Monday, March 28, 2011

How To Toilet Train Your Kids In One Week Or Less

This is my son Nicholas.  He is adorable, loves music, dancing and dogs.  He is also a free spirit who does not like to take direction.  He prefers to learn on his own, at his own pace and does not like to be told what to do.  His brother Sebastien, is the opposite.  He has the patience to watch and learn and try new things.  Nicholas will watch Sebastien and copy him sometimes.  Both boys were late bloomers in the walking department - Sebastien took a few steps at a time for a few weeks and then started walking.  Nicholas saw his brother do it, and got up and walked.  No baby steps necessary.  I had hoped that toilet training Nicholas would work the same way.  Sebastien responded to the textbook system of rewards with stickers and candy etc and within 3 weeks was fully toilet trained with no more rewards necessary, his sense of accomplishment was reward enough.  So, like walking, I thought Nicholas would watch his brother and just do it.  And I would have the pleasure of toilet training just one.  Not so, unfortunately.

Nicholas had zero interest in using the bathroom.  I was feeling very discouraged as my 2011 new years resolution was to have both boys fully trained by their 4th birthday.  5 days to go before they turned 4, Nicholas still showed no interest.  The rewards didn't work for him.  I read books and looked online for any tips and nothing helped.  I felt like a failure.

I decided that I needed outside help.  So I called Desiree Cluff, a baby consultant of Desiree is known as the baby guru, and friends of mine had sworn by her service.  I talked to her about Nicholas, his temperament, personality and my own concerns.  Desiree put together a program that was specifically tailored to us.  She said it would be difficult and frustrating but to hang in there...that in 3-4 days there would be a breakthrough.  3 days went by and interest from Nicholas, and I was ready to give up.  I would email Desiree to tell her the progress (or rather, lack of it) and she kept my spirits up telling me to hang in there and also giving me more tips on how to handle it. I was so impressed by how available she made herself to me that I couldn't give up.  I would do everything she told me to do. 

Day 4 -  Desiree was right, there was a breakthrough, he asked to make a pee on the toilet, and he did it!  And since then he has been using the toilet regularly.  And I achieved my goal to have both my boys fully trained by their 4th birthday.  Hiring Rockababy was worth every penny!  Now if only I had known about Rockababy when I was trying to sleep train them as babies...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Birthday to my boys!

Today has been like Christmas morning for my boys.  I had hoped to have a party for them at our home for their 4th birthday but, as usual, renovations take longer than you think.  So instead, I had some delicious lemon meringue pie and they got spoiled rotten by family and friends who brought over gifts.  They are very happy and don't care about a party (thank goodness for me!).  Needless to say, I have been left alone to go through thousands of frames to post for you of their first 4 years. 

Sebastien (Twin A) March 21, 2007
Nicholas (Twin B), March 21, 2007
6 days old
April 2007
May 2007
August 2007 
October 2007
February 2008

June 2008
July 2008

August 2008
November 2008

January 2009

February 2009
March 2009
July 2009

September 2009

Christmas morning 2009
February 2010
May 2010 
First Day of Preschool 2010
September 2010

Hallowe'en 2010
January 2011 
February 2011
March 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Tribute to Gaetano

The photographer who has inspired and influenced me the most is by his incredible body of work is Vancouver photographer Gaetano Fasciana.  He is, hands down, my favourite photographer. His style and vision has always taken my breath away and the way he creatively uses natural light leaves me speechless.  He has been a constant source of inspiration for me and I visit his website often to borrow ideas

I feel so honoured to have had Gaetano document the most important events in my life so far - my wedding, my pregnancy, my boys' christening and most recently a much needed portrait of myself with my two boys shot a year ago today.

I called his cell number today as I have been hoping to get some updated portraits of myself. His mother answered and told me that he passed away this past Sunday after a long, long battle with cancer.  I am so sad.  I will never see him again, or hear his voice, or have him photograph me and my family again.  I knew it was coming, but I was hoping that it was not going to be so soon.

The world has lost a burning, creative force. We will remember him by the iconic legacy of mesmerizing images created over his amazing career.  He was not just an amazing photographer, but an amazing person.  I often told him he was the most spiritually evolved person I had ever met.  Every time I look through the viewfinder to compose a shot, I think of Gaetano and wonder, would he shoot this subject, in this way, or would he approve of my vision?   Any advice he has given me is like gold and I treasure it.  Being with Gaetano, I experienced authenticity and the divine.  I always left his presence being inspired in some way.

I cannot grab any photos from his webpage to post here, so please visit and be inspired.  I have no doubt you will find his work as incredible as I did.

I leave you now some of my favourite images he took on my wedding day and my sons' christening.