Archive for February, 2008

Its Potty Time!

Posted by Amanda on February 29th, 2008

Monday morning we started officially potty training Kathryn.  Gone were her diapers (except for sleeping).  I went with her a few weeks ago to buy some panties.  She was very excited about them, though.

Potty training is something I have been dreading since before Kathryn was born.  I just had no idea how to do it and was really afraid of accidents.  So I asked someone in our branch that has a daughter one year older than Kathryn.  She recommended a book, “Potty Training made Easy, Fast, & Simple”, by Johanne Cesar.  It sounded reasonable to us (since I had no idea what to do), and was also similar to what Andrea had told me, so we decided to try it.

We set a timer and when it went off, we took Kathryn to the potty.  Darryl put the Veggietales theme song chorus as the timer music.  Monday I set the timer for 10 minute increments, Tuesday 20-30 minutes, by Friday I didn’t use the timer, but just took her once an hour.  For Kathryn this worked well, because the first day she was going quite a bit – a little at a time.  But Friday just going once an hour she didn’t have any accidents.  We obviously still have a long way to go.  She hasn’t yet told us that she needs to go.  We just take her and she goes.  But I do feel encouraged.

It is interesting to see how all children are different.  From what we have heard and read, incentives can play a big part in potty training.  The first day we started giving Kathryn stickers when she actually went on the potty.  By the end of the day she didn’t care about stickers.  Then we moved to candy.  By the end of Wednesday that didn’t mean anything, either.  So we really aren’t using anything as incentive. 

I’m looking forward to not using/buying so many diapers.  Of course, she went through 4 diapers during one of her naps this week.  She kept getting up and wanting to use the potty right after wetting in her diaper.  But Kathryn isn’t ready to go nap-less.  And neither am I.

So we’ll just keep taking her to the potty regularly and asking if she needs to go.  We welcome tips from anyone!

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Language Acquisition Part I

Posted by Amanda on February 26th, 2008

I’ve realized over the past few years that all of the things I grew up saying may not be what everyone else is saying.  I’ll call them Harrison sayings.  Here are a couple, and I welcome any other sayings you Harrisons or Harrison in-laws have noticed and wish to add. 

“Eensy Weensy Spider” – I had always sung this song as “eensy weensy” until I was singing it with Kathryn and Darryl said it should be “itsy bitsy”.  I was clinging to the “eensy weensy” version until I heard the photographer at the Harrison Family Reunion (Summer 2006).  We were trying to get a picture of all the grandchildren with Grandma and Grandpa but half of the kids were crying so we all lined up to sing “eensy weensy spider”.  I heard the photographer saying “itsy bitsy”…  FYI, Kathryn now sings it “eensy beensy” which is a nice combination, I think.

“Hook” – Apparently the word “hook” is not a universal attachment word.  I have used “hook” all my life for anything that attaches.  We hook puzzle pieces in, hook magents on the fridge, hook legos together, hook a lot of things together.  Darryl pointed out that to “hook” is actually very particular.  I am trying to expand my vocabulary to use words like buckle, fit, velcro, stick, plug, etc.  I did notice this word in MaryAnn’s blog today, and Darryl claims to have heard it a lot by various people in our family.  But in my heart of hearts, I believe that you really do “hook” puzzle pieces in.

“Huh” – This may just be used when talking to little kids.  I used to say it all the time to Kathryn – “Daddy will come home for dinner, huh.”  Then Kathryn started saying it to Amelia.  And we did catch both Grandma and Grandpa Harrison saying “huh” to Kathryn on the webcam last week.  Darryl apparently never says this word so he thinks it is funny that I say it so much when I talk to Kathryn and Amelia.

“Apple Bread” – This isn’t really a saying, but the thing.  I grew up eating apple bread every year and I think it is just heavenly.  I never had banana bread (that I can remember) until I was 18 years old one morning at seminary.  But since I have left home, I always talk about and bake apple bread in the Fall, and no one has ever heard of it.  Everyone thinks it is the strangest thing ever.  This is one thing where I am sure that the rest of the world is missing out!

Former Red Army Day and Marriage Therapy

Posted by Amanda on February 24th, 2008

February 23rd was Former Red Army Day, also known as Men’s Day in Ukraine.  We didn’t celebrate Men’s Day per se, but we did have a great Friday evening.  We went with the two other couples in our branch, and two senior missionary couples to another senior missionary couple’s apartment for a nice dinner and presentation by Sister Lee (one of the senior sister missionaries) on marriage.  She was a part time marriage therapist for 30 years, so we joked that we were going to marriage therapy.

What a treat!  First, a couple of ILP girls came to babysit Kathryn and Amelia.  This is a treat for Kathryn because she gets lots of attention.  Amelia doesn’t like her mommy to leave, but she went to bed shortly after I left, so hopefully it wasn’t too bad for her or the babysitters.  It is a treat for Darryl and me because we can go somewhere ourselves, and the babysitters even did the dishes!  The delicious meal was a real treat.  A roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, a really yummy salad.   

The presentation was an even better treat.  She said so many wonderful things, and shared some of her experiences.  The most interesting thing to me was this:  She said when we think of our most important relationship, we always say “family”.  But truly the most important relationship is marriage.  You can get to the Celestial Kingdom without your children, but not without your spouse.

The last treat (besides the cookies and candy) was being with the senior missionary couples.  Both Darryl and I experienced this treat on our missions, but we are rediscovering the wisdom and wonderfulness of senior missionaries.  We loved hearing about their families, their experiences, etc.  One of the newer couples lives very near to us – he is the doctor for the Eastern European Area besides Russia.  Two of the senior missionaries had served together in Germany many years ago!  It was great to associate with them.  We rode the metro home with some of them, and Darryl and I both thought how cool and tough they were!

Oh, Well

Posted by Amanda on February 22nd, 2008

On Sunday I invited Anny, a Ukrainian member in our branch, to dinner on Monday and to talk about some Relief Society things (she is my counselor).  Darryl was going out of town so I thought it would be nice to have someone over.  Then Darryl ended up staying in town, and Anny never called, so I thought she wasn’t going to come, and figured it was for the best. 

As we were finishing up our dinner (which happened to be the very fancy macaroni and cheese with hotdogs) we got a phone call and it was Anny downstairs asking which apartment was ours!  Oops!  I quickly set a place for her, and was glad we had enough food.  Of course it was pretty embarrassing that we had already eaten!

The house was pretty much a mess, and while she was eating her dinner Kathryn fell out of her chair and landed on her head, and Amelia was crying (she has major separation anxiety right now and probably thought she was getting a babysitter).  Kathryn also spilled her milk, maybe during the fall, I can’t remember.  Part of me was feeling terrible, but part of me was remembering something a wise mother once told me.

I was returning a book to her last summer and decided to stop by on the way home from Safeway.  I knocked on the door and she invited me in for a few minutes.  She has four children, the youngest two are near the ages of Kathryn and Amelia.  There were toys all over the floor, and blankets, diapers, etc.  She said, “I love when people just stop by and they can see that my house isn’t always clean!”  I believe most people clean (or at least tidy) when we know someone is coming over.  But most of us probably have toys, clothes, diapers, books strewn about the rest of the time. 

So Anny saw our “real house” and I don’t think she was fazed one bit.  She is a nanny, after all!  I do like a clean house, and well behaved children, but I love the idea of knowing that I’m not the only one with a messy house sometimes.