Monthly Archives: December 2011

To Pee or Not to Pee

This post is all about potty-training (consider yourself warned).

By 2 years of age, Curly was the kind of kid who would happily walk around in a soiled diaper and not think twice about telling us. This led us to believe that potty training would not really happen until past 3…maybe even 3.5. But, we bought a Baby B.jorn potty by the age of 18 months and had him sit on it sometimes, and were overjoyed when he did manage to pee on it every now and then. We also managed to catch a poop in his potty and thought to ourselves, well…it’ll be a blue moon when that happens again, but cool! Low expectations. Very low, but hopeful.

At almost 2.5 years of age, we decided to try the potty every night before bed. To our surprise and joy, Curly actually peed in his potty half of those nights. And then most of those nights. And now pretty much ALL of those nights.  We used to read to him as he sat, and within 5 minutes, he might have peed a little. Even a drop of pee won him a prized sticker and tons of praise from us. Now, we’ll just tell him to go potty, he’ll sit and within a minute or two, have peed OR pooped. We think he’s figured out on his own that peeing and pooping in the potty means no diaper change, and hey, that’s a good thing! After he’s pooped, we have him lean over onto the couch or ottoman in his room and ‘spread em’ so we can wipe his butt. He is very compliant about this surprisingly…probably because he knows he’s going to get a sticker as his prize, which he loves.

We bought one of those potty books with star stickers and a calendar for him to stick them onto. Within a month, the whole calendar is now full of stickers. We went out and bought new, more exciting stickers, like Elmo and it appears Curly is really excited about going potty to earn them. We are just in amazement that this is happening this early.

We’re done with our diaper hybrids and have switched from disposables to pull-ups. We have ‘training pants’ underwear lined up for him soon. He manages to keep his pull-ups dry during the day for 2-3 hours at a time. His teachers told us he’s been using the potty at daycare usually 2 or even 3 times a day. He usually wakes up with a poop in the mornings, but this morning he woke up with just a wet diaper, asked to go potty, and proceeded to pee AND poop in it. Joyful dancing ensued in our household (and Nutella might have even shed a happy tear).

Now, we KNOW there will be setbacks and accidents. And that nighttime training won’t happen for a while. But it seems the momentum of potty training is really picking up and we are hopeful he will be daytime trained by 3, which is better than we ever imagined. So I wanted to document this here, and give other parents hope that hey…it *might* not be so bad after all!

[I thought about posting a picture of Curly on his potty here, but I don’t want him to hate me one day for it, so… sorry]



Everyone in the Vermillion household needs coffee* to start the day.

*That would be 2 drops of coffee in a tiny mug of milk for Curly.

Version 2.5…ish…

My goal was to do this every 6 months…fill out the categories below that describe how Curly is doing and growing and changing. Apparently I haven’t been so good at it. I thought the last one I did was at 2 years, but it seems it was at 18 months. And I forgot to do it right at 2 1/2, although it’s not too far past that point so I’m doing it now.

Anyway, here’s Curly at uh, 31 months…


  1. Describe what and how your child eats: He’s still a very good eater, and we don’t typically have problems in this area. He likes dairy, meat & poultry, fruit and grains…with the occasional vegetable thrown in. He has his toddler periods of rejecting formerly beloved foods, like bananas or bread rolls, only to welcome them back a couple days or weeks later. And then we’ll have surprising moments like at the farmer’s market this past weekend, when he turned down an offer of an apple slice only to want to eat a raw Brussels sprout (wtf?), but then proceed to eat nearly an entire whole apple later on, including part of the core. Anyway. His favorite dinners remain chicken shawarma with hummus or the little meatballs with lingonberry jam from IKEA.


  1. Does your child have any sleep problems? “No, as long as he has darkness and quiet, he’s good (so he doesn’t nap too well at daycare).” That was my answer from 18 months and it remains the same. He typically goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps until 7am. He takes a 2-3 hour nap at home, 1 hour at daycare. He will not nap anywhere but his crib/cot or Peapod tent and it really does need to be dark and quiet/white noise.

Activity and Motor Development

  1. Describe your child’s gross and fine motor skills (how he moves around, grabs things, etc.). He is great at walking, running, climbing and jumping. He has clumsy moments. He handles stairs like a pro, alternating feet. He uses utensils 50% of the time and is good with lidless cups most of the time. He likes to clean his own face, hands, and table area with a napkin. He can thread beads and put small pegs in holes. Can do simple puzzles, but doesn’t have much attention for them. He doesn’t draw pictures yet, just scribbles, lines and the occasional circle…although he will tell us what he is drawing (boats, animals, etc).

Social Skills and Environment

  1. What can your child do for himself? He can take off pretty much all articles of clothing, including shoes. He has more trouble putting things on, but he tries. He clearly knows how to pee and poop in the potty and is further along with potty training than we figured he would be by now (woo!), although most of the time he doesn’t let us know when he needs to go and we have to ‘catch it.’ He’s sometimes unsure of himself and can get easily frustrated and ask for help with some tasks, but for the most part he manages. Not brushing his teeth well by himself at this point. He likes throwing out trash.
  2. Can your child follow simple directions? Yes, although he usually has to be talked into helping clean up his toys. He’s also great at doing things in a group/doing what other kids are.
  3. How does your child react to family outings and visitors? “Loves new places, very interested in people but can be a little shy with people he doesn’t know. When he’s shy, he clings to one of his moms.” This is the same as 18 months. He is getting better with talking to new people once he’s had a chance to warm up to them.
  4. If your child is in daycare/school, how does your child handle it? “He loves going to daycare and has a lot of fun. He eats well but sometimes has trouble napping. Likes his teachers and the other children.” Same as 18 months, and we’re thrilled we don’t have to worry about The Biter anymore.


  1. Describe how your child copes with discomfort, frustration, or other distress: If he’s hurt himself, he’ll cry and run to one of us for comfort. Otherwise, usually he just whines, sucks his thumb, gives up, or on a more rare occasion, have a tantrum. Those are few and far between now, and within a minute or two of having a time-out, he can usually calm himself down and ‘re-set.’ He’s on the much more passive side of coping, although we have witnessed him push another child or steal a toy when particularly riled up.

Language and Communication

  1. Describe your child’s language abilities: At this point, he says anywhere from 1-6 word phrases, with most phrases between 2 and 5 words. His language has always been slower than his peers, but he seems to be catching up. Some words are still a guessing game, but he can get his point across eventually. He doesn’t really sign anymore, just sporadically. He often repeats what we say, asks ‘what’s that?’ and really listens to the answer.

Toys and Play

  1. List your child’s favorite toys and describe how he plays with them: He loves building with his Legos and playing with train sets. He likes stickers and looking through books. We’re at the stage of needing to do a toy purge of old things and making room for new, more age-appropriate toys (good timing with the holidays coming up). We think he’s ready for more imaginative toys, like Little People and more Lego sets.
  2. Does your child have a lovey? Nope, he prefers sucking his thumb to soothe himself. He does like to sleep with his stuffed bear, puppy and sometimes Elmo at night.
  3. Does your child play with other children? Yes…it’s a 60/40 split between independent play and playing with other children respectively. He likes to do what bigger kids are doing (or try to). He talks to other kids and likes to run around with them.

Feelings and Moods

  1. Describe your child’s range of feelings (comfort, discomfort, pleasure, joy, anger, affection, fear, hostility, depression / sadness) and how he expresses them: Overall he is happy and has a good sense of humor. He is the definition of ‘slow to warm up’, but once he does, he’s cheerful and boisterous. He is a very sweet kid…not really a cuddler, but will definitely give hugs and kisses when asked (and sometimes out of the blue), and can be very charming. At times he can also be highly sensitive, and small things can knock him out of whack for a bit.
  2. What is likely to upset your child? Taking something away from him, blocking him from going somewhere, telling him he has to clean up his toys.
  3. What makes him feel better? Giving him what he wants (ha!) or letting him know he will get it back later, giving him a hug or kissing a boo boo, taking him away from the situation so he can re-set.


  1. How many teeth? All of his baby teeth are in. His last 2-year molar came in several months ago. Overall, teething hasn’t been bad for him…just a few difficult ones.
  2. In what ways, if any, does your child behave aggressively toward you, his siblings, his playmates, or others? He’s not very aggressive. The worst we usually see is pushing/shoving, and that’s reserved for playmates.
  3. Does your child have a strong preference for one parent? No, he seems to be equally attached to us both, although at times he’ll prefer one mom to do a specific task over the other mom.

And here’s Curly’s 2.5 year old school photo:


A few days ago, the Vermillion household arrived home to a surprise package on our doorstep. Who could it be from, we wondered? The return address indicated NYC, so I started going through the list of relatives who might have sent us something, but couldn’t reconcile the handwriting with any of them. Upon opening, here’s what we found:

It’s a jar full of sparkles and kisses!  From the lovely Mina and family over at Mina’s Musings.  Received as a gift from the 2011 Holiday Craft Exchange hosted by An Offering of Love.  It’s beautiful and festive (and did I mention sparkly!!) and I can’t wait to turn the contents into some of my favorite holiday treats.  Thanks Mina!!!