toddler

Mystery Poop

It was a lovely Spring afternoon. The windows let in a sweet, cool breeze and the calming song of birds chirping. Mimi was over for a visit, with her lap dog, Dickens. Dickens is a lively 3 month old puppy, and professional instigator, as most puppies are. The children ran about the house playing with Dickens, who kept trying to chew up the various toys that were strewn about the floor.

My husband sat with his mother in the living room, helping her with her tablet. I took advantage of the children being preoccupied and stole away to the kitchen to catch up on dishes. The baby sat happily in her chair, babbling away at me. Then a horrible scream broke through the gaiety. I daresay that in the 8 years that I have known her, I have never heard that sound come out of my mother-in-law. Did Chewbacca, our Shih-Poo, finally eat Dickens? (Chewbacca is not fond of the little chap, I’m afraid.) I ran into the living room to investigate.

Upon entering, I saw Mimi frantically running after little Dickens, trying to get something out of his mouth. She finally caught him and wrenched his mouth open, allowing a piece of poop to fall onto the carpet.

Everyone instantly panicked, the children most of all.

Mimi picked up the offending matter with a bit of tissue and went to flush it down the toilet. Upon entering the bathroom, she was surprised to find another piece of poop on the floor!

Once we cleaned the floor and carpet, we began to tackle the big question: who’s poop was Mr. Dickens eating? We were quick to assume it to be Dickens’ poop, because he’s still being potty trained. But it was too big to have been his. Next to be blamed was Chewbacca, but he had been on the couch with my husband the whole time, trying to avoid Dickens. It was too small to have been from our Australian Shepherd, Brienne. That left the cat; but she’s never pooped outside of the box in her 9 years of life, and again, it was too big.

Of course, my next thought was Colonel Mustard, who probably used the candlestick to swat it from the powder room to the drawing room.

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But wait–what if the culprit wasn’t an animal? What if the culprit was a human??

We had been so focused on the dog who had been caught with the poop, that we neglected to consider the kind-of-sort-of-potty-trained toddler (a toddler, by the way, who has a history of pooping on my carpet).

Calm as I could, I knelt down and asked the toddler, “Did you poop in your panties?”

“No”, she responded.

A quick check of her panties confirmed that she was telling the truth.

So where did the poop come from?

Then I remembered the poop that was found on the bathroom floor – – next to the Elmo potty.

I went back to the toddler and rephrased my question, “Did you go poo-poo in your potty without telling me?”

“Yes”, she said. “I go poo-poo in my Elmo potty all by myself and I flush it.”

Ah-ha!

I suspect that the toddler pooped in her Elmo potty and pushed the flusher. BUT – – the potty doesn’t really flush; it merely makes a flushing sound to make the child feel good about their potty achievement. Since none of the adults knew she had gone potty, the poop was left in the potty bowl. Dickens then snuck into the bathroom and helped himself to the feast that was left so conveniently at his level.

Another mystery solved.

Lesson learned–keep the bathroom door shut when having a play date with a puppy.

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A Day in the Life of Me with 3

This day technically was an extension of the previous one: I was up until 1 am nursing the baby and catching up on TV shows with the husband (Better Call Saul, Agent Carter, and Downton Abby). The baby went down long enough for me to get myself ready for bed, then woke up again. Luckily this time only required 10 minutes of pacing and rocking and then I was able to put her down. I had my precious devotional time, and went to sleep. Baby slept through the night, waking up at 7:30. I knew that the longer I let her cry, the more likely she was to wake up one of her sisters, so I peed quickly. I grabbed the baby from her bedside bassinet, took the Sleep Sac off, and cuddled her in my bed. A few minutes after I got her latched on, I heard the unmistakable sounds of one of the others getting out of bed and pitter patting to my room. If it’s Eowyn, I might be able to get her to fall back asleep cuddling with us. If it’s Ary, I’m screwed.

The door opens, and Ary climbs into bed with us.

Shit.

She cuddles with her baby sister for a few minutes before declaring, “I want to go downstairs.” The baby has already fallen back to sleep; maybe we can sneak out of bed without waking her up…

Ary [in a not so quiet voice]: “I need go potty!”

Alright Saturday, let’s do this.

-Without waking up Laurelyn, I quietly get Ary to the bathroom and on the potty right as she’s starting to pee. Ary hates washing her hands, so I have to fight with her to get her to do it.

-Laurelyn wakes up; I grab her and the 3 of us go downstairs before Ary has a chance to wake up Eowyn.

-I let the dogs out into the frozen tundra to do their morning business.

-I change Laurelyn’s diaper & put on Star Wars Rebels , per Ary’s request.

-Why is the cat following me, meowing my ear off? Oh, right- she’s hungry. I grab some food for her while I let the dogs back in.

-I hang up the diaper wash cloths to dry. (I don’t do disposable diaper wipes anymore because I was tired of paying for them. I throw the dirty wash cloths in the washer before going to bed, and hang them up to dry in the morning, because I’m too cheap to waste the electricity to dry them in the dryer).

-Right when I sit on the couch to nurse, Ary announces that she wants water and Goldfish. I get back up and grab Ary’s breakfast while juggling Laurelyn on my hip.

-I sit down to nurse Laurelyn (20 minutes and she’s asleep again)

-Eowyn wakes up and comes downstairs

-She declares that she’s hungry. I remind her that she needs to go potty because she just woke up. “[SIGH] I know that, Mom!” Really? Why didn’t you do it on your own then? Why is it that I have to remind you to go potty every. single. morning. ?

-I try to put sleeping Laurelyn in her swing, which is a funny dance where I have to completely support her bottom, keep my face next to hers through the entire transfer and not get my long hair in her face when I lift up. It’s a delicate maneuver that is only about 40% successful. Sure enough – – she woke up. I’m able to transfer her to her chair and bring her into the kitchen with us though, and she’s fine. She is such a perfect baby.

-Get older kids Lucky Charms.

-Get distracted blogging and burn my toast

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-Deny Ary’s request for more cereal 500 times because, “You have to eat the cereal part too; you can’t just eat the marshmallows.”

-Eowyn: “Uh, Mom, I kind of made a big mess.” When will she be able to eat without it ending up everywhere?

-Eowyn then asks for more. I tell her she has to eat the cereal in her bowl before she gets more- “You can’t just eat the marshmallows”. After one more bite of cereal, she’s done. I’m never buying Lucky Charms again.

Star Wars Rebels is over. Eowyn’s turn to pick something. My Little Pony. The movie. I’m shocked.

-I finish my toast in time for Ary to declare she has to go potty. I pick up Laurelyn in her chair and rush the 3 of us to the bathroom and all that ends up happening is 5 minutes of Knock Knock jokes. Which are all a variation of Ary’s favorite :

“Knock, knock!”

“Who’s there? ”

” Lettuce! ”

” Lettuce who? ”

” Arya’s lettuce! ”

It was hilarious. I love this kid.

-Change Laurelyn’s diaper. While I’m doing that, Ary takes out the Sofia the First game board. She sets it up, then gets distracted by tape on the box and makes it’s annihilation her mission in life.

-Nurse Laurelyn. Eowyn promptly takes her place on my left shoulder. The only time I get to nurse without one or both of the other girls all over me is at night when they’re sleeping.

-For the remainder of the My Little Pony movie, Laurelyn goes through a cycle of nursing-sleeping-woken up by one of her sisters. I give up on her napping once the movie is over.

-Eowyn: “I’m hungry.” I swear these girls eat like hobbits.

-Right as I’m getting Laurelyn situated in  her chair, Ary announces, “I need to go potty!” She makes it in time, yay! Fight with her to get her to wash her hands.

-She then goes back and forth to the potty three times, accomplishing nothing until the last time when she poops in the potty. Of course this means that I too have to run back and forth to the potty. Fight with her to get her to wash her hands.

-I wash and slice an apple for Eowyn (because that’s what she asked for), only to have her take 1 bite and tell me, “My throat is making the apple taste yucky, so I’m not going to eat it.” Ary won’t eat it because it has the peel on, so I guess I’m having apple slices. Ary does however want an apple of her own, so I peel and slice a different one for her. She eats about half and “secretly” feeds the rest to our dog Chewbacca. Laurelyn starts to fuss in the middle of all of this, so I get her out of her chair and hold her.

-I try to make a phone call, but my phone app crashes. So I have a phone that can do pretty much anything except make a call. What a world.

-Laurelyn wants to nurse again.

-Eowyn turns her guitar and pirate sword into a cello and puts on a show for us.

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-Eowyn: “Mom, can I have a granola bar please? I can get it!” It then becomes a death race between her and Ary as to who can get to the pantry first. They scream at one another as they squabble over who gets to get a granola bar first. They both make it out alive and with their own granola bars, and Ary leaves hers untouched on the table.

-I steal away for a bathroom break, dragging Laurelyn with me in her chair. Except it’s hardly a break as the moment the door closes, Ary starts shoving colored pencils and a book under the door. Then she barges in, and I tell her to get all her stuff and get out. She gives me a pathetic boo-boo lip and says, “I just wanted to help, Mom.” Help me get away from you lot for a whole minute so I can pee in privacy by not leaving me alone and cluttering the floor with a bunch of stuff? What? How? WHYYYY??!

-I come out of the bathroom to discover Ary is eating all the dark chocolate pieces out of the trail mix.

-After putting the trail mix away and putting the pantry lock on, I lift Laurelyn out of her chair and see poop leaking through her clothes. This baby has a real knack for explosive diapers.

-While I’m cleaning Laurelyn up, Eowyn sits down and practices copying a word that I have written on our white board. This means I must look up 3 times during the blow out clean up to look at her work (“Mom, look!”, “Mom, look!”, “Mom, look!”). “Mom, can I practice with the markers, because it’s easier for me?” Yeah, let’s use markers while Mom is elbow deep in infant poop. NO!

-After the clean up is finished, I corral the troops upstairs so we can finally brush our teeth (it’s now 11 am). First, Ary must grab a toy. You know, in case she gets bored on the long journey to the second level of the house.

-We finally get upstairs just in time for Ary to need to pee again. She makes it to the potty though! Fight with her to get her to wash her hands.

-We brush the kids’ teeth, which requires lots of the Doc Mcstuffins tooth brushing song.

-The girls play on the stairs while I dress Laurelyn, take my morning medicine, and brush my teeth with her balanced on my hip.

-After being naked all day yesterday, all night long, and all of this morning, Ary decides she wants pajamas. I don’t understand this girl.

-By the time I get downstairs, Laurelyn wants to nurse again.

-While I am nursing: -Ary spills Goldfish on the floor, which she starts eating off of the floor with Chewbacca – Eowyn dumps more Goldfish on the floor on purpose because she feels bad for our other dog Brienne not being able to get through Ary and Chewbacca to get any -Eowyn opens the pantry lock and brings out the bag of Goldfish for her and Ary to snack from – Ary takes her pajamas off. They lasted a whole 20 minutes – I become a spider web for the girls to put dew drops onto. -We read a book -Eowyn practices letters

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-We clean up the mess they made yesterday because… hot damn.

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Clean up takes 40 minutes, and that’s with me doing 90% of the work. But it also included me vacuuming their play room once I could see the floor, putting up Command hooks to solve the weaponry storage issue we’ve had, and scrubbing all the paint off of the girls’ dry erase board.

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-Laurelyn announces she is done being in her chair right when I’m finishing up. Perfect baby.

-I get the older girls dry erase markers so they can create art on their newly cleaned board. Then I change Laurelyn’s diaper and nurse her in the play room so I can keep an eye on them. Ary always trys to color everything she’s not supposed to, so when we’re doing markers I have to be there to remind her to only color the paper (or in this case, board) about 5,000 times.

-The dry erase/chalk board easel keeps Things 1 & 2 entertained for a full 20 minutes.

-They then move on to archery.

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-Laurelyn has fallen asleep and I am able to transfer her to her bassinet. Like I said before–perfect baby.

-I have the other two go potty, fight with Ary to get her to wash her hands, and then I take lunch orders. I whip up their requests, serve them, and get started on my pb&j. I decide to jazz it up today by toasting the bread (take that, Bobby Flay). While the bread is toasting, Laurelyn wakes up; she slept for 15 minutes… I quickly finish making my sandwich and go get her.

-As we’re finishing up lunch, I remember that my Tardis cookie jar is empty and suggest to the girls that we make some cookies before naptime. They had gotten a Frozen cookie making kit for Christmas that I had completely forgotten about, so we broke that out and finally made them. I was carrying Laurelyn in my baby carrier, so it was a bit awkward moving around but it was so much fun!

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-I told the girls that they couldn’t eat their cookies unless they took a nap, and got them cleaned off, emptied of pee, and in their beds.

-Then I let the dogs out, changed Laurelyn’s diaper, and nursed her to sleep. I let her sleep on me while Tyler and I watched Vikings .

-All of the girls wake up shortly after our show ends. Ary woke up grumpy as per usual, and she cried uncontrollably for 10 minutes. There’s no comforting her when she gets like this; we’ve got to just let her cry it out.

-Tyler sets the girls up with Disney Jr to try to quell the grumpy fit while Laurelyn and I head into the kitchen to tackle dishes. She lays on her changing pad on the kitchen floor playing happily with her toes and babbling at me. Perfect baby.

-I get through half of the dishes before Ary jumps on the changing pad, scaring the crap out of the baby. Laurelyn starts screaming and then Ary starts crying because she feels bad that she scared her sister; she just wanted to cuddle with her. I stop doing dishes to calm them both down.

-Due to the stress of almost dying, Laurelyn wants to nurse.

-When I’m done nursing, we have an impromptu Skype call with Papa & Grandma Cheri (AKA my Dad and my Step-mom)

-I get Laurelyn set up in her chair and we head back into the kitchen. I adjust my plan to only cleaning dishes that are necessary for me to make dinner, but it still eats up another 15 minutes. I’m able to prep my veggies and pre heat the oven before I have to stop to nurse Laurelyn again.

-Just as Laurelyn is drifting to sleep, Ary yanks on the cat’s tail, who flips out at Chewbacca, making him yelp, which scares Brienne, who in turn, barks. Needless to say, Laurelyn wakes up…

-I nurse her back to sleep and make a failed attempt at laying her down.

-I come downstairs to find Ary standing on a chair next to the kitchen counter. She took one bite out of 4 of the 6 Frozen cookies that we had made earlier. WHHHYYYY???

-I try to put Laurelyn in her chair with me in the kitchen, but she is not having it. Daddy takes her, but she screams on and off through the 40 minutes it takes for me to finish dinner, despite all of Daddy’s best attempts. You should’ve stayed asleep, baby!

-While I’m plating the food, Eowyn starts singing and walking around the kitchen island and basically getting in the way with every step. We tell her to sit down and stop singing because it’s quiet time, which makes her slump over and pout. Ary is stuck in her highchair, but asks Eowyn, “Sissy, what’s wrong?” Eowyn tells her in hushed tones what happened. Then Ary says, “Awww, poor thing. It’s o-tay Sissy. Come here sweetheart.” Then Eowyn gets up and gets a hug from Ary, with the huge tray in between them. She says, “Thanks Sis. You’re the best.” I try not to cry from the cuteness of what just happened.

-We finally eat dinner; me juggling Laurelyn on my lap the whole time. During dinner, Ary has to pee which requires getting her out of her highchair and then back into her highchair. (Not to mention the fight to get her to wash her hands) Between napkin requests, water requests, and dropping forks, I get up 4 different times.

-After our delicious cookie dessert, I nurse Laurelyn. While I’m nursing: -Ary plays fetch with Brienne; Eowyn shoves Arya, making her fall down because she was frustrated with her for singing Let It Go when she wanted to play Mulan . Tyler puts Eowyn in time out; After her time out, Eowyn attempts to color, but Ary keeps messing up her pictures on purpose ; the girls played Gollum with Daddy

-Eowyn & Arya get a bath.

-BEDTIME! This involves brushing teeth (singing Doc Mcstuffins song again), going potty, one last fight with Arya to get her to wash her hands, getting Eowyn in pajamas & Arya in a Pull-Up (she likes to sleep naked), reading a Bible story, saying prayer, tucking them in their beds after they each check to make sure that their billion stuffed animals are all there, and listening to their great ideas for what we should do tomorrow.

-Watch Gotham with Tyler while nursing Laurelyn to sleep

-Laurelyn actually goes down tonight, so I get to sleep without waking up with a kink in my shoulders tomorrow.

-I come back downstairs and throw the diaper wash cloths in the washer. Then I wash the dishes from dinner because waking up to a dirty kitchen stresses me out.

-I then go upstairs around 1 am and have my quiet time with God. I’m so tired when I’m done that I decide to sleep rather than shower. I’ll shower tomorrow.

 

 

There you have it–a typical day as a stay at home mama of 3. Now it’s time to get up and do it all again.

The 7 Days of a Family Sickness

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Day 1: Denial

The first kid walks up to you and sneezes directly on your face. It doesn’t matter that you’re wiping textbook infected green snot from your cheek, you will lie to yourself and say that the kid just has allergies. The pollen count must be high today. In December. Snow has pollen, right? It must, because there’s no way sickness is wedging it’s nasty head into your household again.

So what if the snotty kid is now asking to take a nap. She just magically became an angel who likes to sleep after 2 years of being a monster who can somehow live off of stupid small amounts of sleep. Kids change all the time.

See, there goes that kid, changing again–her December hayfever has given her a cough. The husband walks up to you after being sneezed on and says, “I think she’s sick.” You give him the evil eye for speaking sickness into existence. He’s jinxed you for sure.

Wait, she wants to snuggle? Shit. She’s sick. Better keep her away from the others before we’ve got a full plague on our hands.

Day 2: Lock Down

Snotty kid (aka Toddler) got the Older One sick, who went from bouncing off the walls all day to dying at exactly midnight. Older Kid’s dying sounds woke up Toddler. You pumped them both full of Benedryl and cough medicine, but the congestion kept them up and down all night. You and the hubby wake up exhausted and sneezing with sore throats. You accept that everyone is sick, but tell yourself it’s just a cold. Today will be the worst day, and tomorrow everyone will be over the hump. You can get through this. You make up medicine charts for each family member so you can stay on top of the every 4-6 hour dosings. Despite also being sick yourself, you pull on your inner super hero Mom strength and take care of everyone all day, including the husband. You make sure everyone drinks water, eats chicken noodle soup, washes hands, covers coughs, and has tissues for their leaky noses. All while doing your best to keep the 2 month old from being on the receiving end of one of those green snot sneezes and coughs. You happily nurse her around the clock to give her the best shot of surviving.

Day 3: Fever

No more denial–it’s the flu. Toddler came down with a fever at exactly midnight. And not just a low grade fever–we’re talking full fledged 103° fever. Of course come sun rise, you all have fevers. The medicine charts are a nightmare because everyone is having to alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen to combat the Black Plague-esque fevers. The baby now has a sniffly nose, but no fever yet. She nurses non stop all day, depleting you of the little energy you had left after being up all night with the other two. Luckily, no one has any energy, so you all wallow together in your misery and watch Disney Jr all day. No one has an appetite, which is fortunate because they’d starve if they did; no way you’re cooking anything. You’re still rallying to keep the baby healthy, and so you continue to remind everyone to cover their coughs. No one can hear your desperate whispers over all the coughing though, because you’ve lost your voice. You curse the mom from dance class who brought the coughing kid to class last week; this must have come from them. If you survive this epidemic, you vow to tell her off at the next class.

Day 496: Delirium

You have now been sick for 496 days. At least that’s what it feels like. In all actuality, you have no idea what day it is or even what year it is. The mixture of not getting enough sleep and fever has left you dizzy and completely delirious. You can’t make sense of the medicine charts anymore and just pray you’re not over-dosing anyone at a lethal level. Toddler coughs on everything and everyone while using everything except tissues to wipe her nose on, and you can only moan in retaliation. The Older Child got the least severe case and is already on the up swing. She has completely forgotten what being sick feels like since she woke up fever – free, and doesn’t understand why you won’t take her outside to play or at least let her roller skate inside the house. She spends all day pestering you to play board games, making irritating noises at the top of her lungs, asking deep life questions like “Why do dogs have legs?”, and demanding food every 2 hours, oblivious to the fact that you are still nursing the baby around the clock on your death bed. Somehow you survive this awful day.

Day 5: Recovery

All fevers have finally broken, and you are back to a somewhat normal mental state. But you and the hubby are completely exhausted and in desperate need of a day of rest. Unfortunately, children’s cycle of sickness skips this “recovery” phase. Now that they’re feeling better, they are back to running around and wanting you to play with them. You tell them that Mommy and Daddy are still tired and need rest, and hope that they’ll watch Disney Jr all day again. Instead, they seize this moment of weakness and wreak complete havoc on the house. Neither you nor your husband have the energy to stop them. Damn you, old age! They don’t nap either, because they have that much energy. You hobble through the day, counting down until bedtime. Bedtime finally comes, but the little shits get one last burst of energy and don’t go to sleep right away. You wonder at this point why God hates you, and chug a whole bottle of nighttime cough medicine so you might finally get some sleep. The children will just have to fend for themselves if they wake up in the middle of the night.

Day 6: Clearing the Lungs

Because you are old, you’re still low energy. Your whole family is at the stage where you are hacking up all the junk that had gotten stuck in your lungs. It’s disgusting. Since Toddler is still learning how to spit, she chokes on the phlegm and ends up throwing up. Every time you run to the bathroom to hack up a lung, you hear, “MOOOMMMM! CAN YOU GET – – -“.

No, children, no.

Day 7: Fiji

You are all finally better, except the coughing, which always lasts until the next round of sickness. You dump the kids off on the grandparents, lying to their faces when they ask if the kids are better. They can’t possibly still be contagious.

Probably.

Maybe.

Who cares–you have hours of decontaminating to do to get rid of all the germs. An hour into the process, you realize that you will never be able to clean everything. Best just to burn it all and start fresh. Speaking of start fresh, you could really use a vacation. So you light a match and board a plane to Fiji. The grandparents will be fine; they’ve already survived parenthood once, surely they can manage a second time.

That Moment When the 2 Year Old is Trying to Nurse the Baby

Eowyn woke up before either of her sisters this morning. She came and got me, and I carefully got out of bed so as not to wake up the baby, who had ended up in our bed around 6 am. I snuck into the girls’ room where Ary was still sleeping, nicked the monitor, and put it on my nightstand so I would be able to hear when the baby woke up. Ary is 2 now, so she would just yell for me at the baby gate at the top of the stairs when she woke up.

Eowyn and I are able to get through breakfast without a sound from the other two. When we’re finishing up, I hear Laurelyn fussing a bit on the monitor. Since Ary is still asleep, I quietly rush upstairs to get the baby before she starts crying. I open my door to find a naked Ary in my bed next to Laurelyn. She must have woken up and gone in there looking for me, discovered an awake Laurelyn, and knowing the sleep-eat-poop routine of babies, took it upon herself to try to nurse her baby sister. The reason Laurelyn started fussing was because she couldn’t get a latch!

I didn’t hear the door open or the bed creak over the monitor at all! Ary can be as stealth as a thief in the night. I am terrified of when that girl becomes a teenager; we don’t stand a chance. 

At first it was a bit disturbing to see her trying to get her sister to latch on to her “boob”. But then when I took a step back, I realized how beautiful it was. Ary is still innocent of the sexual association of breasts and only knows them for their primary function: to feed babies. She saw that her sister was hungry, and tried to feed her. She looked so proud of herself as she declared, “Mommy, I nurse baby!”

We weren’t sure how Ary was going to react to having a new baby in town because she’s a Mommy’s girl all the way. Although there was an adjustment period, she has taken on the role of big sister very well. She loves Laurelyn fiercely. And today is just evidence that not only is she a wonderful big sister, but one day, she is going to make an amazing mommy.

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Cheers to a life that never lacks a dull moment!

Potty Training Diaries: The Shit Storm

I had an OB appointment on Monday. I knew ahead of time that I was going to be doing the glucose blood test (which involves a 1 hour wait time after downing a sugary drink), and we weren’t able to leave the kids with Mimi (Tyler’s mom), so Dad got the privilege of staying home with them while I went solo. The appointment was scheduled during nap time, with the hopes of them actually napping and therefore making it an easy job on Dad. Of course, they didn’t nap. Ary was the main trouble maker (naturally) so Tyler put Eowyn in our bed so as to give her an honest shot of actually falling asleep. Then they both grew quiet, which he took to mean that they had finally fallen asleep. 20 minutes later however, he realized how terribly wrong he was in his assumption, for the peaceful silence was broken by Eowyn yelling, “DAAADDD!!! SISTER POOPED EVERYWHERE!!!” For once, Eowyn was not exaggerating: Arya had taken off her Pull-Up and pooped all.over.the.floor.

While all of this was happening at the house, I was blissfully perusing the home decor aisles of Target while waiting for my prescriptions to be filled. I normally avoid those aisles at all costs because they are full of breakable things. But since I was sans children for once, I allowed myself to window shop for all of the things I would love to buy for my house. I then got a rude awakening back to reality with a text from Tyler saying, “Please come home” and this picture attached:

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Shit. EVERYWHERE. And this picture doesn’t even show all of it.

I immediately abandon my prescriptions and rush back to the house. Tyler was washing Ary off in the tub, as she had poop on her feet, hands, and all over the clothes she had been wearing. Like, she purposefully picked it up and then rubbed it on her front. Disgusting. The little trouble maker also decided to empty her entire drawer of clothes with said poop hands and put them on both her bed and Eowyn’s bed. She got poop on the pile of blankets we leave next to her bed to cushion the fall when she rolls off every night. There was even poop on the door handle and the wall next to the door, when she tried to get out.

As I was surveying the damage, absolute horror filled my core.

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My initial thought was that we should just burn it all and start fresh. But since the fire would more than likely spread to the rest of the house, I rolled up my sleeves and started cleaning. Even though I couldn’t see visible poop on the beds or dressers, I knew that she had touched them because of all of the clothes (which had poop on them). Between scrubbing the poop out of the carpet, putting the poop laundry into trash bags, stripping both beds (both of which have crib bumpers because our girls are crazy sleepers), and sanitizing the beds/dresser/vanity/door/wall/miscellaneous toys, I was cleaning for an hour and a half. Then I had the pleasure of doing 6 loads of poop laundry between all the clothes, sheets, pillows, crib bumpers, and blankets that were contaminated. 6 loads of laundry. We couldn’t even put them to bed early because we had to wait for all of the bedding! I drew the line at dinner and sent Tyler out for food, because there was no way I was cooking on top of everything else.

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The next day, I continued the cleaning saga by tackling the girls’ bathroom. Poor Dad freaked out a bit when he first discovered Ary in all her pooping glory, so he first put her in the bathroom by herself so that he could see what he could do about the mess. Feeling completely helpless and not knowing where to even begin, he ended up just staring at it and begging me to come home.

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Which meant that the bathroom floor was contaminated from her poop feet. He then decided to tackle Ary first so as to stop her from spreading her mess anywhere else in the house. Instead of going straight for the bathtub, he opted to sit her poopy butt on the counter and try washing her feet off in the sink. When he realized how futile this was given the sheer amount of poop covering her hands and feet, he finally threw her into the bathtub and scrubbed her down head to poopy toe. Basically, the entire bathroom was contaminated and needed deep cleaning. Mind you, I don’t blame him at all for any of it because let’s be honest with ourselves: none of us would be thinking clearly in that situation and would probably have made similar mistakes.

I wasn’t too exasperated by the idea of deep cleaning the whole thing though, because the bathroom is small and I have a kick ass floor steamer. Except that said steamer decided to die when I plugged it in. Of course that was the moment when Ary chose to pee on the carpet in her room. You know, the carpet that I had just scrubbed for 30 minutes on my hands and knees with my 7 month pregnant self the night before.

I pretty much lost it then.

rage

With all the interruptions from the kids fighting over things and the fact that I had to do the floor Cinderella style, the bathroom took another hour and a half.

Needless to say, Ary’s been in Pull-Ups ever since. Well, most of the time that is. She still trys to take them off throughout the day and throws nasty fits every time I force them back on her. I have no idea what to do with this girl, but I now know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m going to have to completely adjust my potty training method and expectations with her. I have some serious plans for a really good bottle of wine after Henderson is born to make up for all of this. And no, I don’t plan on sharing any of it.

 

Potty Training Diaries: Days 4 & 5

Day 4 of potty training was only slightly less successful than day 3; she had 2 more accidents than times that she made it to the toilet. We did about 7 hours of no diapers though, which was the longest we’ve managed so far.

Day 5 of potty training…I pretty much gave up. The girls woke up 2 1/2 hours earlier than they normally do: 6 am. I basically threw in the towel right then and there. No way was I going to deal with pee puddles all day with two grumpy kids with my fuse as short as it was from lack of sleep. When I went to get the dogs from their kennels, this is what I found:

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Not only had they escaped from the kennel AGAIN, but they had also decided to chew up the drywall and insulation in their spare time.

The final nail in the potty training coffin was my back. It’s been on the skids since California, but the last 4 days of sitting on hard wood, tile, and being on my knees cleaning up potty messes really did it in. I could just feel that if I didn’t see my chiropractor that day that it was going to go out on me come Monday. Since the girls woke up with the roosters and I was going to be a walk-in on a Saturday, I got to the office right when they opened at 10 am (which is usually when we’re wrapping up breakfast). I was able to be seen with no problems and felt infinitely better afterwards. With my relaxin levels rising from the pregnancy, it’s going to be really important for me to get adjusted once a week. Otherwise, my back is not going to make it.

I swung by Target on our way back from the chiropractor’s and picked up some Pull-Ups. I can’t do the hard core let-them-pee-themselves-until-they-get-it method non stop this time. It’s just unrealistic given the antsy 3 year old who hates being cooked up inside and the fact that I’m pregnant. I physically can’t play around on hard wood and be on my knees scrubbing the floor all day, every day. And that’s ok. I think we did enough of the hard core thing for Baby Ary to be aware of the sensation at least, which is really a huge part of the battle. She was in a pull up or diaper all but one hour today, and so the whole day was all accidents except for one time that she made it to the toilet. But, each time she peed in the pull up, she told me, “Potty, now!” So at least she’s not regressing; she’s now aware of that bodily function and is trying to control it. Every day I will do my best to keep her bare bottomed for as long as we can manage. Some days it may be 5 hours, and some days it may not happen at all, and that’s ok.

I’m so sick of reading other blogs about moms who “potty trained” their toddler in a day or a week. That’s such bullshit. Sorry, but that’s the only way to put it. I do not believe that any child could go from being in diapers without a care in the world to being able to hold it until they get to a toilet in anything less than a month. And that’s ok that it takes that long! It took Eowyn 10 weeks to earn the title of being potty trained. She worked really hard for it because we told her we would put her in dance class if she was potty trained. I’m so proud of her for the effort that went into those hellish 10 weeks. If we stop trying to make it sound better and faster than it really is, then we wouldn’t be setting other moms up for failure and disappointment when their kid takes longer than a day or a week. Why are we always competing?

So if this is your first time in the potty training rodeo, I’m going to give it to you straight right now: it’s going to take at least 2 months to fully potty train a kid. Some kids will take longer than that, and that is perfectly ok. They all are on their own little journeys and develop differently. That is at least 2 months of mostly staying home. At least 2 months of scrubbing pee and poop off of your floors. At least 2 months of the worst frustration you will ever feel (until they hit puberty). It is the beginning of years of being tied down to the will of a toddler’s bladder and bowel, which are horribly unpredictable. It is awful and draining and you will cry.

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But here’s the thing: it’s ok to hate this part of raising kids. It’s ok to get frustrated, cry, and want to give up. We all do. What matters is that you keep trying. You will find a method that works best for you and for your kid (and the method that worked for your first may not work as well for your second; remember, they’re all different). You will survive this Dark Ages of toddler-hood. And there will be a handful of moments a day (hopefully) where you get to see your kid’s face do this because they put their pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty:

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Ary’s version of a thumbs up

And suddenly, it all becomes worth it.

 

On a side note, there will be no prego bump update this week for 3 reasons:

  1. I completely forgot to take a picture at the start of the week
  2. I’ve been blogging almost every day this week, so there’s really nothing new for me to share
  3. I accidentally posted the Baby Stats for this week on last week’s post. I write these things at midnight; I was tired and mixed up the weeks when I was looking the stuff up. Sorry.

There’s literally nothing for me to write about that you haven’t already heard: Henderson’s movements are getting stronger and more frequent; my discomfort is rising; my irritability is higher, so I’ve been a joy to be around; my OB appointment on Monday went perfect.

 

Here’s to getting my -ish together this week!

Potty Training Diaries: Day 3

Today was infinitely better than the last 2 days. Thank you to everyone who said a prayer for me today; I could feel them in action!

Baby Ary woke up with a dry diaper this morning. That’s right kids–bone dry after 10 hours! I put her little butt directly on the toilet, and within 10 minutes she was peeing. She ended up drawing even with potty fails and successes today: 6 times in the pot, and 6 accidents. Two of the successes were initiated by her (she told me she needed to go), but were really a combined effort because both times she wanted off of the toilet after 30 seconds. I forced her to stay on by physically restraining her/ bribing her with Elmo videos on my phone. And both times she ended up peeing a minute later. Had I let her off when she wanted off, those would have both been accidents. I’m learning more about how her body works, and so is she. Three days in and I’ve been successful in keeping all accidents off of the carpet; if that had been my only victory so far, I’d still call it a win.

Ary isn’t as good as Eowyn was about sitting on the potty when she doesn’t feel the need to go, so it’s been challenging to get her to sit as long and as frequent as I would like. I’ve been seeing a lot of this face the last 3 days:

Ary's 'I don't want to sit on the potty' face

Ary’s ‘I don’t want to sit on the potty’ face

Poor Eowyn is getting cabin fever. Usually the girls and I are outside frequently during the days, so being shut in has been really hard for all 3 of us. There have been many fits over the TV being shut off in order to keep Baby Ary off of the carpet, and other assorted toddler dramas. But all in all, Eowyn has really handled the stress of potty training and the boredom of being on lock down very well. She’s been such a great helper to me, bringing me towels when Ary’s had an accident, helping me keep her off of the carpet, and being her biggest cheerleader every time she pees in the toilet. So I’ve decided to give Eowyn little rewards along the way of this awful journey as well, because she deserves it.

Nap time was finally a success today! It took an hour and a half of me putting Ary back in her bed repeatedly and 4 trips to the potty between the two of them, but they finally gave up and slept. I was so elated and relieved because I desperately needed the break. I dumped the baby monitor on Tyler and grabbed the keys to the car faster than Ary running away from the scene of a crime, lest they should wake before I made my escape. I’m pretty sure with the state of my caveman eyebrows, frizzy hair which hasn’t been brushed all day, and the crazed look in my eyes that I probably looked a look like this:

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At least that’s how I felt.

Walking through Target was the best thing ever. I was tempted to stay there forever.

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But after getting the “needed” (not really needed) groceries (which may have included cookie dough), grabbing a new pack of crayons as a treat for Eowyn, and picking up the Disneyland pictures for Eowyn’s autograph book, I of course came back. Good thing too because the girls had woken up and Ary was beside herself. She spent a good 20 minutes sitting underneath her highchair crying uncontrollably while I was putting dinner together. Tyler, Eowyn and I tried to console her, but to no avail. There are so many changes going on in her little baby world with potty training and switching to a toddler bed. Add to that the completely jacked up nap schedule, and she just doesn’t know what to do with herself. I’m pretty sure that for everyone’s sanity’s sake that I’m going to plan on hard core potty training for 5 hours a day. By the time dinner rolls around, non of us have the wherewithal to do it anymore. She’s doing so well, that I don’t think having her in a diaper for the last 4 hours of her day is going to mess her up too terribly. Today for instance, I only had to change her diaper once after nap; I was able to get her to go potty in the toilet one more time after dinner.

This is a huge adjustment for all of us, and overall, I’m happy with all of the progress that has been made. I’m sure that she’ll earn her first smiley face soon : )

Potty Training Diaries: Day 2

I didn’t intend to blog every day throughout potty training. Yesterday was just so overwhelming that I found myself needing the outlet, and today was just as bad, so I find myself here again.

I’m reading a mommy devotional right now called The Busy Mom’s Book of Inspiration: Devotions to Renew Your Spirit. Last night’s was on temper, which was ironic because mine had been out of control all day. Potty training is the ultimate test of one’s patience; it will push every button you have and leave you crying at the end of the day (or sometimes in the middle of the day, as was my case today). I found myself blowing up left and right yesterday, despite my efforts to control myself. But in my devotional, it made the point that I’m not teaching my kids how to deal with their own frustrations if I lose it over every little thing. In those moments where I’m losing my temper over a small frustration, I’m really no better than my 3 year old pitching a fit over fill-in-the-blank-insignificant-in-the-grand-scheme-thing. How can I expect them to learn patience if I don’t exhibit it myself?

So I prayed the prayer at the end of my devotional with all honesty and sincerity: “Lord, here is this anger. In the name of Jesus Christ, I surrender it to your authority. By Your grace, I will not take it back.” – Elizabeth Elliott

I prayed it over and over again until I fell asleep.

Today has been very challenging. There were countless accidents; I spent most of the day on my knees cleaning up pee. (Which happens to be a pretty good work out by the way) I literally did the dishes all day because I kept getting interrupted by trips to the potty or more accidents. And I wasn’t even able to get through all of them! I still have a sink, counter, and stove top full of things to wash.

There was one point where Ary had 2 accidents within the span of 5 minutes, and both of them where rather large puddles. As I ran over to clean up the second one, I caught sight of another pee puddle on the living room carpet. But this one wasn’t from Ary; this was one of the dogs. In the commotion of potty training, I forgot to let the dogs out. Even though I knew it was my fault, I completely lost it. Granted, I don’t know if many people wouldn’t have lost their minds in that moment. But nonetheless I am ashamed to have acted the way that I did in front of the kids. Then as I was heading over to Ary’s pee puddle with my bucket of cleaner and rag, I hear a knock on the door. I open it to find a Schwan’s salesman on my porch. He barely got to introduce himself before I said, “No, thank you”. He seemed taken aback. Sorry Schwan’s guy, but that was the absolute extent of pleasantries I could summon at that moment in time.

I finally got to sit down and eat lunch after I put the girls down for a nap. Tyler was sweet enough to get me a combo from Wendy’s on his way back from an errand. I had just enough time to get through it when I hear Eowyn yelling for me upstairs. My body already hurt at this point from running Ary back and forth to the potty (apparently running while holding a 20 pound child for 4 hours is good exercise too), but I find some energy to drag myself upstairs. I open their bedroom door to find Ary standing in Eowyn’s bed with her diaper thrown on the floor. Oh, and her diaper was full of poop. And her blanket and the blanket that I had put next to her bed should she fall out and a bit of the carpet and her hands also had poop on them. I clean up the all of the poop, duct tape her next diaper on her, put her back in her own bed, and run the poop laundry downstairs to the washer, which was currently doing a load of pee towels.

I then spent the next hour and 45 minutes policing nap time. For every 2-5 minutes, I had to go in there and put Ary back in her bed. Eowyn had to go potty twice, but the second time was just a ploy to get out of bed. At the end of it, every single inch of me ached. I finally gave up around the time that Eowyn was yelling, “Mom, I need to fart!” Because, you need to get out of bed to fart obviously.

The following hour ended in me locking myself in the bathroom, sobbing. I couldn’t bring myself to clean up any more pee after that, so I threw a diaper on Ary and made dinner. She stayed in a diaper for the remainder of the evening. I got in a good 5 hours of hard core potty training though, and that’s gonna have to be good enough.

She had about 15 accidents today. But, there were 4 shinning moments where she came up to me and said, “Potty, now!” And when I put her on the toilet those 4 times, she peed (and even pooped one time) in the potty. So even though today was draining in every meaning of the word, it was actually a very successful potty training day. It took Eowyn weeks before she could tell me that she needed to go before she was peeing all over the floor. Yet on the second day, Ary did it 4 times! She’s getting it. I just have to hang in there and focus on the positives.

I also caught both of them potty training their babies, which melted my heart.

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And the fairies left more baby birds in our fairy garden for us to watch over : )

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After the girls went to bed for the night, I soaked in our tub with the jets on and got through half a chapter of Game of Thrones before I heard Ary crying for me. I found her in the hallway, sandwiched between our rooms. When I asked her why she was out of bed, she said, “E-cause, e-cause, I potty!” (translation: “Because, because, I went potty!”) She also said something about the floor and her bed, so I’m thinking she fell out of bed and either peed right there or realized that she was already wet. Either way, it’s a great sign that she’s really getting it, because even when she’s sleepy and out of it, she’s recognizing the sensation. I changed her diaper, cuddled her for a few minutes, and tucked her back into her bed with Eskimo kisses. I needed that sweet moment with her after the long day that we had.

 

Lord, here is this anger. In the name of Jesus Christ, I surrender it to your authority. By Your grace, I will not take it back.

Potty Training Diaries: Day 1

Today was Day 1 of a billion of potty training Baby Ary. She started showing signs of readiness about 3 weeks ago, and now that we’re back from California, and the 4th of July is behind us, I have no other excuses for putting it off. So I rolled up the area rugs, set up a rewards system on the dry erase board, pleaded with God to give me strength and patience, and let Ary run loose sans diaper today.

Here are my potty training rules:

  1. No pull ups. They are exactly like diapers, pulling away from the skin when wet. In my opinion, this teaches the child nothing because they still can’t tell when they’ve gone. I go straight to panties (or bare bottom in Ary’s case, as I couldn’t find panties small enough for her), so when they go they know that they’ve gone. It’s messy and gross, but in my opinion the only way they will ever learn.
  2. Keep the kid on hard wood or tile to the best of your ability. This is really hard to do all.day.long. But you don’t want to be cleaning pee out of carpet if you can help it.
  3. Keep kid indoors. Until they start to get it, you really have to stay as close to a bathroom as possible.
  4. Make the kid sit on the toilet for 10-15 minutes every 30 minutes. I have a special Elmo book about potty training that she can only read while sitting on the toilet. I also will let her watch her kid videos from YouTube on my phone, but again, only if she’s on the toilet.
  5. When they have an accident, take them straight to the toilet so they connect the sensation with sitting on the toilet. (Kind of like you do with dogs)
  6. I let them wear diapers or Pull Ups during dinner, nap time and bed time. Night training takes a lot longer because they can’t consciously stop themselves from peeing. And let’s be honest–after an entire day of potty training, you deserve to eat dinner without getting interrupted by another accident to clean up.
  7. Set up a rewards system that has a visual aid. Every day she goes without an accident, she gets a smiley face and a color bath. Every time she fills up a week’s worth of smiley faces, she gets another reward. I will only take away a smiley face if she has an accident the same night that she got said smiley face. If she has an accident the day after earning a smiley face, she just doesn’t get a new smiley face, but she gets to keep any previous ones she’s earned. Because of this, it may take two weeks to earn the title of “1 week accident free”. Even after a kid is fully potty trained, they’ll still have accidents from time to time. You have to be realistic and set them up for success.
Our rewards system, which is on the household dry erase board.

Our rewards system, which is on the household dry erase board.

Everyone seems to have different definitions of what it means to be potty trained, so I’ll be clear as to what my definition is: a kid is potty trained when they will tell you when they need to go potty. Not to say that you won’t have to remind them from time to time to go (like before leaving the house to run errands, for instance). But I would not call a kid potty trained if the only time they go in the toilet is when their parents take them; that’s just the parents being trained, not the kid.

Once you establish your method, then you get the pleasure of being on lock down for 2 months. Nothing would be worse than having the poor kid pee themselves in the middle of Target. Until they are potty trained, your life consists of playing on the hard wood floor, keeping them entertained on the toilet so they’ll sit there, and cleaning up pee puddles. Day in and day out until the job is done. It’s hellish, exhausting, and hands down the worst part of toddler-hood. Add to the equation that I have a 3 year old to take care of & am 6 months pregnant, and you’ll understand why I’ve been putting this off.

I spent the whole day waiting for Ary to pee/cleaning up after she peed on the floor/letting her watch Elmo on YouTube so she would stay on the toilet. The good news is that she was completely distraught every time she had an accident, so I think she’ll potty train a lot faster than Eowyn, who took 10 weeks. But it was awful being holed up in the house all day when it was the most perfect summer day outside. Tyler took Eowyn out for a bit after dinner because she was going stir crazy, but then poor Ary was standing at the sliding door crying, “Outside! Outside!” It absolutely broke my heart. I finally was able to distract her by reading to her.

My poor back is aching like no other from all of the floor time on the hard wood. But I successfully kept all accidents off of the carpet. And Ary was kind enough to poop in her diaper this morning before we started, so we avoided that catastrophe today.

There was one point today where I was cleaning up pee again while Ary was crying on the toilet and I kept having to tell Eowyn to stay away so she wouldn’t step in the pee. “But Mom, sissy dropped her shoe in the toilet!” I finished cleaning the floor and went in the bathroom to clean Ary. Sure enough, her sandal was in the toilet.

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While I was cleaning the sandal, Eowyn yells, “NOOOOOO!!!” I turn around to find that Ary had ripped out half a story from their Bible.

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While I was hot gluing that back together, Ary went into the bathroom and started opening up my sanitary pads.

When she wasn’t dropping sandals in the toilet, she was doing this to the toilet paper:

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There was no break at nap time either. No sooner had I sat down, put my feet up and read 2 pages of Game of Thrones when I hear Eowyn yelling, “MOOOOOMMMM!!” I hobble upstairs to find Ary mid-air, straddling her crib & Eowyn’s bed. She looked up at me and let out a distressed, “AHHH!” Of course today would be the day that she is finally successful in climbing out of her crib. So on top of beginning potty training, we also had to switch her crib into a toddler bed so she wouldn’t kill herself. Needless to say, nap consisted of the girls messing around for an hour before I finally threw in the towel and let them get up.

And I can’t even have a glass of wine, because I’m pregnant with another baby who will eventually put me through this hell that is potty training.

Thank God they at least fell asleep without any trouble for bed time. Now I’m off to steam all the germs from my floors and wash the pee soaked towels in preparation for them to get peed on again tomorrow.

Cheers to Mommy-hood and all it’s glory!

For When the Baby Poops on the Carpet

Baby Ary has this habit of taking her diaper off the second I put it on. I suppose she just prefers to run through life naked as a jay bird. However, she’s not potty trained nor is she ready to be potty trained, so I must insist that she wears a diaper. She can run around in just the diaper (which she does every day, no matter if it’s snowing outside), but she must wear the diaper. I know–I’m such a mean mom. There’s no reasoning with this kid though, so I have to duct tape her diaper every single time I change it.

We had oatmeal this morning and Ary made an exceptional mess with it. It was all over her hair (even in the back!), all over her bib and her shirt (what’s the point of the bib, again?), and all over the outside of her diaper. I tried spot cleaning her hair, but it was too far gone; she needed a bath. I didn’t want to let her rub her oatmeal diaper all over the stairs though, and I was not going to carry her and get it all over myself, so I decided the best option was to change her quickly. I didn’t want to waste a diaper by ducting taping it shut because, what are the odds that she’d pee in the next 5 minutes? But then of course, I had to use the restroom. She was very focused on JoJo’s Circus, so I stole away to the bathroom quickly. From the toilet I heard the tell-tale riiiip of the velcro tab coming off of the diaper. I wash my hands and run out to find Ary standing in her own poop with the diaper swung around her shoulder like a bandelier. When she saw me she tried to run behind the couch to hide, but I caught her after she took one step.

Then I stood there holding her above the ground so she couldn’t do anymore damage with her poop feet, wondering what the heck I was supposed to do next. There really should be a, “Policies and Procedures for Baby Pooping on Carpet” class that they make you take in high school. It would have been much more useful than the Geometry class that I barely got through only to never use geometry in my life ever again. After 30 seconds of running through my options in my panicked mind, I decided it would be best to throw her in the bath and deal with the poopy carpet afterwards.

Thankfully, I was able to get all the toys out of the tub before she contaminated them, eliminating those from my disinfect list. After I got her cleaned up and in a fresh DUCT TAPED diaper, I set her and her sister up in their playroom with Disney Jr. and went to battle with the poop on the white living room carpet.

I thought I would share with you all how I managed to get nasty, dark poop out of the white carpet, in case you have/ end up with a Baby Ary of your own.

Here’s the before picture:

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Obviously, remove the clumped piles of poop first. Thankfully, we always have disposable gloves in the house for such a day as this. Then I used my secret weapon: hydrogen peroxide. This $.80 bottle kills germs and removes stains and is safe to use on colors. I don’t like using bleach because it’s such a harsh chemical, and I’ve ruined too many clothing items by leaning on a kitchen counter after having cleaned it with bleach. I prefer using stuff like hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, baking soda, and salt to clean.

Anyways, so after you remove the poop, apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain (or stains in my case). Let it sit for 5 minutes, and then pat it down with paper towels until you’ve got most of the peroxide up. Re-apply the peroxide and go through the same process. Repeat this process until the stain is gone. After 4 treatments, my carpet looked like this:

After Peroxide

I probably could have left well enough alone at this point, because the peroxide really did a good job of getting the stain up. But I wanted to be safe, so I pulled out our carpet shampoo system and gave the carpet a good cleaning with a pet odor carpet shampoo (because we occasionally have that problem as well). This is what the carpet looked like after the shampoo:

After Shampoo

So there you have it–when you’re baby poops on the carpet, break out the hydrogen peroxide and no one will ever know!

 

P.S. Hydrogen peroxide is also good as a spot treatment on laundry if you’re ever in a pinch (although I do prefer gel Oxyclean).