Saturday, July 25, 2009

Potty Party!

My grandson will soon turn three. He loved his nursery school class last year so much, he never missed a day. But for his three-year-old program, he must be potty trained. Julie and I realized there were only about six weeks to get the job done. We got a book from the library that I had heard was a recommended approach to potty training called, Potty Train Your Child In Just One Day. The idea is to spend one full day, mother and child alone, first having the pair "teach" a baby doll to go on the potty, then the rest of the day teaching the child. After reading the book, we planned the party, shopped for decorations, and ordered a male doll that "goes". Julie chose a day when Paul and I would be at work, and Kristin and Robert made plans to be tucked away in their rooms unseen in the morning, and off to their activities in the afternoon.

Here is the potty room on Monday night, the night before the party:

Two gifts for Tyler: a Thomas stuffed pillow pal (the party had a Thomas the Tank Engine theme) and the Corolle Potty Doll "Paul", wrapped up for Tyler to open

Step-stool for getting on and off the potty, stickers for his "successes" to be put on a potty chart, potty-themed books to read while on the pot, boxes of flushable wipes, and a Thomas train storage case, which was temporarily filled with little treats to be given initially for "attempts" and then for "successes"

The Potty Chart, waiting to be filled in with stickers

Julie was utterly exhausted the evening after the party, somewhat discouraged because Tyler had only gone on the potty twice succesfully, and certainly wasn't trained in one day. But with gentle reinforcement, every day this week we are seeing him improve so much (several times telling us he needed to go instead of us having to encourage him at intervals) that we are astonished!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Playing Harp Again

After months of a creative abyss, I have begun playing my harp again. I would play sporadically, but I was not working in a manner that would improve my playing or prepare a piece for performance. There is nothing worse than a lull in creativity. This affected not only my harp playing, but my sewing as well. The problem was a combination of stress, work overload, and taking care of everyone but myself. But I have taken steps to alleviate that (having Julie take more control of Tyler's care, being more assertive at work with not being sucked into working more shifts than I want to, having my children do more chores, and not feeling guilty about having a life outside of housework, family care, and work).

So, I am working on the following pieces:

  1. La Source by Alphonse Hasselmans (difficult, challenging piece, totally gorgeous)
  2. Romanza (guitar piece, anonymous composer/arranged for harp by Barbara Brundage)
  3. Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Foster (19th century nostalgic piece)
  4. Requiem by John Rutter (piece for choir and orchestra, to be performed by my church choir in the spring)

One thing I know is that life is very dull without music, and I am so glad that I can be creative in this way.

My pedal harp, a Salvi Diana