Thursday, July 1, 2010


Last night on Twitter, I solicited advice for three separate, almost completely unrelated things.

monsterchewI need advice on 3 things: potty training, baby allergies, and hardwood vs laminate flooring. And... go!

So here now, my elaborations on why I'm seeking said advice.

1.  Potty Training - My sweet, headstrong little 2 year old decided a few months ago that she would use the potty like her sister.  Delighted by the copious offerings of M&Ms for the minor doings and bigger treats for the... erm, larger ones.  She had no qualms with doing either.  Granted, she often didn't remember to ask to go and I wasn't in a place at that point to embrace her interest, so I just indulged her when she asked and changed diapers when she didn't.  

A week ago, I decided that since summer was upon us, we'd shed diapers, (as she is often wont to do anyway), and I'd actively encourage the pottying habits.  She did GREAT for a few days and then, not so much.  OK, I know, when they balk, don't force, etc.  I got that.  

But here's the kicker.  She does NOT want a diaper.  But she also won't use the bathroom.  Think that equals a mess?  No.  She HOLDS it.  Record time?  4 hours.  She's just barely over 2.  Yeah.  At the end of those 4 hours, she was pleading for a diaper and yet refusing to put it on.  So I tried the potty again.  She went,  (I don't think she could help it), and was dually rewarded with treats, songs, fanfare... and seemed to be super excited about it.  But after that?  Refusal, again.  

I am trying my darndest to not traumatize the poor kid from all future bathroom experiences, but it ain't looking good.  Combine that with the fact that while she will sit on the potty, (and she does that a lot...  sit sit siiiiit), she wants me there.  Which means Sayer comes in. And soon, my whole clan is crammed in my tiny bathroom.  It's not fun.  (And we've tried the mini potty in the other room... no dice). 


2.  Baby Allergies - Sayer is now 11 months and has spent approximately 8 of them completely congested.  During the winter months, the docs chalked his congestion up to several consecutive colds.  And with two older sisters often bringing germs home, this didn't surprise me.  But as spring came, he stayed congested even when the girls were not.  No other symptoms but a thick runny nose, mostly in the morning,  throat congestion, especially at night, and coughing phlem, again, particularly at night.  The latter really disrupts sleep in a huge way.  And I'm tired.  But you can't really sleep coach/train a kid who is coughing up a lung several times in the middle of the night.

So yes, allergies?  I sincerely doubt it's food related, as we've eliminated trigger foods with no results.  Environmental?  Can babies get them?  The only reprieve we've recently had was during a trip to TX.  Dogs?  

I've got a call into the pediatrician to see about allergy testing.  We'll see.  What do they do for kids that little?

3.  Laminate vs.Wood Flooring - We're really looking to replace the awful carpet in our main room and hallway.  It's old, stained, ugly, and quite realistically, probably nastified and maybe contributing to Sayer's allergy issue.  

So the question:  Laminate?  Which we had in our old house and I liked it ok, but it streaked like mad when cleaned, which I HATED.  Or wood?  I love the natural, deep look of hardwoods and really would lean that way if given the choice...  SO really, my question is more about the cost difference...  is real wood worth it?  Engineered?  Solid?  Which is better?  Types of wood?  Or are there some die hard laminate fans out there willing to try selling me the other way?

Whichever way we go, it's what will probably be here for the rest of our time, so...  looking to chose wisely :)

So yes, internets...  answer me these riddles three.  And I will pay you in...  hmmm... more wacky pictures of our little family.  And maybe some regular blogging.  *gasp*  Yes, really!


  1. Will Caly wear pull-ups? They are kinda like panties but a bit more absorbent if her hold-out goes wrong. What if Lexi takes her to the potty and they have girl time? Reese and I "share water" (i.e no flush btwn) but it's a great way to get her to go before we leave the house b/c we keep each other company.

  2. #1: Yea, not the person to ask. Aiden is just NOW using the potty. He's three and a half, remember. But he simply hasn't cared. I noticed he was able to "hold it" when he wanted to, so I had to force the issue. I hated to do it, but if he's physically ready then we need to get this ball rolling. He refuses to be naked, like at all, which is a challenge. But we switched to Pull Ups even though they are SO EXPENSIVE. I actually buy store brand because who cares if they leak? That's kind of the point. Now he's finally progressed to underwear at home during the day, and he sits on the potty every 15-20 minutes. I'm exhausted. But it seems ot be working for RIGHT NOW. So. Maybe try pull ups on her? There's a brand of cloth pull ups I wanted to get when we were using could look into those....or just the regular kind. Maybe she doesn't want a diaper because it's a baby thing???

    #2 allergies.....all of my kids had allergies as infants. Don't believe they can't have them, because I know mine did. And it really bites because there is NO way to help them. Although if your doctor agrees with your assessment he can tell you how much Benadryl to give, but then you have a doped up kid. Which may get you some much needed rest...ha!...but he can't go around being doped up everyday either. Allergy testing may be worth it since he's had them so nonstop. And it'll help you know for sure if you have to do something about the doggies :-(

    #3 I got nothing

  3. 1) I'll send you the method we used for Morgan. Basically, praised when she went potty, but she really got the goods when she stayed dry (which I guess in C's case, is not an issue). Hmmm... I might have to think about this one. I'll still send you what I got!

    2) Nada. Zip. Zilch. Um... hyland's allergy tablets for kids? Don't know if they go as young as him though. Wow! 11 months already???

    3) I've had both. We got great laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators in Beltsville. About 1/3 of the price as anywhere else. They have hardwood flooring there too. The laminate is what Kaleb put down in our townhouse in Laurel. Easy lock in and go! Our place in VA had hardwoods. While I liked them, they were a lot more work to keep clean and I know every so often we would need to steam clean and then polish, etc. If choosing again, I would probably go with the hardwoods and knowing our crazy lifestyle, they just wouldn't be cleaned "properly" or as often as they should be, but still look nice. Hardwood definitely has the potential to last longer and you actually have more choices in size and stain.

  4. #1 - I got nothing, sorry.

    #2 - Sounds like my own allergies. Make sure there are no allergens in his bed. No feather pillows or down comforter or down-filled coat nearby (I stuff up if there's one of these in the room). Could it be your detergent or dryer sheets that he's allergic to? And definitely keep pets out of his room.

    #3 - Hardwood is ABSOLUTELY worth the extra cost.

  5. 1. I second the pull up suggestion. Eli actually started doing much BETTER with pottying once we put him in Pull Ups instead of underwear. I have no idea why, but there you go.
    2. No clue. But I know carpet CAN get really gross, so maybe switching it out will magically solve the problem.
    3. My in laws put in gorgeous cherry hardwood a few years ago and every time I see it I drool. We have laminate, and it is so inferior in appearance, imo. Howevs, ours is also super easy to clean and almost impossible to damage, except of course with water getting beneath it. Theirs? Requires all sorts of sweeping and mopping and polishing and what not. And its SUPER slippery, maybe just because its so new or something, but it always worries me.

  6. What helped with Abby was someone else applauding - we would call aunts and uncles and grandparents and they would fawn over her. One aunt came over and brought "special potty stickers" and they decorated with two, but then the rest had to be earned by filling the pot. We have the most Abby Cadabby Potty in the US of A! We were even able to pull off of the candy treats in favor of the stickers.

    We would also let her wear one if she did her business, so that when we went out we could get other folks to fawn too. "Abby, why did you get to wear that sticker?"

    Never underestimate the power of a sticker to a preschooler.

    Would Bean be helpful? Maybe she could take it on as a project and you could reward HER - two birds (getting attention from) one stone?

  7. Sawyer has seasonal allergies and what I did is half the dose of Dimetapp Allergy nighttime for him and only gave it at night. I talked to my pedi first and the dose was perfect as @ 11 mos mine weight about the same as Sayer....he is now 31.5 pounds @ 18 1/2 mos.

    no advice on potty training girls...we did both older boys @ same time and had contests to see who could go longest/farthest off the back porch(Redneks R Us)
    alas it worked in like 3 days so I can't say it was all bad...only prob was I got kids out of van once in Wisconsin when hubby was working up there and while I was grabbing one last thing they proceeded to drop drawers and have a contest right there on the one tree in the middle of the parking lot.
    yep- we are sooooo proud. Thats how we roll.

  8. #2 - The only logical answer is definetely to move to texas. I know a great little town called Amarillo. I am POSITIVE you will make friends really fast. Text me!!

  9. #2 definitely try the allergy tests. Seasonal allergies may very well be the culprit.

    My oldest had a host of health issues when he was young including a chronic cough that caused him to cough so hard he would throw up. After taking care of his chronic ear infections and tonsilitis and doing allergy testing (he wasn't allergic to anything) the doctors finally tried him on both asthma and reflux medicine which helped. The doctors were always hesitant to say his reflux caused his asthma but it sure as heck aggravated it. B also never wheezed with his asthma, his main symptom was cough and it was a bad cough. He also spit up non-stop as a baby, more than I have ever seen any other baby and never grew out of it, which also made me think reflux.

    Good luck! Pinning these things down can be very tricky. Continue to advocate for your child because in my experience doctors will brush you aside, saying it isn't that serious, but once it is affecting quality of life, B was waking several times a night, he was missing school, I was missing work, they listened more, but only with my persistance.

    I am happy to say at 10 years old he is off all reflux and asthma medicine :-)

  10. I am not much help in the potty department as far as girls go (but ill get back to ya when Sayer decides it time hehe) but my sister has 3 girls as says she has always just went with reward system. With the boys it was different. Phabian required a school incentive. he couldnt go to school unless he was potty trained and that was all it took to get it on the ball. MJ however was a little more challenging. We tried bribes, we tried cool undies, we tried candy and charts and prizes, NOTHING! In the end what worked was just putting him in underware and dealing with the messes. He hated the feeling of being wet and didnt want to mess up his new Lightning McQueen undies so in a matter of a week we were done.

    Allergies is something we deal with on a daily basis. My kids have all had allergies since coming out of the womb which sholdnt have surprised me since both my husband and I have them as well. Ours mostly kick in during fall and spring when molds and pollen are at the highest but also during the summer and winter if it is perticularly warm or wet. Phabian and MJ have both been on Clariton or perscribed allergy medicines since they were 1. They help for the most part but sometimes a runny nose still sneaks through. As far as kids under 1 i dont know if there is much that can be done. My sister's oldest daughter has been on clariton since she was 1 and is allergic to everything under the sun including grass. The clariton does wonders for her and even allowed them to have a pet for the first time (which was later given to a nice family because it tore up the furniture (CATS) and my sister is too anal to deal with that lol).

    And the floors! I would choose wood but that is just because it is what i like. I hope you find what you are looking for.

  11. I have laminate floors. Love them except for the fact that if you drop something REALLY HEAVY they will dent (!) and there is cardboard underneath


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