Wednesday, April 16, 2014



My phone was full so I had to upload all of my pictures to the computer and to the blog.  I love looking back at these little snapshots of our life that sometimes crawls but is mostly flying by. 
A Sunday afternoon walk with our babies
A post bath hair-do
Those eyes
Spontaneous "Let It Go" karaoke at the milkshake bar
The queen of dress-up
Full of personality
I always Swiffer in heels, don't you?

Potty Training X 2

Fair warning: For anyone not interested in detailed descriptions of all things potty, go ahead and skip this post. 

Potty training happened the week after we got home from Christmas vacation. I had been putting it off because I didn't want to deal toddlers with tiny bladders during a 24+ car trip, but once we got home and back on schedule it was time.  I was lucky to have my sister-in-law, Megan, living with us during this whole ordeal and she was really a HUGE help.  2 adults vs 3 kids is a LOT better than 1 adult vs 3 kids. 
A few days before we were going to start I called a different sister-in-law (she has 5 children who all no longer wear diapers, so I figured she would know what to do), and she gave me the run down on Potty Training Boot Camp.

  1. Prepare to live for 1 week in an area without carpeting.    That meant bring down the toys from the toy room, roll up the living room carpet, put back up the baby-gates to the upstairs, and blockade the entry way using the piano. 
  2. Purchase a very large supply of juice, salty snacks, and potty rewards (in our case: jelly beans, m&ms, and stickers).  Also, rent every available resource from the library that has to do with the bathroom (biggest hits for us: the book "Everyone Poops" and the movie "I gotta go"--full of hit songs like "I'm a hottie for the potty!" and "Pull down, pull on!")
  3. When kids wake up, have a good breakfast, explain about what is going to happen (we're going to go potty on our froggy potties b/c we're big girls, etc etc), and begin to load them up with juice and snacks while watching/reading/talking about all things potty.  
  4. At the first sign of anything interesting happening, rush them to their potties and cheer like a crazy-woman if anything actually makes it into the appropriate receptacle.  Proceed to offer a treat & a sticker.  Make a HUGE deal about the whole process. Throughout the day have mandatory "potty breaks" to give them a chance to succeed.  If necessary, run the sink faucet.
  5. Once they have a few successes, start saying (like a million times/day), "Hey, remember, if you have to go potty, run really fast to the potty!" Or something like that.  Basically so you're reminding them to do a status check, b/c ultimately it's their responsibility to manage the process.  I think this also helped to avoid a power struggle.  
  6. Repeat.  Over. and. over. and. over. 
Savannah picked up on the process pretty darn quickly, and after about 3 days she was almost 100%.
Step 4 in action
Lily, we discovered, has amazing bladder control and would manage to go for hours and hours before she'd give in.  It took her about 6 days before she was reliably there.
The Potty Chart...I'm pretty proud of it actually :)
We started on a Monday and by Thursday we ventured out to the park and used our first public restrooms, Friday we went to the gym for an hour, and on Sunday we made it through church w/ dry underwear (and MANY trips to the bathroom)!
And so are they!
 And by the end of week 2 they would both usually yell out "pee-pee's coming!" and start running for the bathroom without any reminders from me. 
Celebratory bubbles on the driveway
 It was an intense week and I don't know how I would have made it without Megan's constant help, but looking back there isn't really anything I would have done differently.  I made sure to wait until they were both definitely ready (i.e. coming up to me saying, "Mom, will you change my diaper? I just pooped.") and I think that made the process much easier. 

And my diaper bill!  IT'S SO SMALL NOW!