Potty Train in 24 Hours?!

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You probably clicked on this post because of the amazing title, right?! So we are in the middle of potty training the second child. It’s also our first experience with a boy. I have read EVERY 3-day training guide that is out there. I’ve asked for tips and tricks from other moms. I have had dreams about Toy Story and Mickey undies and lots and lots of laundry. Then we started!! I was ready. I was amped! I was going to get my son potty trained in 3 days, if not less!! And…… it failed.

So while there are a ton of moms out there who are claiming the 3-day potty training guide works, it did not for us. OK— so I will also admit that I was not FULLY committed. I was not ready to throw away ALL diapers/pull ups in the name of my sanity. Rest time and bed time were non-negotiable times of the day that we used these. Being a military wife and dealing with potty training with a boy on my own, I wanted to keep my limited sanity of not cleaning sheets twice a day (or more) and I’m pretty sure my washing machine is also singing my praises and thanking me for this decision. I can ONLY handle so much bodily fluid in one day. Between dog walks, a 4 year old daughter who still needs some bathroom help, and a potty training 2 year old, I had to set limits!

So, why the post, you ask?! While the 3-day method didn’t work, I have found some success. Are we fully potty trained yet? No, but we are well on our way. He turns 3 next week and I would love to be over the hump before then. So I am going to share what I have done and maybe it will help someone else in the wide world of the internet!

Is your child ready?

This always seems to be the first step. I was told by lots of people that I will know when he is ready to start potty training. Even my daughter, at 18 months, started to show interest in the potty without any attempt from me, so why wouldn’t my second? We had only one indication. It was much like a war zone. He would find a hiding place, set up camp, keep a look out, and defend his territory if we began to advance. All so he could poop in “private.” OK– this MUST be the indication he is ready, so I followed the books and pumped him with water, juice, milk– whatever liquid I could entice him with and placed him on the potty every 15 minutes. HUGE MISTAKE.

Feeling the pressure

He began to feel the pressure of being put on the potty every 15 minutes. I mean, I was totally cool, calm, and collected. I couldn’t imagine why he didn’t want to go on the potty through my screams and cries of pee on the floor that I had to mop up for the 20th time that day, all happening 30 seconds after he screamed to get off the potty because he was done. He clearly wasn’t ready. I clearly wasn’t ready.

Bring in reinforcements

If you have a spouse at home to help, FANTASTIC!!! They can be the one who leaves the house and worries about the grocery shopping or the errand running or the chauffeuring the other kid(s). OR you make sure you are all on the same plan and it allows YOU to sneak away for a short period of time. This step is HUGE. I had my parents in town for a weekend and it was the perfect time to introduce the “no diaper while we are awake” concept. I was able to still run to the store or make sure my poor 4 year old wasn’t house bound for 3 days because her brother was being potty trained. My parents were on the same page as me and it allowed me to always have one adult at home with him so we weren’t tempting fate. Then they went back home and I fell apart. More because I can’t be house bound for a week. My oldest has preschool; I work in the afternoons; we have babysitters. It wasn’t practical and all that progress went right out the window because I immediately reverted back to pull-ups.

The last straw

I’m anxious for my boy to be ready for camps this summer and school in the fall. The whole being diaper free is just icing on the cake. We are back to the idea of wearing undies at all times when we are in our house (minus rest/bed time). We have had HUGE success this time around. I’m keeping the pressure low and the enthusiasm high. He gets 2 M&Ms for each time he pees. He especially loves yellow ones, so this is our incentive. It doesn’t work every time, but it works enough. Wearing his favorite characters is also a pretty big incentive… although having Mickey on the pull-up sort of defeats this incentive some days. When we make some ground on the #2, I will update this post. Until then, feel free to share your best potty training tips— for boys or girls or if you can provide us with a good laugh with an experience, I would love to hear it!

To all the mamas potty training, may the force and the Clorox wipes be with you!

When a village doesn’t feel like a village

We are in a unique world. Sitting with some friends this week, we had a very interesting conversation about where our expectation of being a “perfect” mom comes from and what we think a perfect mom does. My two cents was that we see the “perfect” moments people photographer-16022_1920share on Facebook. You know- the picture of the perfectly dressed kid making the most perfect bubble with the most perfect smile with the most perfect caption of being a perfect day with their perfect child and everyone is happy and healthy and perfect. You know those pictures? Except we don’t see the tantrum right after the picture was taken, a perfect bubble solution puddle developed and the wand and bottle were thrown in a tantrum or the mess of a mom on the other side of the camera. We don’t see the other kid swing upside down from the front steps throwing rocks and sticks. (OK– maybe this is just at my house?!)

So I find that we need a village to talk to, vent to, bounce ideas off of, but it’s hard to come by. We don’t live in the times of all stay at home moms who are doing their laundry together while their kids play in unison somewhere in the neighborhood. We don’t live during the times of one big casserole feeding a family of 8 and everyone is sitting down at the table at 6pm sharp. We live in a world of trying to buy the most perfect, organic, non-GMO food, preparing the best gourmet meals no kid  anyone would eat, while washing our clothes in the most environmentally stable detergent, and signing our kids up for all the top activities in town and we barely get a sit down dinner.

Our villages have turned virtual because that is the world we live in. So what’s the problem?! The problem is that people monitor and make rules to these virtual villages. By sharing a personal blog post, it’s look upon as “selling one’s ideas” and that topics need to be shared that are interesting to everyone. A village isn’t about what is convenient, happy, and perfect all the time, that’s why we need it. It’s about brainstorming ideas or thoughts around with others, venting when things get hard, looking for support when support is needed.

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I’ve decided this week (after my last post) that I don’t want to be a “perfect” mom. I want to be a mom who supports my kids’ ideas and emotions. I want to be the mom who other moms can come to knowing there is no judgement. I want to be the mom that embraces all parenting styles, regardless if it’s my own parenting style or not. I want to be the mom that when people stop to think about who they can trust, rely on, bounce ideas off of, vent to, that I come to mind. I want to be the mom that someone can drop by for a cup of coffee, tea, or wine and know it’s a safe place. I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m not saying I have this parenting thing down, but I can confidently say that I will always do my best to be the most inclusive as I can possibly be. I can confidently say that even if I don’t agree with a decision you make, I will never make you feel judged or wrong just because I don’t agree. I can confidently say that I will do my absolute best to be the role model I want my daughter to have so she can continue in this light one day when she becomes a mom. I want to be a mom who NEEDS a village and is part of a village.

Let’s go forth, supporting each other in a true, real way! KEEP GOING, MAMA! You are a strong, amazing, wonderful mom and we are here to support you 100%!

 

No Sick Days for Mom

Yes, I have been completely MIA for a while. One kid went down with the stomach bug. One kid came down with a small virus. I came down with the same virus, plus a little extra. What is the absolute worst is that there is no room for moms to get sick. There is also being a little under the weather and dealing with a cold and then there is also being stuck on the couch with a fever and not being able to move.

Here’s what I learned quickly these last two weeks— 1. I needed help, 2. I need a good soup in my repertoire, 3. it’s OK to lay on the couch dying while my kids watch TV for more than 24 hours.

I needed help.

Yes, I needed to call on some of my dearest friends to help. With husband away, I could barely get off the couch and I had to call upon a friend to help bring my kids to school and to take them for a few hours while I rested. It was not an easy thing to ask, but she was so gracious and offered way more than I needed. That is what a true friend does, they don’t ask what you need, they just do. As a mom and woman, we have a hard time asking for help, even when someone says, “What can I do?” Our answer is always, “nothing. I am fine.” when really we aren’t. This friend took it upon herself to take my youngest out and about and it was the best gift anyone could do for me.

Good soup

I was blessed to have two friends bring over some of the most delicious soup I have had in a long time, especially since I’m not a big soup eater. I was even able to repeat one of the recipes and send it off to another friend of mine during a time she needed a little help. Let me share this amazing recipe with you:

  • 1lb chicken thighs
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup colored baby carrots
  • 20 minutes in the instant pot and then add 1 cup of cooked jasmine rice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I was also given Tastefully Simple’s Creamy Wild Rice soup which was DELICIOUS with a little added chicken!

It’s OK to lack in the mom department

My kids have been on a TV binge for a few days. They played a little on their own, they both went off to school and gym class, but mostly while they are home, they are sitting in front of the TV watching Disney Junior, and you know what, I’m OK with it. I have a voice that barely works, a throat that is killing me, and a fever that won’t seem to vanish so whatever it takes for them to sit quietly and be good, I was all for it.

Sometimes we have to remember we can’t be super mom– maybe some of you can, but I certainly cannot. I very much needed the help provided me and I cannot be more grateful to have a support system that I have. I have learned from those who cared for me and hope to return the favor to them when I can. While that is not what friendship is about (one act for another), when we care about our friends, we do what we need to to help them out and I’m so blessed to have people who wanted and did help me so I can get back to being Super MOM status.

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That’s What Friends Are For…

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Over the last few weeks, I have watch my kids adapt to new adventures in their lives- one off to preschool for the second year and the other off to different playgroups with and without me. My oldest came home after the first week of school and told me about all the fun she had with the two friends she went to school knowing and then began telling me about her newest best friend. She has gone off to dance class for the first time talking about dancing with all her new friends (who she only met once). I have witnessed my youngest go up to any other kid on the playground, his age or not, and get them to chase him and play with him. I look at them in amazement. These two beautiful children can interact, play with, and make claims that they have a new best friend without even knowing the other kids’ names. My daughter cannot name half of the kids she plays with, but at the same time, she can most certainly name all of her closest friends.

I wish I could remember when making friends was so easy. Being a stay at home mom, I find it that much more difficult to find friends. My husband goes off to work every day and can have adult conversations, without distraction, or eat a meal with a coworker and get to know them. I, on the other hand, have a little bit more of a challenge. I’m blessed to have a husband who understands I need moms’ night outs. I feely guilty when I talk to him about wanting to go because I enjoy being home with my husband and family and hubby and I already have limited time together, but it’s also important for me to have girl friends.

I like to be surrounded by people. Happy people. Genuine people. I have some great friends from high school and college who I will always love and cherish and I can always pick up the phone and talk, but they live hundreds of miles away and I needed friends that were close by.

I have found a few friends in the 4 years of my daughter’s life that I have become close with. We found each other by being in the same gym class with our kids or through a network of moms in the area. It hasn’t really been until this last year, though, that I have found a solid group of friends. The type of friends that you can call when something is bothering you. The type of friend that you can disturb their morning and cry about something. The type of friend that when something amazing happens, they are one of the first people you want to tell. The type of friend that you can find comfort in, experience joys and successes with, love them and their families like your own. I have finally found my friends, but it was not an easy journey and it’s also not over.

A true friend is like finding a husband. You have to mesh. You have to have similar ideologies, parenting styles, passions, likes, dislikes, and be in the same page of your life. Just like finding a husband, you have to “date” others to find the right match. I have shown who I am has a person (mom, wife, and friend) and have been dismissed by some. I have also been lead on by others who later dumped me so harshly. I have seen that making friends now, in my 20s, is very much like making friends in middle school– there are cliques and “I’m going to pretend to be someone I’m not” and good-weathered friends.

In the end though, we all learn from every relationship we have because we have invested ourselves into it and we learn about ourselves, we learn about the other person, and we continue to grow and move forward. I am lucky that I have found some amazing people. They have seen me soar and fall and no matter what, they are there. They have supported me, they have talked me off the cliff (not literally), they have told me the truth and I have done the same. You never have to pretend you are someone you are not with a true friend. You don’t have to pretend you have it all together and do life alone. You don’t have to be ashamed when you need help.

Here’s to all the amazing friends we have had, that we still have, and will continue to have. I truly believe every person comes into your life for a reason- embrace your journey, learn from your journey, and continue to be yourself!