Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Potty Training Kelsey - Stage One

Because it's warm in El Salvador and children can run around naked comfortably, and the apartment has tile floors, we are determined to get Kelsey potty trained.  First we took her to the store and had her pick out her favorite potty chair.  We also bought her panties and let her try them on to see how nice they are.  We explained to her that we don't go pee pee or pooh pooh on the floor, and if she needs to go, sit on the potty chair and go.  We put the potty chair in an obvious central location and off came the diaper.

Day 1:  We tried it in the evening and it was a fail.  The kid went hours without peeing at all.  Finally, it was bedtime, so on went the diaper, at which point she probably happily emptied her bladder.  On the bright side, we know she can hold it.

Day 2:  A huge success!  We started in the morning after breakfast.  I gave her a couple sippys of diluted juice, which she guzzled, and waited for the magic to happen.  She leaked some pee on the floor and we rushed her to the potty chair, where she let a few more drops out.  We congratulated her and let her pick out a sticker.  My mom was bothered by her naked bum sitting on everything, as she didn't want her precious granddaughter's bum to become contaminated, so she put panties on her.  We explained that you don't pee or poop in panties.  A little while later, Kelsey stood in front of me and peed.  She wasn't happy when all the pee ran through her panties, down her legs, and on to the floor.  Put her on the potty, no more pee.  Some time later Kelsey started to complain that she was in pain.  Her pee pee hurt.  We took a look, looked fine, decided she had to pee, put her on the potty chair, out came like a cup of pee.  Big celebration, more stickers.  Couple hours later she leaked a couple of drops of pee on the floor and I told her to hurry and sit on the potty, she did, and out came another big pee.  More stickers.  Before nap time she was letting out stinky gas so I told her to go try to poop on the potty, and, miracle of miracles, she did!  Wow, it's amazing how exciting a little poop in the right places can be.  All in all, we had a very successful morning.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Three Weeks in El Salvador pt. 2

It took two nights for Kelsey and I to adjust to El Salvador time.  It's not the time difference that we needed to adjust to since there's only a 1hr difference (with no difference when Utah's not on daylight savings time).  It's the fact that the sun always rises at 6 am and sets at 6 pm.  When the sun comes up the noises start.  Birds, traffic, honking horns, construction, you name it.  The first two mornings we slept in till 9:30, after that we've consistently woken up between 6 and 7:30.  Normal for some people, way early for me.  The neat thing about waking up with the sun, is that you get to see the parrots.  They come out in flocks at sunrise and sunset.  There's a tree across the street from my parent's apartment where they perch.  They make a lot of noise when they're flying.  They sound crazy, kind of like... like, well, a flock of parrots.

We finally decided to go swimming in the apartment pool.  We were hesitant because the pool is so cold.  It's not quite hot enough here to want to jump in to a  shock of cold water.  We braved it though, and I decided that as long as you're moving, it's not too bad.  Once the pool's in the shade, though, it's time to get out.  Kelsey got to wear her body glove built in floaty swim suit for the first time.  It doesn't keep her upright if you just let her float so no lazy parenting allowed while toddler is in the pool.  She gets really nervous when I carry her out into the deep water, but she's happy as a mermaid when she can touch the bottom.

We went to the beach on Saturday.  My parents have some really nice friends who let us use their beach house, which means we get a private pool, private hammocks and private beach.  Every now and then you'll see another human being walk by.  It's pretty awesome.  The only problem with the beach is getting there.  It's a fairly scary hr 1/2 drive.  Pedestrians along the sides of the roads and randomly crossing, huge potholes, random speed bumps, crazy drivers, big trucks, etc.  It really keeps you on your toes.  By the time you get home, after a life-threatening drive home in the dark, you're kissing the ground and sending prayers of thanks heavenward.  Is it worth it? Of course!  If you never takes risks you're not really living.. right?

We've gone to a couple of playgrounds for Kelsey.  Nothing like the States.  Even the really nice ones are really ghetto, rusted, creaky and probably not child safe.  We had to inform my dad that he was lifting Kelsey too high in the swing and she was about to slip out the bottom, seeing as there was nothing holding her in between her legs.  The tropical gardens around the playgrounds are always really neat though.

Monday we had a brunch at our place for the "Gringo" women of our ward.  It's half mission wives and half wives who follow their husbands abroad.  FBI, embassy, company etc.  It's all a very familiar scene for me, but one I will probably never have to live as an adult... but you never know what the future holds.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Three Weeks in El Salvador pt. 1

My parents live in El Salvador and I took what is possibly my last opportunity to visit them here. I loaded up my two year old and my enormous seven months pregnant belly and flew out here. Luckily, I had my parent's help on the way there, but, unluckily, they won't be coming with me on the way back. I expect, however, in spite of the difficulty of the task, that I will somehow survive.

The weather here is warm and lovely and Kelsey is loving being "outside" on the patio of my parents apartment. I still have yet to fulfill the promise of letting her swim like a mermaid. We have plans to go pool play date on Thursday and on Saturday to the beach, which totally makes the trip worth it. I just hope she isn't disappointed when she doesn't actually see mermaids swimming in the ocean. All those "Real Live Mermaid" videos she's seen on Youtube may have given her false expectations.

My parents have a lovely view of the El Salvador LDS Temple outside their kitchen window. We live very close, and my mom has been blessed to receive the calling of being a temple worker... in Spanish. An exciting challenge for her. I'm excited to see the inside of this temple, seeing as, last time I was here, it was under construction.

I made a couple crafts and things to entertain Kelsey on the flights (and layovers) out here. First, I made two videos for the ipod. One is 45 minutes worth of Kelsey from birth until present. The other is 10 minutes of random animal videos and photos I've taken. Not horribly exciting, but they work. I will not post them, you will cry from boredom. The next "craft" I did was to turn a lamb backpack that my mother bought for Kelsey in to a harness. I figured I'd need it on the way back cause I am not chasing down a toddler while 8 months pregnant and lugging luggage. However, I did discover on the way here that when she has the leash on she intentionally runs simply because the leash is there. There is potential that the harness idea may be an epic fail.

The awesomest "craft" that I made is a princess environment magnet board, complete with princess magnets made from laminated princess stickers.

Kelsey does enjoy the magnet board, which makes me happy. Of course, because I know no moderation, It took me a couple of weeks to paint the stupid thing on photoshop while it has an attention lifespan of about 5 minutes. But that's how all illustrations are. You spend 80 hrs on it and a person might look at it for a whopping two seconds. All things considered, 5 minutes, several times a week is pretty good. The back of the magnet board has a princess matching section so Kelsey can play a matching game with her princesses, which two year olds apparently love.