Thursday, May 28, 2009

Potty training firsts

Yesterday for the first time ever Emma pooped in her potty! Yay! (shhh! I'm actually trying to play it totally low key with her contrarily to much of the advice I have read on the web - I don't compliment her on getting her business done, nor do I clap and cheer while she is at it. So you see, the "yay" is just between us.)

Here's the story in case you're thinking of making the move too.

For some time now, the potty had been sitting in a corner of her bathroom (and the trainer toilet seat on the toilet) but Emma was absolutely not interested. Not even when I pointed the potty out as if it where a cool new toy.

Until last week the potty was just gathering dust.

Last week in Geneva, for lack of a shoe bench in our entrance, I even started using the potty as a chair where Emma could sit while I put her shoes on. And that did it. Introductions were made and the potty became part of her life. Every time we walked in, she would happily sit herself on her potty ready for her shoes to be removed and her slippers put on.
I was happy she was noticing the potty but wary she might consider it a chair.

Apart from leaving the toilet door open whenever possible and pointing out what Mum was up to, I didn't insist very much. I have been reading up on potty training, thinking that warmer days as well as Emma's growing maturity at 22 months and most importantly, the return of her "routine morning bowel movement" might make it an appropriate time for us to give it a try but it never seemed like the "appropriate time" since there was always something else going on (teething, traveling, new baby sitter, etc.).

After the first few days back at kindergarden and her sleeping patterns back on track, I figured: Why not?

So yesterday after her breakfast and a cuddle I asked her if she would like to use the potty. Off we went armed with a basket full of books. I pointed to the toilet with the soft and colorful trainer toilet-seat and she responded her usual "nein!" followed by a firm "no" so we turned to the potty. That was more like it! In a minute, there she was on the potty (no nappy and pants down) and me on the floor singing "the wheels on the bus" and "this old man". Every once in a while Emma would hand me a different book and stood up twice to give me a "bisou" (kiss) which she is big on at the moment. After about 10 minutes we were all done.
I wasn't too sure about how to go about the wiping and putting a clean nappy on since she was standing, but we managed. (I think pull up nappies would be the best option but unfortunately the kindergarden won't have them.)

After she was all dressed again, Emma came back to the bathroom and pointed to her poop in the potty, commenting something incomprehensible to me but she seemed very pleased with herself. We washed hands and brushed her teeth and I dashed back to empty the potty and clean up after she had left the bathroom having read that flushing a kids' "production"
in front of them was not the appropriate thing to do .

We did it again today just as simply. Still not quite sure about "after part" since I would like to avoid lying her on her changing table again to put a clean nappy on, but it's hard to put a standard nappy on her while she is standing...
So if you have any ideas or tips on how to handle the clean nappy bit I'd be really interested.

More reading on the subject:

Potty donts
Potty training readiness video

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

According to HR Consultancy Mercer Quality of living 2009 survey (for criteria* read this post by Op-Expat Britta, I was unable to find it on the Mercer site) Vienna was ranked N° 1 city for Expats in terms of quality of life beating 2007 & 2008 winner Zurich (now at 2nd place) and Geneva (was already at 3rd place).

Well, well, well...Looks like we've lived in 2 of the top five cities so far. That explains why we're always so damn hard to please: Our standards are high through experience!
How amazing - but how wonderful really- that I never even think about security being an issue. Umph. Lucky lucky us.

As it happens, we're off to Geneva today.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Emma photo-update: the ice-cream effect

From very lady-like

to... ahem! Not quite sure what, but get those shoes of the cushions please!!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

2 (and a bit) more years to go!

I'm sort of throwing this down in the hope of remembering to dig it out when Emma is old enough to play - in the meantime I might just do some with Steph if he's willing to indulge me... (or rather if we find the time).

am I talking about?

I read this post and was particularly delighted at the "nine" part of it by Catherine's son Ben and his friend Ava.

It's a hilarious and magical mad lib and I had no idea this is what they were called although I remember playing a version of these in my early teens with French speaking friends and finding it really fun. Hilarious sometimes, actually.

So, if your kids are old enough to play - at least 4 I think - give yourself and them a laugh and do some Mad libs!