Thursday, August 23, 2012
My days are so different with the older girls gone at school.
I've never had this time alone with Leighton before.
And I love it.
And she loves it too.
She's only asked once in almost 2 weeks where they are.
She's always been a mommy hog.
And I'll hog up every minute I can get with her as well.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
|aside from the absurd mouse tail, could these pull-ups be cuter?|
I am no expert on potty training. I haven't written any potty books or produced any potty videos, but I have discovered several truths that have helped me make it though this final round of it. So for all my friends with soon to be trained toddlers of their own, I hope this helps.
Truth #1 You have to do what works for your child and for you.
Every mom has their fool proof method...pull ups, definitely no pull ups, panties, training pants, diapers, cloth diapers, and completely bunsie (our term for naked around here), pump the liquids, restrict the liquids, give candy rewards, use sticker charts, sit on the pot every 15 minutes, sit on the pot all day, never leave the house, bring your port-a-potty with you wherever you go...and on and on. Everyone will give you their two cents. But the truth is, every child is different and you have to do what works for your child and for you.
Truth #2 At first, you are not potty training your child. You are potty training yourself.
It takes a good while before they actually tell you they need to go. For weeks its you telling them, "Its time to go". Not "Do you have to go potty?" or "Do you want to go potty?" Because 99% off the time they will answer these questions with a big fat NO! But its not up to them yet, its up to you (I'm realizing this idea goes way beyond potty training and is a major parenting theme here...)
Truth #3 You have to be consistent.
The biggest part of this "self potty training" for me is consistency (like taking her to the potty every 30 minutes) which means I can't get distracted and let too much time go by, or run long errands without taking her to the bathroom. It has to be on the forefront of my mind all day (thank God for naps when I can escape potty on the brain!). And I can't let the fact that she doesn't feel like going and may make a fuss keep me from being consistent. Sometimes its going to be a battle. I've had to strong arm a "stiff as a board" child into a sitting position on the potty many a time.
Truth #4 You can potty train with diapers.
For me, the accidents have a tendency to put me over the edge (especially on carpet and furniture). So I've been using diapers for the last week. I know if I'm lazy with her and let her go potty in her diaper, it will just take me that much longer to train her. And she doesn't seem to have a preference for diapers, pullups, or panties at this point. She will pee in them all if I let her. Since pullups are more expensive and I've got a truckload of leftover diapers, we are using those for now. After several days of being dry all day (or when my diaper supply starts to run low), I'll just put her in a diaper when we are out or for sleeping, and brave the panties at home.
Truth #5 Liquids are scary but necessary.
Leighton is the queen of the sipee so she is drinking 6+ cups of water/juice/milk a day. This allows her to pee every time she sits on the potty. We don't have long sessions of waiting on the potty because she constantly has a full bladder. Giving your child tons of liquids may seem like its going to make more work for you (and it may at first), but I think they need to have lots of opportunities to go before they can understand what's going on.
Truth # 6 Number two is a whole different game.
Please note I am just talking about peeing here. Number two is a different ball game. She still is pooping in her diaper (or the floor!) if I let her out of my sight. The only thing I can do is watch her like a hawk and as soon as I see her starting to grunt it out, run her to the potty. Number two does have warning signals. It's the least it can do.
Truth #7 Potty training really is easier when they are "ready"
So far this time around, we've had a lot of success. Leighton is staying dry all day (after 1 week) and waking up from bed and naps dry too. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that she was physically and mentally ready for it (she is 2 1/2 years old). I feel like I tried too early with Brooklyn (thus the 12 pairs of wet panties) and had to give it another go a few months later (with more success). There is a physiological element to being able to hold your bladder as well as a behavioral maturity factor that make a big difference. I'm sure this is proven in science somewhere.
And lastly, it's okay if you take the slow road at this. Its okay to quit and plan to start at it again later. Its okay if all your friends' kids are potty experts before yours. Its okay if it takes 10,000 pullups to do the job. Its okay if you set the potty chair in the middle of the living room in front of the TV. Its okay if your child pees in the cart every time you go to Target. Its okay. You will get there, and so will they.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
Ellie is a officially a kindergartener!
And Brooklyn is a big Second Grader!
After much begging and pleading they simply refuse to stop growing.
(And apparently I refuse to stop changing out my patio cushions!)
Brooklyn and Ellie,
May you girls be greatly blessed this school year. My prayer for you is that you will grow in understanding and knowledge, not only of the world around you, but more importantly of God's great love for you. May you always do your best, be a good friend, and shine your light for Jesus. I love you and will miss you every second you are away.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
My husband grew up spending lots of time at his grandparent's house on Lake Nolin in Kentucky. Now the second generation of grand kids gets to do the same. We make the drive up from Nashville, watching fields of corn, tobacco and hay fly by, listening to "are we there yet?" dozens of times, and stopping at the DQ on the way if we're lucky. We enter through the side door (the sticky front door has given my father-in-law fits and remains permanently locked now) and immediately start in on boxes of cheezits, homemade treats, and lake popsicles (only called that because they are always at the lake). We make the trek down to the dock through the forest (trying to avoid chiggers and their nasty bites) and spend hours here fishing, swimming, snacking, and loving our time together. We strap on life jackets and head out in the boat to the swimming cove to cool down and relax. And let it be known, I actually got in the water more than ever this year. Mommies do get wet apparently.
on the dock
at the cove
Friday, August 10, 2012
This is a magical place. More magical than Disneyland to my girls. Sadly, we are only lucky enough to visit once or twice a year. But we love every minute of it. Memories made at Grandma's house are not quickly forgotten. And must be duplicated year after year. Same Popsicles, same blow up bed, same Lucky Charms, same bird-feeding, same popcorn, same videos, same ride in Grandpa's convertible...
Watching barges on the river from the back yard. Seriously who has a river in their back yard? I told you it was magical. And look at those clouds. Clearly not California clouds. Magical clouds.
Conversations with Grandma. Serious or silly, she soaks in every word.
And the girls soak in all the attention.
Swinging from the old oak tree. A real tree. Big enough to hold a swing.
Totally foreign to these suburban girls.
Hanging in Champ's pen. Why is it fun for kids to hang out in animal cages? I totally remember playing in a dog house as a kids. Disgusting. Grandma's house is where they get to pretend that have pets. And then beg us for a dog or cat for weeks following. And be sadly denied.
Grandma always takes time to sew with the girls (something I'm not quite patient enough to do). Grandmas excel in patience. Ellie had her first go at the machine this year. She loved to go slow taking her time and then floor it. Typical Ellie style. Her pillow will be accompanying her to kindergarten.
Leighton was headed to Tennessee this year with two things on her mind. This dog...
and this cat. If you asked her who she was going to see in Nashville it was Champ and Shadow, not Grandma and Grandpa. She and Shadow were best friends until she didn't take heed to Shadow's "give me some space kid" purr and got scratched, twice.
We love this long walk on the greenway. Brooklyn and Grandma walk and talk together most of the way, looking at flowers, birds. Grandma knows the names of them all. And then she arranges for fireflies to light our way home. I told you...magical.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Well I almost forgot where the "new post" button was it has been so long. Can't really say what I've been doing with all my time, but its been full for sure. We had a rather laid back summer this year. No lessons, camps, VBS, or anything organized going on around here. Each day had a flow of its own. It was really good for us. So good to slow down and do what we really wanted to do for that day. Sometimes something exciting (like a trip to the ER for Ellie's second busted chin), and sometimes something simple (like homemade Wendy's frostys).
Of course a few projects kept me busy on quiet afternoons. Projects like printing out all these instas from the past year. Costco prints on 8x8 paper so its really easy to make a square collage and get 16 tiny memories on each one. Then you can cut them into strips, individuals, or leave them whole. And they deliver right to your door. But wouldn't you rather go pick them up and a get a giant swirl of frozen yogurt while you are at it? I know I would.
PS-No clue how I ended up with 3 of Leighton in the Skyfari at the zoo. Bonus points for you if you noticed!