need to write a real book about parenting twins. Day 3 of no naps. Had to drag one crib to the middle of the room when I realized they had started ripping artwork off the walls. Second time I went in and discovered Max had removed all of his clothes and diaper–which was, of course–full of poop. They are both completely naked in their cribs, making the most annoying sounds ever to protest the fact that they don’t ‘do’ nap time OR rest time OR whatever it is I’m promoting thank-you-very-much. Kate is out of town. Ice cream is in the fridge, waiting for them to go to bed tonight.

And then I found the crib sheet removed and ripped into shreds…..
Oh, and if you think giving 2 year olds sensory boxes after having not napped for 3 days in a row is a good idea, you are an idiot. Unless, of course, you enjoy having 20 lbs of rice and 5 bags of dried split peas dumped ALL over your house. All wooden blocks have been put on high shelves as they were being used as weapons. Screw the ice cream. Mommy needs tequila.


June 19:
I made them walk and walk and walk some more. I fed them a hot lunch. I put them in double diapers–one frontwards and one backwards–to deter the mini strippers. I dimmed the lights and darkened the cool room. I read soothing books. I prayed to the nap gods. And then I left the room. There was shrieking and singing for 30 minutes. And then….finally….it was quiet. So I ate ice cream.
Unfortunately I soon heard what can only be described as a ripping sound and Sebastian softly chanting “naked naked naked” followed by cries of “Mommy, Pee Pee!”. Everything was off. Double diapers be damned. He wanted to pee in the potty. And really, how can I get mad at that? Back in the crib, butt naked and now smacking books against the side of his crib. At least one is asleep, no poop has been flung and the crib sheets aren’t shredded. If Kate’s flight has her here before bedtime, they are all hers! 

June 21:
I remember a few weeks ago another mom was asking how to keep diapers on at nap/bedtime and I said something really stupid and smug like “Oh, we’ve never had that problem. I guess it’s because we let them go naked so much that they get it out of their system.” Yeah, that. Karma. Last night before going to bed, we went in to check on the boys and were shocked to find Tian completely naked asleep in the crib.  Luckily, even though he’d been asleep for almost 4 hours, everything was completely clean and dry.  Today at nap time, I knew I had to break out the big guns.  The tape gun.  That’s right, I wrapped heavy duty packing tape around my little darlings diapers.  I expected massive protesting and possible hysterics.  Instead, I got Sebastian saying “Tape me up more, Mommy.”  Go figure.  They are napping.  Problem (hopefully) solved.

June 23:
Mutiny. They figured out how to get the tape off their diapers. Poo was involved. Must find stronger tape.

Sebastian has shredded every crib sheet we own except the one currently on Max’s bed. They were both starting to strip off their pj’s before I even turned off the light. Diapers were tightly wrapped with tape. But I wasn’t going to take any more chances. I quickly grabbed two long-sleeved, footed, zippered pj’s, cut the feet off and twisted the zipper pull until it broke. Next, I located a safety pin.  Stay with me here.  I then put the pj’s on backwards and used the safety pin to pull up the zipper (and then took the safety pin out).  They are zippered up backwards (and a snap at the top!) and man are they pissed about that.  Sebastian is sleeping white-trash style on a bare mattress as we have no crib sheets left.  It’s always an adventure around here.

June 28:
Even contained in their cribs they cause destruction. Managed to reach an edge of their play mat tiles ripping them up and dragging part of the rug into the crib. The crib that still has no sheet. Note the paint missing. (Sebastian found a piece of paint on the wall to chip away at…)  I suspect that hole is going to get bigger. So much energy.

July 2:
Any ideas on how to keep the mattress in the pack n play? My little darlings are traveling for the next couple of weeks and we’re day 4 of no naps. Today it was because they took the mattresses out and when I went upstairs Max had thrown his over the side and Sebastian had rolled his up and was trying to use it as an escape ladder. Anyone else’s kids do these tricks?  Velcro is nothing to these two.
You can’t get these two to sleep UNLESS they are contained.  They have never been able to sleep on an ‘open’ surface because they can’t help themselves to not get up and explore everything no matter how tired they are.  I marvel when I see babies/toddlers/kids sleeping on a blanket at the beach/park/home because they has never been any part of my reality–unless they are sick.



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Naked Potty Training–Day 5

Things are going pretty well over here.  As good as it can be potty training 2.5 year old twins.  We’ve been out and about since Day 2 and the travel potties go everywhere we go.  W2 has peed in the middle of a lawn, on a basketball court, on a gravel path, on a sidewalk, and in front of our building.  I *could* start letting him
stand up and just go, but then he’ll want to do this and home and I’m just not ready for a pee-filled bathroom.  Also, I don’t want him to think he can just pee anywhere he wants to outside.
That could be really embarrassing at the country club golfcourse.  Not that we golf or belong to a country club.  But you know-things like that.

Plus, he’s the type who needs everything off before he’ll sit down.  Shoes off, pants off, sometimes even shirt off.  There’s no squatting with your pants around your ankles going on here.  Crocs are now the everyday shoes.  No Keens allowed.
So far, only one small accident yesterday.  He was playing outside, having too much fun and a small trickle started.  He immediately came over to me, I saw the wet place on the front and asked if he needed the potty.
The kid started to pee and stopped himself!  He wanted to use the potty!  Sure enough, he sat right down and finished up.  I was amazed.

Today at breakfast he said he needed to pee.  I helped him down and instead of running to the potty–he ran to the bathroom first. Because his hands had food on them and he wanted to wash them first.  I don’t know about you, but running water when you have to already pee??
Little dude held it and then went on the potty immediately.

This morning we had a playdate and he absolutely refused to sit on the potty before we went out OR put on pants.
So, I put him in the stroller with only a shirt, put his pants in the bag and off we went.
When we was ready to get out and ride his scooter, I told him he needed to use the potty.  Again–refusal.
I gave up.  You cannot make toddlers eat, pee or poop.
I put on his pants and figured we’d see what happens.  He never went.  Not in the potty, not in his pants.
He waited until we came back home–a good 3 hours later.  I have no idea if this is normal for day 5, but I’m blown away.

Right now, he’s naked in the crib for his nap (not that either one of them are sleeping, second day in a row of nap refusal).  The battle to get the diaper on was just not worth it, so I told him he could be naked but if he felt like going pee pee he needed to hold it.  I mean, after all, he held it for 3 hours this morning so I know he can.

I’ve almost stopped asking him constantly if he needs to go, because he just goes.  He doesn’t care about praise or emptying it or flushing it or stickers or anything.  He just goes.
Oh, but not for poop.  He tried so hard this morning but he said he was scared.  I put on a diaper-he pooped-and off came the diaper.

What do you do about the scaredy poop toddler?  Any suggestions?
Also, I read that for the naked potty training to be the absolute most effective, you should commit to being naked in the house (below the waist at least) and diaperless with loose pants/short when outside for THREE months before putting on chonies/undies.
Thoughts?  Experiences?

PS–Grunter did not want to be naked at all yesterday.  Today he is a little more curious again.  One step forward, one step back.

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Summertime in New York City, It’s So Much Better at Age 2

I am in love with summer.  Aside from the dog days when the humidity heats its peak and the temps top 90s, it’s my favorite season.
Chicken and I decided to have a picnic in the park last night instead of eating dinner inside.  We got lobster rolls from my favorite shack down the street and couldn’t wait to share them with the twins.  Last summer they devoured them.  This summer?  They were both too scared that
the lobsters were going to pinch them!  Oh the fear of the lobster roll!
I had to eat two myself (the tragedy!) while the boys ended up with rice cakes and peanut butter.
Oh well, better for the budget not to get them craving lobster at age two, huh?
At least Luke’s gives a ‘frequent lobster card’ and we got a free roll last night.  Great deal!

While we were picnicing, the boys had decided to park themselves on a gravel path just outside the grassy area.  I allowed them to stay there with their construction toys, playing with the rocks and dirt, as long as they didn’t stray too far.
As I watched them immersed in play, I thought back to this time last year.  I was losing my mind!  We were seriously thinking about buying a house in Florida of all places and moving out of the city once and for all.  I suppose it’s the hump that many don’t make it through and families flee the city at this point.  The hump didn’t last forever, a few months of complete craziness but by 18 months I felt like we rounded a new corner and we’d make it.

Remembering how I felt last year made me appreciate this summer even more.  I had a feeling this age was going to be awesome and it really is.  I know many refer to this age as the ‘terrible twos’ but I’m finding it to be pretty terrific.
Yes, we have tantrums and trials, but overall it’s just FUN.  I love their spirit of independence.
And they listen.  They pay attention to the rules and follow directions and don’t go running away like maniacs anymore. Eh, most of the time.  I don’t get frazzled and freaked out with large open spaces.  We go stroller free short distances and I am fairly confident they are not going to run into the street.

One day W2 had a ball and it got away from him and rolled into the street.  Worst nightmare, right?  He ran to ME and told me his ball was in the street.  Then, I told them–in my no nonsense voice–they both needed to stay right there with their hands on the stroller while I crossed the street and retrieved the ball.  Yes, I could have put them back in the stroller, strapped them in and then gone for the ball.  But I really wanted to trust they could do this, and they didn’t fail the test.

There are so many incredible things to do here in the city and they are at a perfect age to take advantage of it.  Last summer they weren’t ready for many outings and now I have a hard time deciding what to do as we have a gazillion choices.  I have a feed for Mommy Poppins and Time Out New York Kids and I’m consistently amazed at how many kids activities are offered every single day.

I do wish there were more places I could take them by myself.  Unless it’s walkable, a location that has subway elevator access or it’s on a weekend where Chicken can come with us–we still can’t do everything I want to do.  There’s a marvelous Waldorf-based playground that meets once or twice a week in Central Park–but I have no way to get up there with both of them.  Not yet.  I think if it were just Whoop Whoop we could be out and about more because the boy loves to walk and doesn’t tire easily.  Grunter on the other hand is slow, slow, slow and wants to be picked up after a few blocks.  He’s not there, yet.  Once I feel confident of getting them to and from a bus stop/subway station (and all of those stairs) by myself we are going to be all over this city!

For now, we are having a blast riding scooters, digging in the dirt with sticks, playing in the fountains and sprinklers, having picnics, looking for construction vehicles, exploring all the parks, playing mini golf, taking long strolls, eating pizza, going to the zoo, painting, enjoying ice cream and riding our bikes and playing with all of our friends.
Normal kid stuff–right here in the big, big city.

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A Day in the Life of a Toddler–Potty Training

We’ve entered nekid potty training bootcamp.  Quite by accident, I must say.  It seems that more than half of the battle of getting W2 dressed…was because he doesn’t want to wear a diaper anymore.  This child had little interest in the potty chair last week and this week….
Well, it’s just like him.  He did this to

me with breastfeeding as well!  Just when I start to categorize them and put them in little boxes, “He’s like this.  He’s going to be this way.”  They pull out one great big surprise on me.

They get a reward sticker to put on their potty.  One for pee, two for poo.
In typical W2 style, he could seriously care less about the stickers.  I have to remind him.  Bribery/rewards don’t work so well with this one.  He’s so stubborn and independent.  He’s only going to do it when he’s good and ready.  I just love his big spirit.
So, we’ve been spending the majority of our days inside.  On Wednesday we spent the entire day inside.  Thursday we ventured out once for about an hour:
Starting our day with a good wrestling match.  Note the potty chairs lined up at the ready.  I do not put them in the bathroom because they don’t want to go there and hang out by themselves.  It works much better when I put them wherever we are playing.  They go from room to room throughout the day.
A little friend came over and W2 played dress up with her brellie and shoes
After spending the morning inside I decided to venture out–without diapers on.  I packed up the travel potties and put them in loose shorts.  I tried to get them to use the regular potty chairs inside before we left.  We got 6 feet outside the lobby and they announced they wanted to use the travel potty.  Great indiscreet spot, boys. 
Waiting for the pee…. 
And we have a winner!  Grunter throws away his bag o pee all by himself 
Off to the post box to mail out some cards 
They are finally tall enough to stand on the bench, open the box and drop it in without any help 
Grunter is clapping for Whoop Whoop.  They are so pleased with themselves. 
A little swinging.  Feeling the cool breeze where a diaper used to be… 
A day is not complete without a little digger watching 
Look!  It’s digging!!
 
And home again to do a little singing, drumming and guitar playing before our nap.
Naked.  On my sofa.
So far, so good.
Today is Friday, day 3.  They’ve both been diaperless all morning and only one accident by Grunter.  Kind of my fault as I didn’t remind him to go pee before putting him in his booster before brekkie.  Poor guy.  He was sitting in it and really sad:(
Oh and W2 really, really wanted to poo in the potty.  He tried 3 times, then asked for a diaper.  I complied, he poo’d immediately and went back to being naked.  One step at a time…
We even went to the park and played for over an hour.  They used the travel potties in the park and no accidents in the stroller.
I’m doing diapers for naps and bed time, but other than that….I think we might be well on our way!
Of course, this means any plans have to be super close to home right now, but that won’t last forever.