The Taynors

The Taynors

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Potty Training Adventures

Last Friday we officially started potty training (RJ was just short of 30 months old).  Up to that point, he was showing some interest in going on the potty, and he would do it occasionally if we initiated it, but we were not actually in training mode.

I think the hardest part about it so far is that I was clueless.  I have never had a toddler before, I had no idea how the process should work.  I did a little bit of research, I know there are a million different methods and strategies available on the internet.  But there was not one certain plan that worked for our schedule.  I can't do the 3-4 days home with no where to go and nothing to do but potty train, our schedule is way to busy.  And I am not strict enough to set timers to remember to go every 20 minutes.  But I also wanted to be consistent so that he understood the change and knew what was going on.

So my plan was this... we started on a Friday because I was off from work from Friday-Sunday.  We made a big deal about starting to wear big boy underwear and getting rid of the diapers leading up to Friday.  That morning when he woke up, we took off his diaper, threw it out, and never put one on again.  To get use to the idea, I let him run around with no clothes except his new undies.  Then I would just bring him to the bathroom every 20-30 minutes.  He was off to a good start... he only had 2 accidents that day and he did actually go to the bathroom every time I brought him there.

This idea continued, but on Saturday and Sunday we had things to do so we couldn't just stay home and potty train.  For the most part he did well, but I found the more I transitioned back and forth between pull ups when we were out in public and underwear when we were home, the more confused he got.  He wasn't doing awful, but he wasn't getting the idea of telling me when he had to go and he was confused about when he was allowed to go in a pull up vs. when he had to make it to the bathroom so he didn't have an accident.

So I refocused on Sunday night and planned to put my inlaws to work on Monday since they were in charge all day while I worked.  The rule was only underwear all day, no pull ups allowed, even if they wanted to go out.  He had a really good day, went on the potty every time he had to go, but still wasn't the one to tell us it was time.  He did have one accident, and of course it was while they were out of the house at the StrideRight buying sneakers (I'm sure it wasn't the first time they had an accident in their store).  Overall it was a good day.

Then that night we had another revelation.  After his bath I let him run around naked for the rest of the night.  After a little while, he was in his room playing and I was doing laundry, and I heard him call "Mommy, Pee-Pee!!" and he ran to the bathroom.  We made it in time and he did his business in the potty.  This was the first time he made the connection he had to go, and got to the potty all by himself. 

The next day I was home with him again so I cleared the schedule and declared it NAKED DAY!  No clothes at all, not even undies.  If the night before he was able to feel the urge to go when he was naked, maybe thats what he needed.  It was worth a try.  Again, things were not disasterous, but we still had work to do.

Well naked time worked.  Every single time he had to go, he told me first and he made it to the potty.  He had a perfect day!  Wednesday morning, he had to go to my Aunt Lindas house when I went to work.  I was a little bit worried because this was the first real test.  My aunt said she did have errands to run, so she put him in a pull up so that she did not have to worry about it.  As I thought would happen, as soon as he was in the pull up, he forgot about using the potty and had a few accidents in the pull up.  That afternoon when we got him back home, we went back to naked time and he went back to only using the potty.

Thursday morning was the next test.  I told my inlaws no pull ups no matter what, only naked or underwear!  They did a good job and followed my rules!  But the true test was that he had an hour car ride to Grandma and Grandpas house and then another hour ride home.  Both were successful with no accidents!!!  Yay!  I feel like he is definitely getting it.

To sum up, its now Saturday afternoon and he has been accident free since lunch time on Wednesday.  We have been to stores, my dads softball game, in the pool, and in the car and he has told us every time he has to go to the bathroom.  I know we are not totally in the clear yet, but we are definitely in good shape and I am super proud of him.

In conclusion, here are my tips that seem to help the process....

1.  Try (even with a busy schedule) to get at least 3 days in a row to stay at home and practice
2.  Be consistent!  Changing back and forth from underwear to pull ups to swim diapers and then back to underwear doesn't really teach them.  They get easily confused and don't start making the effort on their own.
3.  Go totally naked!  For some reason that is what he needed to be able to recognize the "I have to pee" urge.
4.  After a good stretch of going potty all by themselves, its okay to start going out and doing things again, as long as they are still in underwear... don't switch back to pull ups!
5.  Be okay with accidents.  There are going to be some messy days, and accidents in public or in the car, but that's okay.  It was better to have an accident in public and he understood what happened then it was to be inconsistent and go back and forth between potty and pull ups. 
6.  Stay strong!  Don't give up!  Stick to it!  haha how many other encouraging thoughts can we come up with.  But I mean it.  Being strong and consitant and not easily phased is the trick to success (just like it is with most mommy moves).

Hopefully we are in good shape and he will continue this stretch of success... but I am happy to say that the hardest part is (probably) over.

Friday, August 30, 2013

From baby to big boy

This summer has been all about transitioning Ryan from a baby (well really a toddler) to a big boy.  I had a few things that I knew I wanted to accomplish before the next baby was born in January, but once I made a few of These changes, everything else pretty much followed.  All of a sudden I look around the house and realize we have put away almost everything baby related!  I didn't really do this on purpose, it kind of just happened.  It's a good thing, now I feel like we have the next 4 months to just enjoy our "big boy" before we start the whole thing over again.

First change was the crib to bed change.  This went so super smoothly that I kept waiting for something bad to happen. It was a seamless transition.  We told him for a week he was going to move to a big boy bed, and he told everyone he knew about this change.  The first night he had a hard time getting settled, so Mike layer on the floor with him for ten minutes until he calmed down and then said goodnight and left.  Every nap and bedtime since then has been great.  We kept his routine exactly the same, he just had a bed instead of a crib.

This change lead to us putting away the pack n play.  If he was in a bed at home, then we were not going to make him sleeping the pack n play when he is out.

Then I realized there was no reason to keep his high chair out, he can sit in a booster at the table just fine. I guess I was still using it out of habit.  So I scrubbed it down and brought it up to the attic.

Last Friday was the next big change...we officially started potty training.  My next post will be all about that, but I can officially say he is doing great and we are done with diapers (pull ups only at night).

I got rid of the changing station on his dresser, and just today packed up his nursery bedding to get it ready to sell on Craig's list.  We have his new book bag which will now be what he uses to carry all of his emergency meds, snacks, and extra clothes... Diaper bag is being washed and stored til January!  And most importantly, he starts preschool next Friday!

We have made big moves since June and its all bitter sweet.  Only one big thing left to get rid of, and I'm  dreading/stalling big time... The bed time and nap time binky!  I can't take everything away from the poor kid at one time.  That will be the next mountain to climb.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Still on team Gender Neutral!

Last Tuesday was my 20 week ultra sound, and we could have found out the sex of this baby.  But we stayed strong and stuck with our gut and did not find out.  We were so happy with our decision not to find out Ryan's gender until the birth and we felt very strongly (and excited) about doing it again.  Not knowing the gender makes that last month, and even labor, just a little bit more exciting.  And the feeling of excitement and love and joy when they finally said I had a baby boy after a pretty crazy labor was just the icing on the cake.

Do I want a boy or a girl?
Of course this time around I have more of an opinion about whether we have a girl or a boy.  I would be totally lying if I said that I didn't want to have a baby girl.  I am a girly girl and I would love to have a daughter to do all of those mother/daughter things with as she grows up.  I want to go prom dress shopping and be back stage at dance recitals and be the mother of the bride one day.  BUT at the same time, I LOVE being a mom to my little boy and I think the idea of brothers is super cute.  I can totally see myself being the mom with tons of boys.  I would be equally as excited to go to soccer games and baseball games.  Plus, having a boy would be a little bit easier on the wallet next year since we have tubs full of clothes!  No matter what there will not be any disappointment and lots to be excited about. 

What do I think it is?
Of course the question I always get is, do I have any feelings about whether its a girl or a boy.  I can honestly say that at this point I have felt strongly both ways.  When I first found out I was pregnant my immediate gut instinct was that it was a girl.  Even through my first 10-12 weeks, I was really feeling girl (probably because I felt like throwing up all day every day).  Then when I entered my second trimester I started to feel more neutral... I really didn't know.  But now as of our ultra sound last week, I am really feeling like its a boy.  Something about seeing the baby on the screen my gut just automatically said I was looking at a baby boy.  When we left the room, without me saying my opinion, Mike totally agreed with me.  Plus as I am getting further along, the old-wives tales are starting to point more to a boy.  So far I am all belly, my skin is not breaking out, I feel pretty much the same way I did with Ryan.... no major girl symptoms (except that I love sweets).

Nursery Theme-
I do have another neutral gender nursery décor picked out for the new house (fingers crossed we will be in the new house when the baby is still an infant lol).  We are going with the gray and white colors with baby elephants.  The furniture is already white, we will do gray walls, and the bedding is all different shades and designs of gray and white.  By time we actually set up the room we will probably already know if its a girl or boy, so I will have some time to buy the accent décor to make it more personal.  I have been on Etsy and love the pink or blue things they have that go alone with baby elephant nursery theme.  It will be easy to get some of the extras in the accent color of choice and have it ready to go when we set up the room.  I am already adding things to my favorites and my shopping cart so all I have to do is click "buy" on the appropriate items when the time comes.

Name Game-
This part is so hard.  If we have a girl we are in good shape.  I have always loved and wanted to have a Charlotte, but we have also really started to like Reagan.  I would be very happy with either name.  No matter what the first name is, her middle name would be Elizabeth after my Nanny.  If its a boy we still have some thinking to do.  The middle name will be Michael no matter what (after my husband and my cousin), but first names are harder.  I really like Patrick but Mike isn't convinced yet.  He is afraid of the nick name Pat as he gets older.  We also toss around Christopher, Anderson, Declan, and Charles, but there is something about each one that has us held up.  I am starting to think more about this... especially now that my gut says we are having a boy.  I am open to suggestions

Bottom line...I will find out around January 10th!

20 week Pregnant update

I can't not believe I'm already at the half way point... time needs to SLOW down (I know I know, it won't... but I really wish it would).  I feel great and things are going well.... but I feel like I have so much to do and so many pieces that need to fall into the puzzle before I'm ready for baby #2 to join our world.  Plus I am one of those crazy ladies that like to be pregnant (remind me of this again when I am  at week 36) and I don't know if we will try for another baby, so I want to soak this in as much as I can.

How do I feel-
I really feel good, I can't complain!  Most days I feel like normal Shannon with a few growing pains in my lower abs and hips.  Of course I am tired, but wouldn't anyone be tired from balancing life, home, work, and a very energetic 2.5 year old.?! 

Weird symptoms-
 As of right now the "get sick every time I brush my teeth" thing is not happening, thank God.  I am starting to get my crazy, vivid dreams but that is not all that uncommon for me.  I am definitely experiencing shortness of breath (I can't walk up stairs and talk at the same time), I pee CONSTANTLY, and I feel like the baby is super duper low in my pelvis and I feel the kicks in my VaJayJay region more than my  belly.  Other than that I am in good shape.

Just food and lots of it.  Its hard to believe that I barely have gained any weight because I am always hungry and thinking about the next meal, snack, or dessert.  Earlier in the pregnancy I wanted all sweets.  I still want the sweets but I can enjoy the salty/cheesy too :)  I am going to make myself a bowl of cookies as soon as I'm done blogging.

At this point I still run 1-2 times a week, but shorter distances (3 miles is my long day).   I got to All-Star 1-2 times a week and last week I started pre-natal yoga.  It take a lot of effort to keep up the energy to do it, but I swear it makes me feel better overall and I know how good it is for the baby.  Plus the better shape you are in, the best labor is, right?!  I hope so!

On my to-do list
I feel like there are so many little and big things I want to get done before the baby comes, and I really don't have tons of time to do it.  Because we are going to be moving at some point, I am not to worried about getting our current home set up for the baby.  Instead, I am starting to get things organized, put aside the infant things we will need right away, and order the new things we will eventually need in the new house.  It is sooo weird not to set up an official nursery because we don't know where we will be living when the baby is born.  The nursery was such a huge priority when I was pregnant with Ryan.  So here is my current list of things I want to get done in the next 3 months.

-Order Ryan is big boy room furniture
-Completely have RJ potty trained (in progress now)
-Schedule a maternity/family photo shoot for October
-Research and schedule a newborn photographer
-Register for the things we need for the new baby (most likely at Buy Buy Baby)
-Finish all of my Christmas shopping in September and October - I do not want to be 9 months pregnant shopping and wrapping
-Buy nursery bedding and décor so that we can set up the room as soon as we move into the new home
-Research maternity leave for a part time employee and save lots of money so I can take at least some time off
-Take a more natural birth class, like Hypnobirthing or Bradley birth classes (more about my birth plan and options soon)
-Organize all of my pictures and videos of Ryan up to this point- update my baby book, photobooks, shutterfly account, etc. before starting to do it again with baby 2

I think those are the hot topics for now.  I am sure I will lay down in bed tonight and think of a million more important things I wanted to include, but my brain is done.  I'll be back!