Vince has been very sick the last few days. He's been cuddled against Mommy with a 103 degree fever, total sinus congestion, and all sorts of little aches since Saturday afternoon. My poor baby!
He's starting to feel a bit more like himself, thank God.
Before he came down with this nasty little bug, I had taken him to The Franklin Institute for the first time! Since John was off meeting one of his childhood idols that day, I got to spend a whole day with my little munch - something we haven't really done in a while.
So I packed him up and took him into Philly to explore the Institute.
For those of you who have never been, it's a great place for kids to get hands on experience with science in action. They've got rooms set up to tackle topics like global weather patterns, static electricity, the circulatory system and aviation. My favorite part of the Institute has always been the planetarium. Vince enjoyed looking at the planets and seeing a brief video about black holes, but he was more interested in the train room. In the train room, there are real locomotives that you can climb aboard and look at. Vince must've climbed aboard at least a dozen times! He even got to try his hand at turning one of the giant wheels!
He also got a big kick out of the circulatory room. This room is probably the most famous one the Institute has simply based on the "maze" they have that follows the path blood takes through the human heart. It's a massive exhibit that allows you to walk through a model heart... tracing your way through arteries, the lungs and eventually veins and back through the heart again. Vince was scared of the heart, but he adored the exercise equipment that showed you how you could "get your heart racing" in order to promote good health!
If only I could reach the pedals!!!
He wasn't too fond of the aviation room. At first he was a little afraid of all the wind tunnels and noises of jet engines, but once I plopped him into the pilot seat of the old plane they've got hanging from the ceiling, he changed his tune a bit. :)
Once we finished in the aviation room, we stopped to get a quick bite to eat in the atrium. This served to fuel the little munch for his romp in the Sports Center! I let him take the marble steps instead of the elevator so I could show him the huge pendulum swinging down through three flights of spiraling stairs. The pendulum swings due to the motion of the earth. Every morning, dominoes are set up in a perfect circle around the pendulum. As the day progresses, the tilt of the earth causes the pendulum to switch direction almost imperceptibly. The tiles get knocked down little by little as the pendulum shifts to account for the spin of the earth. Vince got a kick out of seeing it!
However, he enjoyed running up the stairs a lot more. Maybe he felt like Rocky Balboa!
The sports room is probably where he had the most fun. I got several fun shots of him playing around in there! All over are jerseys of sports celebrities, footprints of basketball players and various statistics of some of Philadelphia's best loved athletes. Vince didn't much care about any of that. He just wanted to play on all the cool stuff!
However, even having all that fun in the sports room, he still wanted to head back to the trains. So, we headed back to the trains to have some more fun on the old locomotives!
So yeah - as you can see God was very good to give us this fun little adventure before his little body got caught up in this whole being sick business. I keep telling him that when he gets better, we'll go back and see the trains again. Without fail he forgets he's sick and smiles so big! He really loves those trains!
If any of you are ever in the area, the Franklin Institute is a great place to stop by (even if you don't have kids!). A few weeks ago, some friends and I attended one of their traveling exhibits - the Titanic. Last year it was the Dead Sea Scrolls. This spring I'm taking John to see one about Spies and all the different spy gadgets governments have created over the years.
It's really such a great place and I can't wait to take Vince again when he's feeling better!
When I picked Vince up from daycare Thursday afternoon, he rushed over to hug me. I was relieved since normally it's a fight to drag him away from his friends.
I should've known right then that something was amiss.
Vince doesn't typically cuddle with me anymore. He's a rough and tumble little boy who likes to wrestle with daddy and throw balls and swing pretend swords. Cuddles are reserved for saying sorry and being sick, and he wasn't saying sorry.
By the time I got to my mom's house for a visit, he was beginning to burn. I was surprised by how quickly his temperature had risen. We had been talking and laughing in the car the entire ride over. Suddenly (and it really did seem like it was out of nowhere), he became tired and lethargic. He just wanted to be cuddled up on my lap.
I, of course, enjoy every second of the affection, but I also feel terrible that him being feverish is the price for those cuddles. So instead of spending the evening with my mom and sisters, I bundled Vince back into the car and took him home to a cool bath, medicine and popsicles.
When I took his temp after the bath and medicine, it was hovering around 102.5. My poor little munch!
He pleaded for "Mommy's bed" and I happily obliged. I laid him next to me and patted his back until he fell asleep. For as hot as his little body was, he kept trying to press himself into me, making sure as much of his body as possible was touching mine. I wasn't sure if it was to comfort himself with my presence or to help his body cool down with my cooler body temperature.
Anyway, this morning I needed to get a few things done at work. I was in a quandary, though. I had no access to a babysitter (or my
husband who is away right now) and no way to get the files I needed without going into work to get them.
Thus, around 9am, I took Vincent to work with me to pick them up. We were only there to grab some paperwork, but he was super excited. The boy loves elevators, and we've got three of them. He was so proud of himself for pushing the right buttons and kept trying to get my coworkers just as pumped about elevators as he was. Ha ha ha.
After we left, I took him to grab sick-day essentials from the pharmacy. Not exactly Chuck-E-Cheese, but we had fun.
When I got home, I made him some noodles for lunch since he had finally regained his appetite. He was also drinking plenty of liquids, so I wasn't too concerned about his need for a pediatrician. I put him down for a nap and tried to get some work done.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to access a site from home that would've helped me complete my task. Thus, when Vince woke up from his nap, I checked his temp and made sure he was well enough to travel back to Philly. He was in good spirits (though still hot) so I figured a quick trip to see Aunt Meg (my best friend's wife and current coworker) wouldn't be terrible.
Ugh - I was wrong. I was so, so wrong. He was being pretty well-behaved and was so happy to be out of the house, but pretty soon, seeing new people and new things, he was off-the-wall excited. My coworkers probably thought I was making up that he had a fever because he was acting so... normal. He did, however, have the tell-tale red patches that kids typically get when feverish.
Anyway, Meg must've taken Vince on the elevators about a thousand times to give me time to barrel through some reports. I was actually making pretty good time with those bad boys, too, but it was nearly impossible for me to get everything done as my attention was divided between Vince and the reports.
I felt terrible. I wanted so much to help the office get done what was needed, but I quickly realized I was likely making things worse by having Vince giving chase to just about everyone and everything.
That being said, my coworkers took it all in stride. My boss, having a three year old, himself, was great with Vince. I was surprised at how much Vince ended up liking him considering how stand-offish he was when he first met him. On the way home, Vincent kept asking if we would be seeing "Sannon" again. I'm not sure if he wanted to see "Sannon" so much as "Sannon's sord," (Shannon's sword) but it's nice to know Vince liked him enough to remember his name. :)
I ended up relenting and realizing having an active little munch at work was a terrible idea, even if my intentions were good. There was simply no way I would be able to get everything done without forcing Meg to forego her work, so I told Russ he'd get the reports first thing on Monday.
Ah well. I still feel guilty for not being able to get it all done, but Vince took priority on that one. As soon as I realized I couldn't juggle both, he won out and I took his happy little butt home. Of course the second we got home he was content to veg out in front of the TV for a bit (maybe the office running helped), but all in all I learned my lesson. I won't be taking Vince into work with me ever again, no matter how much I am freaking out about a deadline.
Gah. Mom-guilt. I feel like the hospital gives you a newborn and an invisible bag to carry all your inevitable guilt as you walk out post-partum. *Grin*
On the plus side, he's on the mend and his fever is finally back to double digits again. Woo!
Vince has been hiding under blankets a lot. He'll just drape one over his head while he's playing a game and then beg for Mommy or Daddy to "get in here" with him.
So when I saw the above hideaway thing on sale, I figured "He'll love this."
I excitedly took it out of the box and set it up for him. Sure enough, he loved it. He was so excited to see Buzz Lightyear and the other Toy Story characters that he couldn't stop repeating "TOY STORY, TOY STORY, SO COOL!" over and over again.
Unfortunately, the tent was too small for he and I to share together - which is what he wanted. The best we could do was put the tent over my head and then I'd slink down to the floor. He'd then crawl in over top of my lap, and we'd laugh about being squished in such a tiny space.
Since my back and knees grew weary of that game within minutes, I came up with a better solution. The tent.
See those little feet? Those are happy little feet that think they're hidden from Mommy.
I brought out one of our queen-sized blankets and draped one end over our cat tree (sorry, girls) and then tucked the other end over and around the couch. There was more than enough room in there for Vince and I to snuggle together with pillows and a book. As soon as that blanket went up, he forgot about the Toy Story tent. All he wanted to do was sit in his fort playing on his iPad or giggling with Mommy.
Should've just saved myself the $6 and built this in the first place. I remember doing the same thing as a child, and it made me smile knowing that Vince got the same enjoyment I did out of secret hiding spots like this.
Yup. Me and my little Spiderman had a whole lotta fun this weekend. :)
I'm back, and there's a lot to catch up on!!! Prepare to be inundated with entries over the next few days.
First up, parenting anxiety. I believe my friend, Nicole, coined something along the lines of "First-time Parenting Syndrome" in which us new parents freak out over every little thing we may have done (or not done) to somehow screw our kids up forever.
I had one of those moments the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
His class was doing a special show for the parents to showcase their songs and crafts as a fun send-off for the holiday weekend. I showed up with the throng of other parents only to feel slightly panicked that my son was not among his classmates. His teacher caught me trying to find him and motioned to the empty corner of the room - far away from the rest of the students who were happily singing and dancing in synch.
I didn't see him at first. I didn't see anyone at first, actually. As I slid past parents holding cameras and videotapes, I noticed an aide's head peeking over a bookshelf. Behind the bookshelf she was sitting with my son on her lap. They were reading a book together.
I was confused. Why wasn't he with the class? Did he do something wrong?
The aide explained that he refused to participate in the sing-along. They had tried everything to get him to participate, but he would have none of it. So instead of singing with the class, he sat off in the corner, physically separated from his peers, and looked at books.
Immediately, a thousand thoughts raced through my mind.
Did he suddenly get stage-fright? No. This ham of a kid is willing to dance and sing for complete strangers. Shy will never be a word used to describe him.
Maybe he wasn't feeling well? No. He was happily reading his book and looked perfectly fine.
Was he being disobedient? Yes, but he's not typically the rebel and was very likely skirting the show for a reason... so why?
And then that terrible feeling set in... the parental anxiety I spoke about above... the one in which you can't help but feel ultimately responsible for everything.
I remembered several instances of Vincent being corrected - by his classmates - for his speech impediments. As many of you know, Vince was practically deaf for two years of his life. He finally got his hearing corrected two days after his 2nd birthday. I spent countless hours and likely thousands of dollars getting him treatment and professional help to work on the skills he never developed due to his hearing issues.
So even though he's made incredible progress in the last year, he's still not caught up with his peers - at least verbally. Everything else he's either on par or excelling with. Speech and comprehension, though... he's behind. Making progress, but definitely behind.
I cringed at the thought that Vince might finally be understanding his impediments. I don't think he really understood that he was behind his classmates with speech. He just babbled happily at everyone and typically got his point across because his basic communication was passable; however, now that his peers are speaking in complete sentences and articulating clearly...
You see where I'm going with this?
They're picking up on Vince's weakness. I don't think anyone's been outright mean to him, but kids are kids. They don't realize how mean they sound as they say things like "Vincent sounds funny" or "Why do you talk like a baby?"
I can't help but wonder if Vincent wouldn't sing with the class because he felt self-conscious about his own ability to articulate the words as well as the other kids. He can't really sing along to very many songs because he just can't articulate the words fast enough. He's great with beats and can "babble" in time with the music, occasionally getting out a clear word or two where they're meant to go. By and large, however, he babbles along and I've heard kids call him out on it. I've seen Vince look at them cock-eyed and keep on going, oblivious to what they meant by correcting him... but what if it's finally dawning on him that he's not "on level" with the other kids? What if he's starting to feel bad or not smart because he can't communicate as well as the others?
I had to choke back tears as I took him from the classroom. Again, all those thoughts of inadequacy came flooding in.
I should've gotten him more help. I should've found more doctors to side with me on surgery before he was two. I should work harder with him at home on his communication skills. I need to hire a new speech therapist to coach him one-on-one!
Mostly I just kicked myself on the way home, angry for having put him in a position where he could possibly feel stupid or shut-out from the rest of the group. God forbid he was embarrassed or something. Even now just thinking about it... I'm upset.
Rationally I know this isn't really my fault. As a parent, you can't help but feel responsible, though. There are just days that you are overcome with fear of being the source of your child's pain. The fear that you did something that could possibly harm the most precious little heart you know... it's enough to make your heart bleed. And that was how I felt the entire night.
I talked to John about it, crying the whole time. I couldn't help myself. I felt like such a failure - even though I knew full well I'd done everything in my power to salvage his hearing from when he was nine months old. John patted my hand and told me what an amazing mom I was and that I might've just caught him on a terrible day. Maybe he just didn't feel like singing that day and wanted to read a book instead. Who knows? He didn't seem upset or sad when I picked him up, so maybe John was right... maybe it was some freak incident and I got myself riled for no good reason.
This is just the end result of having children, though. Constantly worrying that their issues are somehow caused by your inadequacy as a parent. *Shakes head* Goodness. It's a good thing I trust God to make up for all the things I'm lacking. I'm not a perfect parent. Far from it. But I do love my son, and I trust that even though I will do a litany of things that will cause my little munch issues, God will be there to set him straight again... to somehow take my broken-ness and fix it up enough so that it IS enough. At the end of the day, that's all I can hope for, huh?
1 day old - still in the hospital!
Three years ago today I got to meet the blessing I'd been waiting for my entire life.
My little smiling bubble of sunshine.
I still try to measure his growth against the memory of him nestled in my arms that first night in the hospital. His little ear tucked into my elbow... his little face smooshed against my breast... his "bundled" body hugging the length of my arm.
Oh and how he's grown!
Now his head rests on my shoulder and curls into my neck. His arms encircle me and those precious feet dangle well past my hips.
My baby is no longer a baby so much as a little boy, and I'm not entirely sure how that happened!
But I thank God for such a blessing. Each smile, each laugh, each gasp of awe... they're golden little treasures in my heart. Even his struggles, his frustration, and his cries... they're all little jewels that have endeared him to me and marked him as mine.
Today we celebrated amongst ourselves. John and I took him out for a fun dinner and ice cream because, although our family tends to want bigger, more extravagant celebrations, we appreciate our tradition of togetherness. John and I created our little family unit, and we like first dibbs on celebrating the moment we finally became a real family. It's ours - he is ours. And while we love to share him with our families, we do tend to get selfish of him in moments like this.
No worries, however. We'll have the cake and the presents and the family together in a couple days. We don't deprive him of such joy. We do, however, push it off in favor of our unique family-time. John and I both hope it instills in him how much we love and appreciate him. Cake and presents are great, but bonding with the people who love you most in the world...
That's a true celebration. :)
Happy birthday, baby. Mommy loves you more than you know. I thank God for you every day - you are a kiss from God, Himself. Bless you always...
This weekend was INSANE! I mean that in a really good way, but boy am I tired!!! On Friday night, I crammed about four days of cleaning into a few hours.
You see, with my new job starting on Tuesday, and all the plans I had for the weekend, I really wanted to have the house cleaned and all the laundry completed. Unfortunately, all those wonderful plans fell through when I found out that I'd lost my sitter for Saturday. Now that I would have Vincent, I couldn't do about ten of my "To-Do's" which meant we threw everything out the window and spent the entire weekend having fun.
Good thing I crammed my productivity into Friday night, huh?
Anyway, on Saturday I took Vincent to the farm. He went apple picking for the very first time, and while we were at it, we picked some corn, too! You only live once, kid, and you haven't truly lived until you get lost in row upon row of corn. :) I think he enjoyed the hay ride that ferried us between the various fields. He and another little boy kept grabbing fistfuls of hay to "rain down" onto the floor boards.
He was a little afraid of the stalks, but he liked shucking the corn!
After we picked the apples and corn, we found our way back to the market where we picked up peaches. These peaches were HUGE! They were the size of John's fists, and John's got some pretty huge hands. Vincent really enjoyed eating those. At first he refused because I was calling them "peaches," but as soon as I represented them as "apples" he went to town. He's definitely at that stage where trying new things is suspect. *Shakes head* Ah well. Now he eats them just fine... even if I call them by their proper name.
Super late Saturday night I drove down to meet up with my in-laws in Ocean City. Being the last weekend of the summer, I wanted to make sure Vince got at least one more "beach day" before we packed it in.
It was great because friends of the family were also down, and the kids in this family adore Vince. Vince adores them, too, so it worked out really well. They practically took over parenting duties for me the whole of Sunday. He absolutely gloried in their attention! It was so adorable to see them vying for his attention... it really was. :)
Riley, Vince and Shannon as we walked up to the boardwalk together.
Finally, Monday rolled around and it was a little bit of a bust. The weather was dreary, so we weren't able to do much outside. However, I wanted to take Vince up to get photos like we do every Labor Day weekend. John was away for a bachelor party he hosted, so he wasn't able to come with, but I wanted to keep the tradition going and surprise him with photos when we saw him that night.
At first, Vincent was in rare form and didn't want to take them. So I walked all the way home with him and put him down for a nap. After the nap, I decided to try again in the hopes that he was in a more willing mood. I was not disappointed, and we ended up with quite the happy result!
Yes, I realize I allowed my son to get photographed holding a gun. When he was younger, I allowed him to be photographed with an empty bottle of Jack. Please save any and all comments of irritation or snark. My husband likes these photos, and I find them to be a fun compromise considering I refuse to allow guns into the house (whether they be toy or otherwise - no matter how much the husband begs, barters or pleads).
Anyway, it was a fun weekend, but I'm beat! Oh, and we also got Vince a haircut. It was his first time in the chair all by himself. I'm so happy he sat still!!!
Making faces in the mirror
So yes... even though I was unable to do the litany of things I wanted to check off my To-Do List before my 1st Day, I think I still did pretty well. Being able to spend time with Vincent doing fun and goofy things beats laundry, floor scrubbing and errand-running any day of the week. :)
Best guys ever
Today is my last day of work at my current job. Starting on Tuesday, after the holiday, I begin working with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Tuesday simply cannot come fast enough. :)
However, today I am doubly grateful for my direct supervisor who has sustained me these last few years. He is a true gem and someone I was always happy to work for. His boss, too. :) My love for and appreciation of both those men are what brought me into work each morning.
Poor thing is shredded
I went on a veil buying binge Wednesday night. It was terrible. And by terrible, I mean amazing. :)
All my Garlands of Grace ones wore themselves out, and due to their verbal misstep a few months back, I've found myself Catholic-friendly vendors with exquisite products.
If you aren't already a fan, may I suggest to you the following for all your veiling needs:
Veils by Lily
A Snood for All Seasons (A Woman's Place)
Vince and Ray
My brother, Ray, bought his very first house! To celebrate, John, Vincent and I took him out for dinner. He chose a new Hibachi place near his house, so Vincent got to experience his first Hibachi!!!
He was super scared of the fire, so he kept covering his eyes, afraid that the chef was going to keep surprising him with huge bursts of flame. He got over it pretty fast, though, and happily ate his rice and noodles.
There was a brief accident before the food came out that had John, Ray and I scrambling to mop up after Vince, but otherwise, it was a great time all around!
Yay family picture!
Vincent also got to experience his first trip to the circus!!!
We have a circus that comes around every year, and John decided that this would be a good time to take Vincent. I agreed, and we were able to enjoy front-and-center tickets to a really amazing show!
I loved the acrobats the most. Vince loved the man running around in a giant hamster ball. John loved the motorbikes riding around in a steel cage.
Now that Vincent is starting to be interested in video games, John (an avid retro gamer) has been introducing him to games like Mega Man, Sonic and Zelda.
On his own, however, he's been playing another older game for nostalgia. It's called Chrono Trigger and it's actually his favorite game from when he was a child.
Anyway, one of the character's names is "Lucca." I caught my breath again when I saw that name randomly pop up as the character introduced itself. Just thought that was interesting, especially because the night before, I had had a dream in which I gave birth to a little boy. I couldn't decide if I should call him Luca or Nathan, but ended up introducing him to my brother as "Luca Nathaniel." I've had Luca on the brain!
I got to spend an hour and a half at Adoration the other day. There is a beautiful adoration chapel near my home that has a very unique monstrance / tabernacle. The laity is encouraged to approach the Blessed Sacrament that is enclosed within the tabernacle and unhinge the doors so as to "open" the monstrance in order to view the Host.
I wasn't sure if I could approach the monstrance / tabernacle combo, because I felt as part of the laity I was not supposed to touch the sacred vessel. I asked Father Z from WDTPRS about it, and he was kind enough to dedicate an entry to answering me. That can be found here.
Anyway, considering I'm not a EMHC, I won't touch the door. So when I went to adoration and saw that the door was closed, I simply knelt before it and prayed without approaching. Christ is present regardless of if I can see Him or not.
A few minutes later, a woman walked in for adoration and opened the monstrance. I could feel her laughing at me... as if I didn't know I was supposed to open the door. She stayed for about five or ten minutes, but when she left, she said "Please make sure you close the door."
I silently nodded. I was thinking "Okay, Lord, you know I don't want to touch Your door because I don't think I'm supposed to. If you don't want me touching it either, just send someone else to do it for me."
Don't ya know about 10 minutes later, someone else came for adoration? :) God is good. I'm taking this as the sign similar to that I got last year. Steer clear of touching His sacred vessels, because even with the best of intentions, it's not His Will. For me, anyway. Ha!
Very early this morning I had a dream of St. Michael. It was very brief, but incredibly intense.
I was home with Vincent. I was on the phone with John (who was at work) trying to warn him of an approaching storm. I looked out the window, and I saw a huge tornado swirling down the road towards John (who, for some reason, was on the roof several doors down). It was sucking up buildings, trees, etc. I saw it tearing apart everything. I remember feeling intensely scared for John. I kept yelling for him to take cover.
The tornado suddenly stopped and lost its fury. I watched as the debris began spilling forth from the mouth of the once furious tornado. John, now thinking he was safe, didn't realize that the debris posed more of a threat than the tornado. I was still yelling for him to take cover when I saw him.
It was Saint Michael. I knew it the instant I saw him. He was coming down from the sky, just off from where I saw John, and he was holding his sword above his head as if he were leading a battle charge.
What's odd about how he appeared to me is that he didn't appear as a full-colored "body" like I've seen in paintings and such. Instead, he was an actual entity, but he was almost in negative... sorta like this:
Sorry for the creepy effect, but I couldn't actually make out any of St. Michael's facial features. He was enveloped in such a bright, bright light that it almost seemed to be coming out of him. It was as if he was made out of light and the armor he wore somehow clung to the light that formed him. Strange, right? I dunno. A photo-negative is the closest thing I can think of to what he looked like.
When I saw him, I felt such peace. I knew that everything was going to be okay, but I also knew that we were in for a world of chaos. He brought the knowledge that peace was coming, but before that peace, we'd be dealing with an incredibly destructive tornado of chaos.
Upon seeing him, I turned back to find Vincent. I dropped to my knees and began saying the Prayer to St. Michael over and over again. Before I could find Vincent, though, my alarm woke me up. Regardless, it was an amazing dream, and it's thus far stuck with me through the entire day. St. Michael, pray for us.
So those are mine! For more quick takes, check out Conversion Diary (and start your own!).
Our Lady cradles Jesus
I just got back from picking up lunch on my break. While I was waiting in line, a father came over to the condiment counter for napkins in order to wipe his son's face. The little boy was about Vincent's age. I smiled at him, and he smiled back with this huge, "the world is amazing" grin. I laughed to myself and gave his father an appreciative nod - he's raising a beautiful little boy.
The little boy's older brother came over and "nuggied" his head. The younger brother giggled as the older tousled his hair, then they both ran off to play. Their father called after them, "Vince, make sure you look after Luca."
And even remembering him calling that out makes me choke up.
I understand why I immediately felt like a ton of bricks smashed against my chest, but it still catches me off-guard.
Those little moments when I become so overcome with jealousy and grief that I don't think I can resume breathing... they give no warning. They spring upon me with no sympathy for where I am or who might see my heart break.
Luca. It wasn't even Vince's name as the older brother that knifed me to my core. It was Luca's... the little one who is about Vince's age. As soon as I heard his name, my heart first melted. What a beautiful name, I thought. I'd love to have a little Luca.
That tender appreciation for such a simple, eloquent name quickly turned into intense longing and grief. Yes, I admit there was jealousy there. But it isn't as if I wanted to snatch the child away from his father and run home. It wasn't as if I was envious to the point of wishing he were mine instead of belonging to that family. I was just a little jealous that they got to have a Luca and I did not.
Then I tried to console myself with the fact that my next little one wouldn't have been a Luca anyway. If we were to have another boy, he'd've been a Nathan. But Luca... something about that little boy's name was like a fire-brand to my heart. It just made me long for a newborn and painfully aware of my inability to have one.
And then came all the familiar self-assaults: You're cheating Vincent out of siblings. You're disappointing your parents (in-laws, too) because they deserve to have the grandkids they, too, long for. You're with-holding playmates from Arianna and Alliya. You're cheating yourself out of the fullness of your motherhood. You're... you're... you're!!!
So for those of you who ask me how I do it... or say I'm a saint for dealing with John, I assure you... I'm no saint. This is a daily struggle that sometimes becomes almost impossible. It attacks when you least expect it, and it's a daunting challenge to contain the interior emotions that threaten to suffocate you. My only advice to those of you (men and women alike) who are struggling with this cross - immediately call out to Our Lady. Offer it and just accept those sudden moments of unbearable emotional lashing as atonement for someone on the brink of mortal sin.
That thought gives me solace.
Maybe, just maybe, God allows us those tiny moments of sacrifice for someone half-way around the globe in need of spiritual assistance. I imagine that's what Christ clung to as He stumbled under the weight of the Cross along Calvary.
Hang on... call out for assistance. Those are the moments in which we are closest to Him. As such, hand over those moments immediately for whatever uses He needs them for. In return, He will promptly give you the graces necessary to prop yourself back up again.
You might not feel it right away... but in time, peace will settle back into your heart.
As you can probably tell from the photo, I was a little overzealous in purchasing the potty for Vince at Christmas when he was only 15 months old.
Now that he's almost three, I'm glad I didn't wait. He got to mess with his potty for almost two whole years before I began to potty train him. He spent those two years getting to know his potty... playing with his potty... and using his potty as a ramp, step-stool and yes, even a seat.
Once I started to coax him into using it for its actual purpose, he wasn't really scared of it. From all the horror stories I've heard of parents trying to prove to their toddlers that monsters don't exist in their potties, or that the seat wouldn't swallow their bottoms, etc, I'm just really, really glad that Vince had a good, happy relationship with his special seat. No fear of the unknown for him, thank goodness!
However, trying to get him to figure out just what that "Uh oh, I gotta go!" sensation actually meant was an entirely different ballgame. As some of you may recall from my 1st foray into Potty Training, I was less than successful. In fact, I was pretty miserable and felt like an all-star failure.
I'd even accepted failure. Almost.
Instead, I didn't give up. John and I just altered our approach. Sure, Vince still had a few accidents over the last two weeks, but ya know what? He's only had a handful! That first weekend of hell really made him incredibly self-aware. Sure it took several hours of me scrubbing my carpets and floors. Sure it took several extra loads of laundry and a couple extra trips to shower, but in the end, I can see what it was all for.
I haven't bought any diapers this month!
Vincent requests to go to the potty now - frequently.
He's in big-boy underwear all day. He hasn't had an accident in three days. THREE DAYS!
And last night? Last night he woke up from his sleep just so he could ask to use the potty.
I think I've died and gone to Heaven.
My little boy... I'm so proud of him.
Several of my friends asked if we did a reward system to see results so fast. We haven't. We've just been very diligent about asking him - over and over again - if he needs to use the potty. Every time he does use the potty, we praise him like you wouldn't believe. In fact, I think we over-praise him.
Twice Vincent stopped playing while we were in Chick-Fil-A's playroom on Wednesday so he could run to the potty. He only went once, but he expected a huge round of applause both times.
Ah well - I'm just so proud of the progress he's making. So moral of the story - Don'T Give Up!
No child goes to high school in diapers. :)
When did my little baby boy go from this
So I made the decision to attempt potty training Vince this weekend. Up until this point, John and I haven't been very consistent with it. If we remembered to try him on the potty after his bath - woo hoo. If not, c'est la vie.
However, my laissez faire approach quickly choked on its bon-bon lovin' neglect after I read a note from his teachers reminding us that Vincent was developmentally ready for preschool. The only thing standing between Vincent and a more structured, educational setting was his diaper.
I immediately felt panicked, proud and frantic reading that letter. I'm so proud that my baby boy is ready for preschool. At the same time, I'm panicky over the fact that my baby boy isn't so much baby as boy now and is thus ready for the next stage of his educational development. That brings tears to my eyes for more than one reason.
Finally, I'm a little frantic because I realize I need to get on the ball with training him. He'll be 3 in September, and if he's to start preschool Sept. 1st, I've got my work cut out for me.
So instead of going down the shore this weekend (as was originally the plan), I spent the entire weekend home with him in anticipation of the many accidents that were waiting to happen.
Ugh - I wasn't disappointed!!!
I can't even tell you how many times this poor kid used my floors as a potty. Le sigh. On the plus side, leaving him run around naked (or in his big boy underwear) certainly made him a lot more aware of the "I gotta go!" sensation that precedes using the bathroom. He even surprised me by using the potty three times - once going number two! I really thought we were making headway.
Not so much.
And after a particularly messy melt-down (on the part of Mommy, not Vince), John calmly suggested that maybe I was trying to push Vince before he was ready. I knew he was right. It made logical sense to me. I think I knew even before I started that he wasn't ready. Trying to push it on him will only freak him out and make potty training that much more difficult.
So I deferred to Daddy on this one. Vince gets a potty training reprieve for now. We'll be more consistent with reminding Vince about the potty and asking him if he needs to go, but for now, we'll let him have his diapers... even if that means he waits a month or two to start preschool.