Potty Training part 1

Standard

When we first moved to Korea,  Clarissa was 18 months old and seemed obsessed with watching Tim and I use the bathroom.  I thought she was young but decided to buy a princess potty anyway to see what would happen.

Within a few days she peed and pooped in the potty.  Quite pleased with herself,  she was done and lost interest in the potty for about 9 months.

Then her best friend turned three and started potty training.  Clarissa asked to start potty training but I told her we would wait a few weeks because we were going to Japan for Christmas.  That was a mistake because by the time we returned,  she had completely lost interest.

One of the few times per year I take time to read entire books is when we travel.  I read a few books about potty training on our Japan trip and also on our trip to Seoul.  Most claimed that you can completely potty train your child in 3-5 days.  They lied…

I thought we would try potty training over spring break because we would be home the whole week,  but she really wasn’t interested,  so we stopped.

I was in charge of vacation bible school this summer and the rule has always been that you need to be three years old and potty trained to attend vbs.  She was two weeks shy of 3 for vbs,  but I thought that if we started in June,  that would give us enough time to potty train.  She was pretty good about not having an accident if I made sure she sat on the potty at least once per hour.  It wasn’t until we were both sick and stayed home for an entire week in mid July that she started realizing when she needed to use the potty on her own.

But then we spent two weeks out of the house every day for vbs.  If she is in a diaper,  she will use it.  Smart girl.

August was fairly consistent.  If we were at home,  she would use the potty when she needed to.  But once you put panties or a diaper on her,  she refused the potty.  So that meant that we were potty trained in the apartment only.

We went on vacation to Japan in September.  I figured she would just stick to her diapers.  For the most part she did.  But once per day she would use the potty.  It was always at an interesting time.  I don’t think she used a hotel potty the entire trip (though now that I think about it,  the bidets probably scared her).  She often used the toilet on a moving train.  If it happened to be a squatty,  I just said no.

The rest of September,  she mostly asked for a diaper.  Some mornings,  she wakes up with a dry diaper.  But now we are back to being potty trained in the apartment without panties. She sometimes asks for a diaper when she needs to poop.

I still use cloth diapers when we leave the apartment.  I figure that she will be potty trained when she wants to as she sometimes asks to use the potty when we are out.  It is not worth stressing her out over using the potty. Especially when it doesn’t really add to our budget anyway.

Clarissa’s first movie theater experience 

Standard

Last summer and fall,  Clarissa was obsessed with the movie Finding Nemo.  There were two copies at the library.  So most weeks at storytime we would return our copy and borrow the other one. She received the DVD as a gift for Christmas so that we didn’t need to borrow it anymore. 

When we heard that Finding Dory was coming out,  we knew she had to see it.  We thought that at almost three years old,  she would be able to sit through the movie in the theater and actually enjoy it. 

The movie was supposed to come out in June.  Tim had a four day weekend for the Fourth of July so we thought that Friday would be perfect because it wouldn’t be as crowded. All week I talked up the movie.  Tim brought home the book from TDY (business trip).  We talked about how the movie would be on the big screen and we would have to sit and be quiet but we would get to eat popcorn. 

Thursday night after I put her to bed,  I went online to look at movie times and was surprised to discover that the movie would not be out in Korea for another week. We were so upset. 

The next morning,  Clarissa woke up ready for her movie and I had to tell her that I made a mistake and we actually couldn’t go to the movie until next week. She was surprisingly satisfied with my explanation. 

All of the English movie times were during the week. Tim took the next Friday afternoon  off and we met him at the subway to go downtown. 

We headed to the food court at Hyundai Department store for lunch.  Tim ordered grilled eel at the bento place.  I ordered bibimbap.  Clarissa ate my rice. 

After lunch we had an hour to kill so we decided to go for a walk.  As we walked past Miso City,  we noticed that there were some traditional houses so we decided to check them out.  There was a bit of a walking tour,  complete with stamps.  Clarissa wanted me to stamp both of her hands. 

After we completed the loop we went back to Hyundai Department Store to buy our movie tickets.  We ordered some popcorn and had to wait a few minutes before we could go to the theater. 

When we bought our tickets,  we received two small posters.  Clarissa would not let me put the Dory poster in my bookbag for safe keeping. 

She did very well in the theater.  She sat in her seat for most of the movie.  She only had to sit in my lap for the last 15 minutes or so. 

Once the movie started Clarissa was too interested in the big screen to eat her popcorn. But she was pretty quiet.  She asked a few questions but was a reasonable noise level throughout the movie. 

It was a great family outing.  I wonder what our next movie will be… 

Making healthy animal crackers

Standard

A few weeks ago, Clarissa asked to “mix” everyday. But it was always right before we needed to leave to go somewhere. So that Friday, when we didn’t have any plans, I decided it would be a great day to bake something.

Clarissa really likes goldfish crackers but we’ve pretty much decided that her mood is way more even keel when she eats gluten free. I was looking at some gluten free alternatives to goldfish. But she didn’t really like them. And they were very processed (and expensive since I had to buy in bulk from Amazon to ship them here).

So I decided to try something from the Super Healthy Kids blog. They call them gluten free pizza crackers. This is mostly the same recipe, I just switched a few things based on what ingredients I already had in my house.

Clarissa had a great time dumping the different ingredients into the bowl. She also kept trying to eat everything when I went for the next ingredient. She enjoyed using the rolling pin to flatten the dough. She also kept eating the dough while we were using the cookie cutters.

My sister sent me some fruit and vegetable cutters for Christmas. We have used them for fruit a few times, but mostly we have used them for cookies and crackers. Clarissa loves the animal shapes. And they make them a good size to be finger foods for her.

The hardest part was probably keeping Mittens off the table while we were busy making these! But they were delicious. Clarissa actually ate them and asked for them a few times before they were finished a few days later.  I kept them in a resealable glass container and they were fine for the five days we had them. I thought they were delicious!

Ingredients:
1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 /4 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon tomato sauce (we use Hunts garlic and herb)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C.
2. Add all ingredients together in a large bowl and stir.
3. Eventually you will need to use your hands to make the dough into a ball.
4. Place half of your dough between two pieces of parchment paper.
5. Use a rolling pin to flatten dough to about 1/4 inch thick.
6. Remove parchment paper and use cookie cutters (or fruit cutters) to create desired shapes.
7. Bake in oven for 25 minutes.

Clarissa 2.75

Standard

I meant to write about Clarissa’s favorite things at two and a half but never got around to it.  She has changed so much since February that I didn’t want to wait until she turns three in August to write about her favorite things. 

This week Clarissa turned two years and nine months old. She is still not potty trained.  She loves her princess panties and can go an entire day (minus nap and bedtime)  without an accident.  But she will rarely stop what she is doing to go potty. She will often tell me, “I went yest day (yesterday).” The only time she tells me she needs to go is during naptime or bedtime.  I know it is a stalling tactic,  but she does generally pee during this time.

Clarissa has really become more girly since we returned from Japan at Christmas.  Ponytails and hair clips are still rare.  But she definitely requested that I buy her a new hair bow at the px on Friday.

Clarissa is not as interested in cars,  busses,  and trains anymore.  The only time she plays with her cars and ramp is when little boys come over to play.  Yet when we went to the folk village,  the souvioneer she chose was a huge Lani bus.

image

Her favorite thing to do is play with Legos.  We spend hours building things.  She will come up to me and say,  “Mommy build.” We mostly build animals from her favorite TV shows and movies.

image

We sometimes paint.  She gets excited about painting her hands and feet to make crafts for the grandparents. She isn’t really interested in playing with play doh these days.

Clarissa still plays with Haven but has several other friends.  She has library friends,  neighbor friends,  church friends,  and park friends.  Her favorite friend is probably Mittens,  our kitten.

image

Clarissa still likes to read.  Her favorite TV show right now is My Little Pony.  Her favorite movie last week was Toy Story.  But the week before was Frozen and the whole month before was Good Dinosaur.

We ordered a big girl bed for her this weekend at Osan so she should get to sleep on it in the next couple of weeks.  Of course Clarissa picked out some My Little Pony bedding.

I have pretty much given up on naptime. Though I still think she would benefit from sleeping, she refuses and often says, “No thanks. Maybe morrow (tomorrow).” So we have transitioned to a rest time in the afternoon and an earlier bedtime.

Food is still complicated. She will eat most fruits and vegetables in a pouch but rarely in their raw form. She will eat pepperoni,  peanuts,  and string cheese for protein.  Breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs,  apples,  and banana are hit or miss.  She loves gluten-free pretzels,  popcorn,  pasta,  and pizza.  Clarissa also drinks soy milk everyday. 

Packing the Diaper Bag

Standard

The contents of my diaper bag has changed as Clarissa grows.

We moved to South Korea the week that Clarissa turned 18 months old. Not only did we move to a different country, but we didn’t bring a car. Needless to say, our entire lifestyle changed. At that point, I switched from a normal diaper bag to a bookbag. This way, I could bring a bus pass, my wallet, cell phone, and waterbottle along with whatever Clarissa would need.

I would make sure the following items were packed:

  • 1 extra outfit
  • a diaper for every 4 hours I planned to be away from the house (plus one extra)
  • a washcloth (wipe) for every diaper plus one extra
  • my wetbag for dirty diapers
  • my mini spray bottle for diaper changes
  • sippy cup of water
  • some finger foods like crackers or puffs
  • a pouch of fruits or vegetables
  • I let her choose a small toy or book for the bus ride

After being in Korea a few weeks, we also bought a small backpack harness for her. She wanted to walk on her own and I didn’t have to worry about cars. I usually put the snacks in her little backpack for easy access on the bus.

Clarissa weaned herself

Standard

Clarissa has always enjoyed breastfeeding. Honestly, I have mostly enjoyed it as well. I like the alone time we spend together and the bond that we share. I wasn’t sure how long she would want to nurse. She didn’t seem to be losing interest at all and so I decided that I would wean her when she turned three. At two and a half, I told her that one day she would be too big to nurse. I said that she could nurse until she turned three but if she wanted to stop before then she could. She said okay, but I didn’t think much of it.

I noticed a pattern with Clarissa this winter. The more she ate during the day, the less she would nurse before bed. After she turned two and a half, she started drinking soymilk and some smoothies during the day. Not every day, but I was thankful that she was starting to have more protein in her diet. She then started nursing only about 10 minutes most nights.

A week before she turned two years and seven months, she asked for milk in a cup during her bedtime story. I explained to her that if she drank from a cup I would not nurse her that evening and she was fine with that. That was a Monday night. Tuesday night she asked for her milk in a cup. On Wednesday night, I handed her milk and she refused. She didn’t nap or eat well that day and she wanted to nurse. That was ten days ago. I think it’s safe to say that she has weaned herself.

I enjoyed breastfeeding Clarissa. But I am enjoying our new evening routine. Clarissa is starting to ask to pray more when Daddy does the bedtime prayer. Her first prayer went something like this, “Dear God, thank you for pink elephants and purple heffalumps…” I don’t remember everything. We were trying really hard not to laugh.

Tim and I have an additional hour in the evenings together now, which means that we have more options for activities. I really enjoy our time together after Clarissa goes to bed, so it has been fun.

Clarissa’s first haircut

Standard

I guess that the title of this blog post is not entirely accurate. Memaw cut Clarissa’s bangs twice before we moved to Korea and I have cut them a few times. Her bangs were getting long again and the varying lengths of the rest of her hair was starting to get on my nerves. So at almost two and a half, I decided she should get her first professional haircut.

Around the time of her birthday, we had a play date at Debec department store. Across from the play area they have a place for kid’s haircuts where the kids get to sit in race cars. I made a mental note that we would come back for Clarissa’s first haircut.

We took the 156 bus to Seomun market and took the sky rail to Daebonggyo. Debec doesn’t open until 10:30 and the kid’s stuff doesn’t open until 11. We arrived about 12:15 and it was really busy. The lady I spoke to didn’t speak any English. But I wrote Clarissa’s name on the list in Hangul and decided to wait. A Korean mom explained that it would be 1:30 – 2 before it would be our turn so we would probably want to eat lunch and come back.

We headed down to the food court at B1 and ended up with Namaste Indian food for lunch. I don’t think we have eaten Indian since we arrived, so it was a fun change of pace. The owner spoke excellent English. Tim had spicy chicken vindaloo, I had a not spicy chicken, and Clarissa had some Nan. We were all very satisfied with our lunch.

image

image

image

Then we headed back to the eighth floor to wait for Clarissa’s haircut. I had decided that if it wasn’t our turn yet, she would get to play in the play yard.

They were ready for her when we got there. Our stylist was beautiful but didn’t really speak English. So I pointed to Clarissa’s bangs and the back of her hair and we communicated that I just wanted a small amount cut off. I figured, Clarissa will look cute regardless and if it is too short, it will grow back.

She first offered Clarissa some candy.

image

When Clarissa started to get antsy, the other stylist turned on cartoons. Clarissa did very well. She flinched every time her hair was sprayed with water. But she let the stylist cut her hair.

image

image

image

image

image

When she got really wiggly, the stylist gave her a handful of candy and continued on. She even tried to curl her hair with a straightener and put some ponytails in it.

image

image

image

I was very happy with the results. It cost 20,000 won (like $16.50).

image

We rewarded Clarissa with some time at the play yard. It costs 4,000 won (about $3.30). I think you can drop off your child while you shop, but I never leave her. She enjoyed her playtime. It gave me an excuse to take more hair pictures, though some are blurry because she was playing.

image

image

image

She started with four ponytails in her hair. An hour later, she is down to two. But she still looks cute!

image