Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Okay, so all day I have been wanting to post about this morning's craziness! I was nursing Levi and he just felt like he was really super full, but he wasn't pooping and his nursing was slowing down, I wasn't near empty. So I took his diaper off, he didn't complain and I put him on his toilet and immediately he pooped and peed, it was like he was waiting for it! My husband came in and I told him about it. Levi had stopped for a bit so I assumed he was done. His diapers were in the wash so I took the diaper out from under him to actually put on him (a cloth one) and had a fleeting thought of putting him on his potty again. I sort of was looking at how much he had pooped, got distracted and like 5 seconds later he pooped everywhere! I mean, more like directly at my poor husband who was sitting there and playing with Levi. It shot out like 6 inches ... it was ridiculous! So we had to get the carpet cleaner and wipe it all up.

Lesson: I should have gone with my guts again that he might need to poop again. Now I won't be so quick to take him off and be quicker to put him on his toilet :)

So today has been a success and an unsuccess. I don't take myself too seriously if you can't tell already. :) I'm just excited about this process of teaching him to go on the toilet, this process of communicating and learning about what his little body needs and doesn't need.

He has been so fun and interesting to get to know. It's all just a process that feels like forever sometimes, and sometimes feels like passes by so quickly.

I am disappointed to miss the La Leche League Friday morning... I was hoping to talk to some of the other EC moms some more, oh well, it will come around again next month.

I need to get a wool blanket so I won't have to worry so much about my carpet during diaper free time.

I also want to get some infant training pants. I was thinking about making them but then my mom suggested getting the smallest I could find and altering them... that might be easiest, I'm not sure. Is $7 expensive for infant potty training pants? I'm not sure. I'll look online I guess.

Levi's going through a growth spurt. He's 4 months as of last Tuesday. Bout time for that. I feel like I'm nursing all the time. I think he might be kind of teething too :(

Friday, March 26, 2010

So when I started this blog I was thinking that I would post every day. But ... I mean, really? Is it possible to post about your baby's poop every single day?

So yesterday Levi had lots of pees in his potty. Not one poop. A few days before that we had almost all poops and no pees. This seems to be our pattern. I am now expecting us to have a completely off day where I put him on his potty at all the wrong times and we just live through it. :) Maybe it's good to expect days like that so that I'm not completely depressed that day.

I've been listening to Dave Ramsey's podcast while nursing and then EC-ing. I want to call in and talk about how EC could save new mommies hundreds of dollars on disposables and even money on washing diapers (water, detergent, time, ect...) But I'm pretty sure the phone screen-er wouldn't let me through on that one. I think an average of 2500 dollars is spent on disposable diapers in a child's life.

One thing I am thankful for is that we get some pees over with. Levi tends to overflow his diaper at night or during naps, but if we can make sure he gets some of his pee out beforehand that is pretty awesome.

Been reading in Christine's book Diaper Free Baby about EC-ing during middle infancy. Some good times to offer the potty are:
-after waking
-during or after nursing
-before leaving the house
-after returning home (if they aren't asleep in the car seat :) )
-right after taking the baby out of the sling, stroller or car seat
-when changing baby's diaper
-before or after bath
-before bed

Okay, so the after nap thing... sometimes if Levi isn't too upset when I get him I take off his diaper while he is lying in his crib, pick him up with a cloth diaper or two in my hand and just nurse him with a cloth diaper under him. This way I can see if he is pooping or peeing. He seems less likely to poop then, more likely to wait. I just have to watch for the pees. The cool thing is that if I just watch him closely I can usually put the cloth diaper over him and catch his fountain pretty cleanly. At this time I can cue him too. It works pretty well. Then after we are finished nursing I can just put him on his potty that I keep next to my nursing chair. I even put it on a stool so I don't have to bend over to put him on it.

I just have to make sure and retrieve the dirty diaper in his crib afterwords. Sometimes I come back some time later and see his little wet diaper in the crib... whoops. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hello again! I know I haven't written since I had the depressing day. The only thing I can report now is that I LOVE EC!! I have received lots of encouragement from friends and books and things, mainly encouragement from my sweet Levi. He has been pooping in the morning and in the evening. I can almost just time it. I caught probably about 60% of his pees today. I am actually very amazed. There were only about 2 or 3 times I put him on his potty without him having to go. So, all in all, today was an extremely successful day.

The only thing I can say is hang in there. Don't let your bad days knock you down, just wake up the next morning and declare that today is a new day! I am praying for those of you who are not getting as much sleep out there. This can totally inhibit functioning abilities, so on those days don't worry about it so much. If you catch just one pee or one poop that day then you have one less diaper to clean, one less bit of a landfill to fill. :) The earth thanks you!

I am so excited to see and hear about those around me taking the steps to begin potty training. I have two friends who have recently started training their one-year-olds to go on the potty. Some have successful poops, some have successful pees, whatever it is I think it's amazing! Who would have thought we could revolutionize the potty training myths? I am so happy!

My other friends who are EC-ing their babies are amazing too. Way to go friends :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Okay, so today has officially been and "unsuccessful day" I categorize a success as anything in the potty. Actually, now that I put it that way, I can't count today as unsuccessful. Today Levi pooped all over his pee pad (so thankful it didn't get on the carpet) and then I put him on his potty and he pooped about the size of a dime. So I guess that was sort of a success. Not really.

My standards are low so that on days like today I won't feel so bad and on good days like yesterday and the day before I will be soaring. And because I am working with a baby. :)
I'm working with a baby and he is only 16 weeks out of the womb, therefore, my standards need to be low. This is what I need to remind myself of in these moments when he is tired and I am tired and I just want to break down and cry in the midst of his screams. I need to step back and re-focus.

Re-focus on what is my goal? What are my intentions? Am I putting too much pressure on him? Am I offering the potty too often, not often enough? Am I keeping a loose eye on the clock? Is he well-rested? Does he have a rash? Stepping back seems like a healthy thing right now. Not quitting, I won't quit or throw in the towel all together, but I will just lay all these troubles down at the Father's feet and remember that His mercies are new every morning. Or just that His mercies are new after every nap time :)

Lord, give me strength for today. Your grace is sufficient for this impatient, overtired mommy. Teach me to love him as You have loved me. Let him grow into a strong man of faith and love. Let him be full of compassion and mercy for those around him. May he stand in fear of the Lord and lead others from sin into the beauty of knowing You and Your death on the cross. Thank you for perspective Lord. Thank you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I am beginning to think that EC is like long distance running. You will hit a wall and it will hurt, but you just have to push on through it. You kind of back off your stride for a little while, but don't give up, just keep going and then you will get a burst of energy. At least, that's the way it is for me. Some days I just want to throw in the towel. But for some strange reason I don't. I just think to myself, "Well, I will put him on the potty just for now, just one last time..." and then he goes. It's like I reach the point of exhaustion and then my second wind comes sailing in.

Levi has been really good today. I love good days. He had a poopy diaper this morning, but that was really it. This afternoon after a feeding I tried him and he peed, twice. then I put his diaper on him, waited about an hour and half, he got fussy so I laid him down and I could tell that wouldn't work... I just could tell, mother's intuition? I don't know. So I nursed him. He likes to feed twice before going down. But he was pretty well awake after I fed him and so I just put him on the potty and he pooped and peed! Then I put him down, putting the same diaper back on him because it was completely dry. He slept, woke up, fed, and then I put him on the potty again and he pooped again. Before I put him to bed around 8 I pottied him again and he peed. It has been a really really good day.

So, no complaints, but I'm not getting too comfortable. I'm just thankful that we were able to save a few more diapers since we weren't doing cloth today. And I think he was just happier in general.

Thank you! Hope you are having good experiences as well.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ah the joys of EC! Who would have thought? Only in the life of a proud mommy! A cloth-diapering mommy who has one less diaper to wash... yeah!

I'm crazy.

Been taking pictures of Levi on his potty. It's pretty fun. It has been fun to tell others about this adventure and have them join me. I would like to thank Lindsay though, because I think without her influence I would not have even thought about it. Thank you sister in Africa, you are an inspiration to us all.

I pray that this passion for teaching my son continues as I teach him about the Lord and how God created him fearfully and wonderfully. That my passion for his knowledge of the Father would far surpass any kind of potty training. Until then, I will continue to pray for him and love him in the best way that I can.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I woke Levi up again this morning. He had a couple of toots, but I still decided to nurse him or else he would scream while on the potty. Potty-ing before food does not work for Levi, he will have none of it. But he held it until we were finished. I put him on his potty, made the noise and he started pushing.

Can I just say that I'm amazed by him? He's so little and young and already has this natural instinct? God is amazing. He created us fearfully and wonderfully. Levi and his little personality already starting to show, the growth that has taken place in his life thus far, his little smiles, his movements... God is amazing and I am in awe.

I was just thinking about this yesterday, I want to literally tell everyone about this potty training thing. It's like the best kept secret. I heard a statistic that the average family spends 2500 dollars in diapers in a child's life. Much more I'm sure as the child gets older and continues not to be potty trained. Now, cloth diapers help, but you still have to wash and dry them, so that's money in water and electricity... I think about this EC thing and it's the best idea! It's much cleaner than having to clean poop off your child's bottom. When Levi poops on the potty, I hardly have to wipe him at all, when he poops in his diaper it is all over his bottom. It's economical and it's logical. If you're a stay at home mom, you have to deal with poop all day long, why not just get it directly in a potty where you won't have to touch it? You can just dump it out and rinse out the potty.

Even working moms I think could do it. They can just put their child on the toilet in the morning and in the evening, make the noise and if they go they go. At least they become used to sitting on the toilet. They will get it sooner or later. I think it's more psychologically damaging to train them to be completely unaware of their bowel movements and need to pee until they are two or even three... I am sorry if I have offended anyone, but I just had to go on another rant today. Just thinking about it gets me kind of excited and all. :) I'm totally weird... I KNOW! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My new favorite thing? Update the blog. You may think I am writing this to inform others of Levi's progress, but it is really just for me. :) This thing is like therapy for me. I have someone to tell about all of Levi's potties, because Ben doesn't always want to know. I can review what went wrong and what went right, I love it. :)

We have been keeping our windows open the past two nights because the weather is awesome! The only problem is that Levi gets cold. So I closed his door and his window and left the space heater on in there and he slept 10 hours last night! Yes, 10 hours. We woke up at six and I ran in his room, I guess I thought the space heater had overheated him and that he was suffocating and I had accidentally killed my child. Side note here: There are so many times when my mind thinks completely irrational thoughts of how Levi might have died in the night or during his nap with a blanket or a space heater or... who knows! Then I have to step back and think, "was that even logical?" Most of the time it's not. Maybe those fears are just part of being a new mommy.
Anyways, I woke Levi up at six, he opened his eyes and we fed and everything was great. I expected him to have overflowed his diaper cause usually he overflows the Fuzzi Bunz. But he hadn't. So I took it off and it was kind of light, very strange. I put him on his potty and he went seconds later. Poop then pee... Maybe I should wake him up each time... I didn't wake him out of a dead sleep or anything, but at least this time I didn't wait until he was crying before I went and got him.

Very interesting.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Well, I caught two out of four poops today... that's about 50 percent. And one of them I totally could have caught. After nursing him I just put him in his little chair so I could eat instead of changing him and sticking him on the potty. Oh well, my life doesn't revolve around EC.

I put him to bed around 7:30 tonight, this probably means that he will be up at 2 again. I sort of don't mind though. It means that I will wake up and not be in pain in the morning, it means I will have more time with just Ben and me tonight and that we will have more time in the morning because yesterday Levi didn't wake up til 8. What?! How awesome is that? For that, I will wake up in the middle of the night for a thirty minute feeding :)
Well, the timing thing worked again today! I noticed that he had a poopy diaper around 9:30 or 10 today so I had him just naked on the floor while I painted on his wall, waiting for the time. Then he started to cry like he was hungry. I have noticed his hungry cries have a little cough that goes with him. Sleepy cries are whiny sounding... I'm learning! So I fed him while just holding a cloth diaper under him. I hadn't showered so I didn't care if he would pee on me or not, but he didn't. While he was eating he kept looking up at me as though he had to poop, but I think he was holding it for me. So he had finished eating and I put him on his potty and made his noise and he immediately began to concentrate and push. I get tired so after a while I think about taking him off, but then I thought, "no, he is at least pushing, the only way I am taking him off this thing is if he stops." I let him kind of lean forward to push, I think that helps. In a few minutes he pooped! I was amazed! (I always am) :) So then we sat for another few seconds and cheered and I took him off and he was smiling and happy and we cooed and smiled that he had gone on the potty.

Crazy huh?

I am thankful I persevered through last week's depression. I am praising God for the revelation he gave me.

I hope this helps you all if you are thinking about EC-ing or whatever.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Well, this whole potty training experience is a mommy training experience too. I was getting frustrated because Levi wasn't pooping in his potty as much as before and I was quickly becoming disappointed in myself. Then tonight I realized that he just isn't pooping as much in general! I think before he was pooping about 6 times a day and now we are down to about 3... very interesting. I wanted so badly to catch a poop today I must have stuck him on his toilet like 30 times, no joke. Poor kid. Then I thought, what about the rhythms? Hasn't he pooped around 6:30 or 7 the past few nights? So I decided to try it. And it worked! My first poop in the potty since like Thursday!

I need to get a life... seriously.

I guess this is what being a mom is all about, the simple things, the little things that make our day. Little smiles and laughs, a good long nap, a sleeping baby through the busy grocery store. It's the littlest things that I never would have thought of before. How life changes when a child comes into the picture. I want to treasure these moments that I just get to sit on the floor and we just smile and laugh at each other. I love it how Levi smiles with his whole body, his eyes get big and his mouth comes open and his legs rock him back and forth as he gives a little squeal. Those are the best times. I am so fortunate, so blessed to be a mommy.

God continues to show me that I have no control over my life. I was reading in Matthew 23:12 today the scripture that says, "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." I was convicted anew of my own pride and my own desire for my self-exaltation. I want to learn to humble myself.

Thank you all for sharing in my thoughts today. I love you!
I have found it helpful to listen to podcasts while I nurse Levi. This allows me to give him my visual attention and yet be able to listen to messages. Some of my favorite ones to listen to are:
-Family Life Today
-Revive Our Hearts
-John Piper
-Dave Ramsey
-Nuclearity (I love this one, but there were only 38 of them and then he stopped making them. If you haven't listened to it, they are really well done and very very interesting.)

Anyone have any recommendations for others? I used to just get on FB or something when I was nursing, but it was too distracting, and especially didn't work if I wanted to nurse Levi without a diaper on. The listening has been very good for me.

Maybe I need to find an EC podcast! Ha ha!

Spring, keep coming sweet spring, keep coming! I long for your warm sunlight, beautiful flowers and green grass, I long for your leaves on your trees, your early morning sunrises and your late evening sunsets...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sitting on the floor with Levi. He pees a lot! He's already peed twice within a ten minute span of taking off his diaper. I caught one on the toilet and then five minutes later I watched as he began to pee into the air :) Luckily I was close by to put a hand over it and keep it from getting everywhere.

He's peed pretty much every time I have put him on his toilet today. That is encouraging. I have only caught about three of his poops this whole entire week. Normally I have been able to catch more, but it's not like he gives me a lot of notice. He grunts and I put him on, he looks contemplative and I put him on, we change his diaper and I put him on... I think I just need to learn to be thankful for those times that he has peed into the toilet and those few times we got the poop.

I think I also need to chill out on the sticking him on the toilet thing and go back to becoming more aware of his poops. The only problem is that I think he poops a lot when he first wakes up and of course I don't know until he is crying for me to come get him and he's already finished his business. We will see. :)

I have this premonition that he is going to be a mover someday. He already is in a lot of senses... he doesn't stop moving for anything. He can scoot himself across the room without even knowing what he is doing. I am already praying for that time when he will be able to know where he is going.
Again, posting while Levi sits on the floor without a diaper on :)

The other day I was talking to a mom and her son didn't potty train until he was four. Four years old and still in diapers! She said she wishes she had known about EC and that it was a difficult time to train him. This makes me sad that so many people in America feel like they need to "wait" until the child is "ready" to toilet train. Do we do that with other natural functions like teaching them to eat? No! We shove our breasts into their little mouths because it is good for them, they will die if they don't eat! I know that's a little extreme, but we do we not put our children over the toilet when they are younger? I just don't understand. Does anyone have an answer for me?

I just had to say this: I think that when Levi is screaming my reasoning capacity goes down by about 75% ... It's like I become stupid or something.

One thing I consistently like about EC-ing is that I have found it helpful to stick Levi on his toilet after he feeds because this often gives him a chance to get out a couple of good burps, it's also just a good time to smile and laugh with him.
I am also just a big fan of becoming aware of what his movements and facial expressions mean. I've been reading that it's not necessarily about just getting them to potty, but it is more about establishing strong communication with your child. Sometimes it's strong and sometimes I totally misread poor Levi. :)

Yesterday I was actually gone for most of the day, leading worship at a youth conference in town. I had Levi with me for part of the time and the rest he stayed with Ben. Ben's really good about giving him diaper-free time, but I had to restrain myself when he told me that he didn't put Levi on the toilet. It was stupid of me to be mad at that, but Ben picked up on it later and he potty-ed him later in the day. In the middle is when I had Levi. I have gotten into taking him to the toilet in womens restrooms in public. I just put him between my legs with his back to my stomach and hold up his little legs and make the sound. He has pooped once doing that and peed a couple of times. Just make sure you get the feet out of the way with little boys or else they will end up with wet socks :) Another time the bathroom was empty and so I just peed him in the sink. That way I could stand and see better what he was doing.

God continues to refine my heart and teach me that I am not in control. He teaches me to delight in Levi whatever it is. It's truly a refining process.

Friday, March 5, 2010

While Levi is sitting diaperless on the floor I'm gonna go ahead and post. :)
Yesterday was yet another confusing, difficult day in my EC world. He was good in the respect that he slept a lot, didn't complain, we went on a walk and I just wore him the whole time, but he only peed on the potty and that was probably about three times. I missed every single one of this poops. I think he might have had four poopy diapers. He peed on me three times that morning as we were sitting there and playing without a diaper on.

So as I was thinking about it this morning I was disappointed that I wouldn't have very much positive to report on my new lovely blog. But then I realized that this blog is not to puff up my pride in what I am doing with my baby, it is to record and share my weakest moments as well as my strongest ones. This week has been difficult, I feel totally out of sync with Levi, either he is just irregular or I'm missing every signal he is doing, or I'm just too busy. (I'm really not that busy) It makes me feel like a failure. Do you ever have those mom moments where you feel like you are the worst mommy in the world? Everyone around you is perfect and their children are perfect and here you are that you don't even know why your child is crying? I have those moments.

I need to rebuke those moments and tell them to shut up. I am a good mommy because I love and care for my child. I feed him, I change him, I stick him on his potty when I can. I don't let him cry longer than 30 mins on his own... I am a good mommy. I try to hold him and play with him every day, not all day, but at least once a day. I need to just remember that the "bad mommy" voices are not from God and they are not my portion.

Okay, seriously, this just happened. I took a break from writing to get down on the floor with Levi and just see if he would go. He was moving a lot and we had just nursed about 15 mins ago and he had already peed into his potty. I put him on it, made the noise and thought, "What am I doing?" and at that moment he peed and pooped. I don't know why, but that little sound is like money for me! Yes, I am a crazy mom, but I'm guessing you other moms know what I mean. :)

Okay, so I am back on the wagon, back in the saddle or whatever you want to call it. Another day moves on.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The space heater has been my new best friend. I am into letting Levi be diaper free just after he has gone on his potty. The only problem is that we like to keep our house at about 68 degrees in the winter time and his little legs get kind of cold. So I finally went to Bed Bath and Beyond and paid 20 dollars for a little space heater. It's a great thing to use while changing his clothes and just to let him be on the floor without a diaper on. He LOVES the no diaper time. I'm hoping this will be more motivation in the potty training arena.

I'm still working on looking for the signals that he has to go. He's always moving, so I'm wondering if it's when he starts to get quieter and more introspective that he actually has to go. Usually it's just after he nurses, or sometimes 15 or 20 mins later. So I sit and fold his cloth diapers and sort of clean up his room as I am waiting for the signal. I like to sit and talk to Levi and smile and play with him in this diaper free time. I just also need to keep an eye on the clock and make sure the day doesn't get away from me.

I'm studying the wife of noble character in proverbs 31. I think that EC is a good way to be diligent and faithful with my children and the money my husband brings in.

Just as a status update on Levi: one poop and two pees in the toilet yesterday. So far, it's 9 am and he's had two pees and no poops in the toilet.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Well, today was full of struggles and triumphs.

Sometimes I'm not sure why Levi is crying. Is he hungry? Is he tired? Does he have a diaper rash? Does he need to be changed and pottyed? What is the problem. It is really difficult when I have a headache too because then it's like a hammer is being driven into my head with each piercing scream.

I had a few of those moments today. Mostly he was just tired.

It's really the worst when you think, "Maybe he just wants to go on his potty." and that's NOT it. That's when his face turns really red and he is really going, except that it's worse for you because it's right in your ear as you are holding him trying to make the noise into his little ear so he can at least hear you. It's only partly rewarding when you take him off and see that he did actually pee, but he is no happier. Lord, please have mercy on me!

That's what I keep finding, this whole mothering thing of potties and diapers and breastfeeding and all of the craziness of having an infant, of being a mommy, is calling me to my knees. There are so many times when I have to just give up and pray. I keep thinking that I can do things on my own, but then my pride puffs me up and Levi is peeing on the floor... but then at my weakest time when I am done with everything and it all seems hopeless because he has not once gone on his potty today I put him on just to see and make his noise and he starts to grunt and not but 30 seconds later he has pooped on his potty. Why can't I always have those weak, I give up moments? Probably because reverse psychology doesn't work with God. :)

Another day, another set of diapers to clean. Until next time,


First Post!

Hello blogging world! I have done this sort of thing before, but not with this specific task. My desire is to share my "potty training" experiences with the world.

My sister-in-law, Lindsay originally told me about this new thing called Elimination Communication (EC). It's basically infant potty training. You come up with a noise or cue for when your infant eliminates and make that noise every time you hear or see them go. Eventually you can put them on a potty or bowl or whatever you choose (the women in the bush like to just have them go on the ground and then clean it up later) and then make the noise to teach them when to go.

It sounded crazy ... but then so did the prospect of changing thousands (yes, I believe it is thousands) of diapers in the first two or three years of Levi's life, so I wanted to try it. I started looking online for websites and found this great one www.diaperfreebaby.org and started reading testimonies or moms who had tried it and loved it. They sounded a little extreme, but a lot of it made sense.

So when Levi was born I started making a noise every time I heard or saw him eliminate. It's sort of a pssssss psssss sound, like the sound of peeing. I thought it would be appropriate :) I wasn't sure if this was getting through or not, he had a difficult time nursing and I didn't "feel" that instant connection right away. Communication with him felt difficult at times. He was about 5 or 6 weeks old when I was nursing him one day and I noticed he was extra squirmy so I made his little noise and he went immediately! I didn't know if it was on purpose, but it seemed to work.

The next big milestone that made me a believer came when he was 9 weeks old. I decided to nurse him without a diaper (very scary considering he's a boy!). He didn't poop the whole time, I don't remember if he peed or not, and he would usually go during or just after nursing. So I got out his little Baby Bjorn potty and stuck him on it and made the noise and he went in the potty! on the first time! What?! I was going crazy, I took a picture of it, yes, poop and all, and sent it to my husband. It was amazing!

So now Levi is 14 weeks old and is pooping about half the time on the potty. We have our ups and our downs, our good days, our bad days and ugly days. Days that we can't seem to catch a single poop, days when he is hungry all the time, days with diaper rashes and days that are hear perfect.

This is my EC adventure. Join me if you would like.