Monday, March 28, 2011

A Few Favorite Things

We recently had a couple, who are brand new parents, over for dinner. I ended up pulling out a favorite swaddle blanket. The blanket is made by a brand I'd highly recommend even now. No matter what the baby market has made 'new and better' this is the kinda stuff that lasts because it's well made and versatile.
Lucky for you, after the dishes were done, the house picked up, the kids in bed, my brain was spinning with a few of the favorite things of late. The short list is far from 'crisp apple strudels doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles', nevertheless, favorites. Check 'em out...

On a recent excursion back to the US, I found this little box on the counter top at a toy shop. Intrigued by the concept, I spent the 8 green backs to take them back with me. They were worth every penny and more. These "story cubes" have 9 dice with a basic picture on each side. Perhaps their versatility is what sets this toy apart because they can be played in a variety of ways. For now, our kids are rolling them and making up stories with each picture that turns up. They have used them to write creative stories and play among themselves as well. We plan to take them camping too, where each person will add to the story using the dice rolled. These story cubes let the imagination roll! Google "Rory's Story Cubes" for more info.
Next up- an idea of sorts. The clarity of an idea I suppose. The book, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids recommends, for one, dwindling down toys. We know, we know, too much is not always a good thing. This was a fab excuse for us to say sayonara to some of the toys lingering around. More importantly, the author recommends adding a 'fort box' complete with big sheets or blankets, clothesline, and clothespins into the toy arena. Our kids make forts all the time, using whatever they have, pillows, blankets, tables, etc. Often however, they become frustrated because they want to play inside the fort, but it doesn't hold up well.  Hence the fort box, a new spin on an old toy for this crowd- Clothesline, clothes pins, and sheets/cloth. How simple and complete! We're all much happier now. (The book is a great 'parenting' read too, and that's coming from someone who despises parenting books with the same intensity most folks reserve for war cirminals.)



Lastly, when Matt received the box in the mail labeled "the bedwetting store" he was curious who in the military mail room had fully read the label before sorting it to his post box. This 'favorite' is a bit specific, so skip it if you'd rather not incur words like 'pee',or freak if talking about 'bedwetting', and 'diapers'.

Setting- Emory, age 5, had never waken up dry in the morning. Not a day in his sweet blessed life. Nighttime diapers seemed like they would follow us on every journey and then some. We had visions of Emory as a healthy full grown man, waking up next to his wife someday, rolling out of bed with a diaper on. I asked the doctor if perhaps we should try "lifting" at night. (Waking him up from sleep late at night, to help him learn to go to the bathroom.) The doc said "don't push, but if you want to try it go ahead." Let's just say, this technique worked as well as a square wheel. In pediatrics, the current recommendation seems to be 'not to push', and that boys especially, will learn to wake at night as a developmental milestone, but often this takes until they are 7 years old or older.

OK, maybe. But it just seemed like nonsense not to try something.

We continued however, with nighttime diapers until the kid got lazy. Really lazy. Age 5 years and 5 days, he decided if he was wearing a diaper, he'd use it, whether it was 10 minutes before bedtime, or early morning at breakfast. We of course, reasoned and explained that he was not a baby anymore, and should only use the diaper when he was sleeping. Yet he continued to push back, showing us that even a five year old can make use of a diaper if you allow him to. Ugh. We were peddling backwards.

Appalled and concerned, we researched bedwetting alarms. Against the doctors advice, we ordered one and Emory began to use it, along with the instruction book. The bedwetting alarm is a bit like a high end car alarm strapped to the child's shoulder. The alarm vibrates like a machine gun, and is as loud as an emu in heat. (The noise level is actually up for debate in our home. I could sleep through it, but Matt did wake the alarm). At first, in a most peculiar way, Emory slept through it as well. As promised though, it trained him to stop bedwetting, wake up, and visit the bathroom. In less than 1 month he was wetting less. 3 months later, there was no need for diapers at all. He doesn't need the alarm now and can wake himself. We're happy to be saving a ton of money. Imagine how much longer we could have continued paying for diapers based on our doctor's advice!? Years! More importantly, he's proud of a big accomplishment. Bravo to the bedwetting store and to Emory. (and ah-hem, a nice pat on the back to Matt who changed plenty of sheets while I stayed on in the land of nod. God love ya honey.)

If you know of a parent who's struggling with a child's nighttime wetting, and tired of doing extra laundry send them here ... really, promise, it's well worth the try!

Ok, sure. I said 'lastly' on the latter favorite, but just one more. Please? Who doesn't love sidewalk chalk anyway? Current and long time favorite....



So what are your current favorites eh? We would love to hear about them! Please, do tell.




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