Friday, July 27, 2012

Potty Training Summer

The time has come to either s*** or get off the pot (pun intended) with this potty training Liam thing. For those of you who know our family, know that Liam will be 7 this September. For everyone else, before you start judging us about having a child that is nearly 7 and NOT potty trained, you have to hear the rest of the story.

Liam is our special child. Starting back when I was pregnant with him. Right around 4 months, I started gushing blood. No pain, just gushing blood. Since we had already loss two babies, I was terrified that I would lose him as well. We went to the ER and they set me up immediately with an ultrasound and heart monitor. They could find nothing wrong on the ultrasound. Everything looked normal, but they couldn't explain the bleeding.

The next morning, I had an appointment with my OB-GYN. I sat in the waiting room for hours. There was a miscommunication an I didn't actually have an ultrasound appointment. So I had to wait for hours for an opening to see the tech. Meanwhile, Sean was waiting out front, in the car with Declan and Cian. As I sat there, I saw dozens of happy couples, waiting to catch a glimpse of their new HEALTHY, babies. All the while, I was waiting to hear if my baby was going to survive. A total of 6 hours I waited, until they finally called me back. The ultrasound lasted all of 10 minutes. The tech said everything looked GREAT, they could not explain why I gushed so much blood. They said it was most likely an excess amount of lining from implantation.

Fast forward to 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 months. He was slow at EVERYTHING. Very far behind all other babies. Rolling over, sitting, standing, walking, talking, losing teeth and yes, even potty training. We have had some horrible moments with him playing with his poop, but he would always resist potty training. The first few times we tried, he bugged if he went anywhere near the potty. We tried everything from character potties to candy treats. He was having none of it, so we waited until he was a little older, and waited, and waited.

Finally, once this school year ended, I was determined to get him potty trained. I did a tun of research on potty training children with developmental issues and found that it is possible to get him at least 90% trained. Of course it could take 6 to 8 months. The biggest problem is he won't tell you when he has to go. He doesn't mind wearing dirty underwear/diapers. He doesn't fully grasp the concept at this point.

So, its been 5 full days. He has been in underwear all day, diapers at night. We sit him on the potty kicking and screaming for the whole neighborhood to hear. Actually, he pooped in the potty right away. I wish I could have taken a picture of the look on his face when everyone (Sean, me and ALL the kids) cheered and clapped for his first poop in the potty. He was both surprised and thrilled at the attention. And yes, we rewarded him with a treat. I know that's not the proper way to potty train, but when you have a child like Liam, you do WHATEVER it takes. Of course getting him to pee in the potty wasn't as easy. We had him sit there for around 30 minutes...nothing. So I let him go watch TV. As soon as he got those underwear on, what does he do...pees....go figure. He did finally pee in the toilet once that day. The next few days got a little easier, instead of taking an hour to pee on the potty, he would take 10-15 minutes and then 5 or so. Still kicking and screaming each time and still had a few accidents, however none of those were poop accidents. He has done that in the potty every day!! I guess I should count my blessings

Yesterday was the first day he had NO accidents!!! What a big step for him. He goes pee pretty quickly now, but still won't tell you he has to go. I just stick him on the potty every hour or so. I'm not sure he will ever be able to fully tell us he was to go on his own, but we have to hope and have faith that he will eventually get it. Keep your fingers crossed for us!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another school year in the books!

We are officially done with the 2011-12 school year!! This has been a long and stressful year with the move, Sean being laid off and every other stupid little thing we've had to deal with. But in the end, we all made it through in one piece! The boys did an amazing job considering the circumstances. Declan got almost all A's, with one B+. Cian got an equal amount of both A's and B's. We received his final report card a few weeks ago and Declans' is on its way!

They both took their CAT tests this past week. I was a little worried about Cian, since he is a little behind, he didn't do too bad. He needs a lot of work in Language Expression (He did as well or better than 29% of students who took this test.) and Visual Recognition (He did as well or better than 31% who took this test.). He received a 4 in both of these areas, which is on the low end of average. (1-3 is below average, 4-6 is average, and 7-9 are above average.)  This test actually raised a red flag for us with him. The areas which he didn't do well center around being able to identify the beginning and ending sounds in a word. I had to repeat these words 4-8 times each before he could even make his answers. He just sort of looked at me like I had two heads. When I told Sean what I was having to do, the first thing he thought of was getting his hearing checked. It actually makes sense. He has a really bad speech impediment. He can't pronounce words with Th, sh, w or z. Maybe the problem is he's not hearing them correctly. So before our insurance runs out, we are taking him to a hearing specialist. The other areas like Vocab, Sound Recognition, Comprehension and Reading he did well in, on the high scale of average 5-6. What blew me away was his Math Concepts and Application. He scored as well or better than 94% of kids who took the test. He received an 8! WOW, could Cian be a math genius??? No surprise since his father is one. All in all, he did better than I expected. Next year he will be a full fledged 1st grader!!!

Declan, on the other hand, we are not particularly happy with. His CAT test results this year dropped significantly from last year. He went from a 95% overall to a 71%. I could not believe what I was seeing. At first I doubted myself and my ability to teach him, but then I looked over his results. The problems he got wrong were simple, things he could do in his sleep. The problem was, he rushed through all of the tests, finishing 6-10 minutes before the timer was set to go off. Sean kept telling me, "He's going too fast, he needs to slow down." but of course, I thought nothing of it. Don't get me wrong, he scored in the high end of all his tests, all 6's with one 7 in Language Expression, but last year, when I sat with him and made him take his time, he scored WAY BETTER. I put a call into the school to see if he can re-take the test. I'm still waiting for a call back.

Despite the hectic school year, it was pretty successful and both of my children passed to the next grades. Declan will be in 4th grade and Cian 1st. Fionn will also be joining his brothers next year as a Kindergartner! Hopefully next year we can start the year off on time and have NO INTERRUPTIONS!!!! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Making New Friends......NOT

With condo living comes the end of your privacy. We are learning that rather quickly these days. Since the swings and sand box are right off our back porch, and the neighborhood kids and parents stroll right by all hours of the day. Sometimes the kids are playing on the porch. That brings other kids up to our porch as well. Of course the dogs then go nuts. Wookie is far from friendly, so it can get hairy at times. I feel as if I always have to be dressed, (including a bra) hair combed and in shoes because I seem to meet a new parent every day.

I guess that's good for the kids, you know, socialization and all. However Sean is not the social type and tends to get a bet annoyed with people walking by, looking into our kitchen windows.   So I bought sheers and curtains for the slider and window above the sink. Once school starts back up again, I'm sure all the craziness will subside.

Condo living brings other issues as well. Like paper thin walls and crabby old ladies that don't like children or dogs. Let me tell you about the bitch lady that lives next door, to the right of us.

Last week, some guy tried to get into our front gate. Of course we leave it locked at all times, so he went around to the back gate. The kids were on the porch and came running in to tell us someone was here. Of course it was morning and I was still in my robe, Sean in his boxers. The dogs were going nuts, (They hate strangers) so I went out to see what he wanted. He wouldn't talk to me, he just kind of stood there, until Sean came out. (Did I mention he was Iranian) He didn't look at me at all, instead spoke directly to Sean. His words, "I hope I don't offend you, but your kids are shaking my Mothers house from upstairs. It feels like an earthquake.) The girls bedroom is right off her living room. Yes, they do like to jump around in their room, but shake her house like an earthquake, COME ON!!! We apologized and told him we'll try to keep it down. If she wanted total quiet, she should have moved to a 55+ community. She actually creeps the kids out, because she peeks over our fence all the time. She actually stands on something in her yard to watch my kids. Of course Sean had to bring that up to the guy. He just said, "She is having with drawls from not seeing her Grandchildren. She loves children." Now wait a minute, didn't she just complain about my children? Now she wants to watch them? This lady is crazy!!!

He then proceeded to complain about our dogs. He said, "My Mother feels like she has lost her home." What the hell is that suppose to mean? Yes, my dogs are rather loud. Bear is a 52lb Lab/Cocker mix. He has a deep bark. Wookie is a ShiPoo and quite yippee. Every time someone walks by our back porch, they bark. We try to keep them quiet, but its hard. He kept hinting that there were "laws" in this town against barking dogs. He didn't actually threaten us, but we got the point. So, Sean ordered two debarking collars for them. It seems cruel to me, but what's worse, a little vibration or a trip to the pound. It seems to be working. The collars start off light, if they continue to bark, it increases the strength of the vibration. Bear does not like that at all. He yelps. Wookies' reaction is actually funny. His setting is on the lowest, and every time he barks, it vibrates and he ups straight up in the air. We died laughing the first time we saw it.

Another strange incident, this old guy brought his grandson to the swings. He looked to be about two. Nothing weird there....UNTIL he picked the child off the swing.....HE HAD NO CLOTHES OR DIAPER ON!!! The kid was naked from the waist down. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The guy picked him up and carried him on his shoulders....NAKED!!! EEEWWWWWW!!!!! Of course I wouldn't let my kids go within 10 feet of that swing. This was a few days ago, so finally after my kids complained for days about having to share one swing, I went out with my bleach cleaner and scrubbed that crap out of the swing, bottom and top. The neighbors must have thought I was crazy. What's even funnier, yesterday the guy came back with the kid while my boys were out there and Fionn says to the guy, "Don't put your baby on that swing, some guy put his kid on the swing naked." The poor guy must have been so embarrassed, because he left right away.

Anyhow, the kids have made a few new friends. Lots of little girls around for Mary and Lizzie to play with. I just hope we can get use to the no privacy and crabby neighbor lady.