Wednesday, September 22, 2010

PT'ing Ronin

Potty training Ronin has been terrible. We actually started it in January and he seemed to respond well to watching a video as reinforcement and then later we used a sticker chart. But somewhere along the way Ronin was refusing to go, even if we announced it happily, even if we threatened that it was time to go to the potty or ELSE. Accidents were happening, still are, but I tried the undewear-only option because I didn't think he was fully appreciating a pull-up, as well as making diapers a NON-option for him. I made diapers not available to Ronin, but available to Audrey. We were constantly reminding Ronin to put his pee pee in the potty (and poo poo when he would listen). Getting to the potty too late, the puddles on the floor, the wet clothes became too much. I went online and printed out an article regarding toilet training a 5-year old, with the intent of looking up how to toilet train strong-willed children:
and it was just the right amount of advice needed. And since it came from a pediatrician I printed out a copy for my DH to read so that he would take the time to understand what we were supposed to do. The advice basically said to give control back to my son. Don't remind him every hour, or even at all, to go to the potty. Let him decide when to go. There's more rationale to it, but "letting go" was the gist. That, and put him in underwear. I did put him in underwear, but Ronin still made messes that were irritating to clean up. I made him help me clean them up a few times and he didn't really care, didn't get any ick factor. The DH was disgusted with the underwear messes, so after a big talk we decided to put on underwear with a pull-up over it, even though in the past Ronin had tried this for a few days and still soiled both underwear and pull-up, not seeming to care.

I think it was/is the NAGGING that was/is preventing him from going to the potty. We've had some misses, but without constantly reminding him to go, he is developing his body awareness better. He comes to me and says, "Mommy, I think I'm peeing." Ronin also gets a sticker every time he puts his pee in the potty, and that makes him very, very proud. The storm is not over yet, but it's a little better.

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Ronin

Today at Wal-Mart, Ronin walked in and said disappointingly, "Wal-Mart doesn't have any toys. I want to go to Meijer's House. I want to go to Target!"

"We're here for groceries, but we'll go to the toy section later. You'll see."

We did our grocery shopping and were headed to the toys when we passed by the clothing section and saw t-shirts covered with Toy Story 3 characters. I pointed them out to Ronin and he ran over to check them out.

"Wow! Those are amazing! They look incredible!" Ronin was clearly enamored by the characters. I looked up to see an older woman, who was an employee, watching us with a big smile on her face.

"Your son has a big vocabulary," she remarked in a very impressed tone. "He uses such big words!"

I thanked her and reminded myself that the little bugger was truly a smart kiddo. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Um, ok, not running lately. :(

Anyway, I have a few 'isms about Ronin:

Ronin: You look for monsters, I look for all the spiders. OK?

Daddy: Ronin, you're impossible!
Ronin: I'm not impossible. I'm handsome!

Ronin is talking up a storm. The biggest problem is that he has returned to being SUPER WHINY. I cannot stand it. I'm trying to teach him to use his words, of course, but his whining is grating on my nerves so much that I have to use earplugs in the morning, to keep the din low and to keep from reaching that yelling stage. He does say some interesting things, however. At Jenna, Nikko's ABA therapist, Ronin said, "I went to Mom's house and saw Jesus! Jesus is The King and he has a crown!" I cracked up so hard when he declared that! I had to stop and tell Jenna that Ronin calls my parents Mom and Dad (I am Mommy, Denis is Daddy), and since they are strict Catholics they have a bigger than life-sized image of the baby Jesus as a child, called the Santo Nino. It's dressed ornately, and it wears a crown. SO, that's why he says Jesus is The King. Get it? ;)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Running now

I've started running this week. Monday, to be exact. After the kids went down around 8:30, I'd straighten some things up and then be on the treadmill by 9:00. I'd briskly walk for 4 minutes and then crank up the running solid for 26 minutes. I ran four days this week, but won't be able to tomorrow since we're going to the in-laws for dinner and will most likely come home late. Maybe Saturday will be a break as well, but then I'll start up again by Sunday. On day two, I got a stitch in my right side, under the ribcage, probably the diaphragm. I didn't stop running, just gritted my teeth through the pain. Atz told me I should have stopped and stretched it out to avoid further injury, but of course I didn't do that at the time. I didn't want to stop running and ruin the rhythm. Unfortunately the pain has continued all week, so maybe I bruised something or pulled a little something. Oh well, can't stop unless it's something puncturing my lung, right? I've lost no weight this week, and didn't expect to.

Friday, March 19, 2010

It started with the doorknob.

So what could have possibly happened to derail me from my very motivated attitude in the last post? I'll tell you what happened.

The doorknob. The kids' wakings. The dead man's walk. Room changes. Lack of sleep.

The doorknob.

For 6 months or so, Ronin and Nikko shared the nursery and slept fine in each others' company. Then in October, when it got colder in the house, the wood in the floors and in the doorways seemed to shrink. It caused the doorknob hitch to slip easily out of the niche in the doorway. Thus, the door would easily unlatch and creak open, either by the push of a fingertip or by stepping on the wrong floorboard. Once Nikko discovered that he could get out of the room if he woke up in the middle of the night, he'd come running down the hall and into our bed. I started using bungee cords to tie the doorknob to a chair to keep it shut, but Nikko would force his way out.

The kids' wakings.
Suddenly, Nikko started waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes he would wake up Ronin and they'd both be at the bungee-tied door. Once I came in and Nikko was standing by Ronin's bed, crying and whining for my attention. A thought came into my head that Nikko might hurt Ronin in the middle of the night, if I didn't come to the door. I did manage to take apart the door niche in the doorway, pad it with some clay and elevate the plate so that the doorknob latch would stick. The door was fixed. Hooray!

The dead man's walk.
But this didn't stop Nikko from waking up in the middle of the night and crying/whining. I started coming into the room when Nikko woke up and to keep him quiet, I would grab some blankets and a pillow and sleep on the floor between the two beds. If Nikko knew I was there, he wouldn't try to get out and he wouldn't go anywhere. The problem was that this was happening a lot. My back was starting to suffer again. This wasn't the way it was supposed to be.

Room changes.
I decided, after much thought and research from friends on other web boards as well as the ABA therapists, that Nikko would have to be in a room alone so that if he needed to cry it out, he could do it alone without disturbing Audrey or Ronin too much. A part of me didn't want to do this because I wished that Nikko and Ronin could share a room the way normal brothers would. I didn't want to ostracize Nikko and let him be alone. But I had no more solutions and had to try something different. I took apart the crib and reassembled it in the nursery, while we all moved Nikko's bed to the 2nd room and Ronin's bed stayed in the nursery. A new arrangement. Did it help? A little. But Ronin was having middle-of-the-night wakings, too. I was now going between rooms, alternating nights. No more sleeping on the floor, but sometimes in their beds. Still am. What else could I do to curb the behaviors?

Lack of sleep.
My last straw, which is currently being tested, was to put everyone to bed at an earlier bedtime. I heard that sleep begets sleep, and that maybe the kids' 8-9 hours would gradually lengthen. Possibly. What did I have to lose? So instead of Audrey down at 8:30ish and the boys by 9:15/20ish, I pushed it back so Audrey is down at 7:40p and the boys at 8:30p. Is it working? I'm only 4 days into it. Sometimes Nikko sleeps straight until 6:30 or 7. That's actually ok. But Ronin is going through a phase where he's waking up every other day at 4-ish, just to be tucked back into bed. Nikko has also woken up at 3a this week, and I stayed in his bed because I was too tired to walk back to mine and to cry him out. No heart for it.

And there you have it. My reasons why I haven't gotten on the treadmill since December. I had no energy to exercise after getting up in the middle of the night for the boys. For the last five months, I have been consumed with the problem of getting these kids to sleep! It's been so frustrating and still is. But with this earlier bedtime schedule, I'm now free after 8:30p. There's time to go run! I have been going to bed by 1, 1:30 latest, but I know that I could get to bed by 12 or 12:30 if I made better use of my time. It's Friday right now, so I am going to start the treadmill on Monday, at the least. I think it's time to try it again.