I you follow me on Instagram and I hope you do, you would have experienced the epic fail, that was my first serious attempt at potty training that I documented for you my friends, to follow along with....
I mean it helped me keep my sanity for one, sharing it, and there was so much solidarity when I called it quits after 8 hours. I couldn’t clean up one more per puddle and my then two year old and I were both nearly in tears.
This time I was more prepared and she was showing the classic signs of being “ready.” She can pull her own pants up and down, she told us when she was wet or dirty (sometimes) I mean she just generally didn’t love being in a nasty diaper even taking it off sometimes on her own (facepalm). She was interested in other people going potty. So, for a week leading up to us starting I told her I was going to be throwing her diapers away and brought out all her character underwear and encouraged her to look and them and choose which ones she might want to wear. Then it began...
The Monday, admittedly, two weeks after I told her I was going to toss her diapers (I wasn’t mentally prepared the first week) I put underwear on her after I took off her nighttime diaper and was armed with “potty candy” and stickers. LET’S DO THIS THINGGGGG.
The mornkng started off very shaky, she asked for one of her friends to come over that day and so agreed only because this friend is potty trained, AND I knew her momma would keep me sane and encourage me to continue going through the trenches of my pee and pop cover house (Love you Kam!). When her little friend went on the potty for the first time at our house I rewarded her with a potty candy. Listen, pissed isn’t even a strong enough word for the emotion that came out of my toddler. Where was HER potty candy????
Me: “You did not go on the potty so you don’t get potty candy, when I see pee in the toilet you can pick any color you want.”
Who was I? Some hardcore potty candy wielding drill Sargent? I don’t know but something came over me and I was determined, I KNEW she could do it and there was no going back. We struggled through the morning but stuck too it and by lunch time I could see the light, the underwear were piling up in the tub but alas there was pee in the potty. Three potty candies were earned that day and her best friend said she was proud of her for going pee on the potty!!!
You have to up the ante a bit as you go, for every three stickers she gets a prize or varying sizes. Her Gigi got her a charm bracelet which is honestly genius, so every three that hit the pot and her characters on her underwear stay dry and “happy” as she says, which is too cute, she can pick a charm or something else. The rest of th prizes are random small things from the bins at Target! Once a whole sheet is filled she gets a big prize, like a new Barbie! My kid is most definely reward and attention motivated. EVERYONE in the house has to know every time she goes and they have to be proud, she even made me call my mom to tell her a few times. I’ll call the president if it lands a turd in the toilet ok kid?
So what else was different this time? She was older, by like fourish months I think. Up until we were ready to really give it a go this time we didn’t talk about, just leave it alone, we even put the potty seats away for a while. The praise is really really high, and the rewards are even better. Why would you want to just play all day and have someone change you? Never having to stop your fun for a trip to the bathroom right? Whatever gets her to do it has to be better than waiting and getting a diaper changed. So whatever that is for your kid figure that out. We only let her hang out with friends that were potty trained for the first week. Later that week another little girlfriend came over too and they got the potty candy and again that worked like a charm, no accidents during that visit.
Maybe most importantly my husband and I were on the same page, no diapers and NO PULL UPS! Stick it out until after dinner time when she gets into PJs diaper for sleeping only. Which honestly is such a relief when you aren’t on edge that you are going to walk through a pee pile. Best part of the night.
The thing is you have to let them lead though, no matter how you do it, read their cues. Are they proud? Do they want to do it? Are they ready? The most unexpected rewarding part is the changes in her. She is still a stinker, she’s three give me a break. But, she is definitely soak up something that’s just for her, Mom and Dad are more focused on her that we have been able to be since little sister came along. Of course she is still a three-nager, but there is a spark in her and more of a connection to me I think anyways. It was such an experience to kind of watch her grow through, and myself to be honest. It is so true whoever said you have not truly experienced parenting until you have potty trained. Godspeed!
Oh, and the letterboard is just a line from Big Daddy that won’t stop playing my head. I am still most definitely the wiper of asses.
Trying to make it look like you are not drowning every second of the day as a mom is totally harder than it looks. It can be compared to trying to pull off a wash and go style, or a natural makeup look, like, way more work than you would ever think goes into making something look natural. A few people have complimented me (like on an especially good day) and my ability to keep two children alive for almost three years for one and a ripe 7 months for the two of them simultaneously so I feel that gives me authority to give advice. Kidding, sort of. Here's my half assed advice on surviving summer with two, maybe a little diddy will be helpful here.
I never pictured that I would even have it together enough to ever leave the house with them both and no we do it multiple times a week in a relatively effective fashion. Bonus: we are typically on time if not early places.
More specifically, high value toys or snacks that can be used to peel your oldest child away from whatever fun activity they would like to keep doing when it is way passed time to leave. Think "rice crispy treat with sprinkles" or "themed fruit snacks." Save the "big guns" for emergencies, offer ICE CREAM. WE ALL DO IT PEOPLE.
Play places with gates that lock, strollers, outdoor play yard, exersaucer, high chair, BABY CARRIER, it is best to have one child contained in a specific area at any given time, especially if both children are mobile! Just spend the money on ALL of the baby gear of all varieties to maintain your sanity (sell it later). I have a carrier and TWO strollers in my car at all times because, life comes at you fast, your containment play can change on route to your destination.
Sunscreen BEFORE you get to the fun place, you don't want to chase a toddler while the swimming pool is dangling like a carrot in front on them! TRUST! Pack all the snacks because toddlers who loved gold fish yesterday wouldn't be caught dead eating them today! Also, keep a well stocked diaper bag, go check out my packing list for our diaper bag, I always restock when we get home so we are good to go whenever at least with the bare minimum of supplies.
Take your time.
I know its normal to feel anxiety when your kid decided to have a blow out of barf on you right when you are ready to walk out the door but that's life honey buns, your friends and destination can and will wait. Take your time, handle everything appropriately and make sure you have everything y0u need before walking out the door, nothing like forgetting your kids water and paying $7 for a bottled one at the zoo. 🙃
Just say no.
Don't take your kids into a situation you are not ready to handle with both. Some things are two extreme for us still, I know they will just end in tears flowing from multiple family members. The best part of saying no is that your kids has literally no clue what they are missing? So, don't beat yourself up, kay?
Choose your tribe.
DO NOT HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO WILL JUDGE YOU! Chose a tribe at your level and stage of motherhood, the ones who will give you the nod a wink, who will say "oh just glad it isn't my kid this time" with just the amount of empathy and sarcasm you need because NEXT time Lord it will be there kid and you will feel their pain! Smile and nod to that momma peeling her kid of the ground or breastfeeding without a cover because her toddler is using it as a cape, I FEEL YOU! I SEE YOU! Life is too short to act like you are out here momming harder or better than someone else. Share your secrets!
Having a second kid is like going from 1 kid to 100 kids. You are so much more tired, so much more anxious, and its so much more amazing. We are all hot messes I'm just here to help you hide it as well I do...some days.
The day that I sat in the specialists office and watched the peanut "scratch" on my daughter's back turn into a swollen mosquito bite looking bump in less than five minutes all I could think about it all the things that she wouldn't be able to have and how much of a nut job (pun intended) I would have to be for the next however many years until she KNEW what she could and could not have to eat.
The issue reached a new level when my niece was diagnosed with not only a peanut allergy but an egg allergy as well. Cue endless jokes about how dry and flavorless all of their birthday cakes would be for the rest of their lives. I searched tirelessly around the city to find a bakery that could make a cake in a facility that was not only peanut free but egg free as well. This is a BIG ask for bakeries, a lot of pressure for them to make sure that your baked goods could be guaranteed not to come in contact with allegen foods.
On a referrral I discovered The Pink Bakery.
All of their mixes as well as everything that is baked fresh on site if FREE OF THE BIG 8 ALLERGENS. The Big 8 foods are: Eggs, Fin-fish, Milk, Peanuts, Shellfish, Soy, Tree Nuts and Wheat. You can rest easy knowing that none of the things your precious baby cant be exposed to have even crossed paths with any of the ingredients in these desserts. I know what you are going to ask? Do they taste like anything at all then? Yes! Decadent even! I didn't believe it myself until I baked 'em up and gave them a taste.
I used the "Not So Plain Jane Sugar Cookie Mix" with the added flavor or organic meyer lemons per the box suggestions and they were just the right amount of tangy. Be prepared to work this dough a bit more than a traditional sugar cookie before cutting it out. Once they were cut though, they held together and baked up nicely. I chose to top them with a organic meyer lemon icing and couldn't let them cool even before tasting. YUM!
This "Not So Frownie Brownie" and it is just that. Once the batter is mixed it looks like fudge y'all. FUDGE. It bakes up more of a cripsy outside and chewy inside, not cakey. Either way sweet tooth slayed with these.
Lastly, and most favorite was the "Mama's Favorite Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake Mix." This you will be hard pressed to determine that this is an altered cake mix in any way. I topped them with an organic homemade vanilla bean whipped cream frosting and listen I could barely get photos before my husband and daughter jumped on these. My daughter typically doesn't get passed the frosting with desserts so when she walked up to me with just crumbs left in her cupcake liner I was shocked! The little surprise chips inside definitely take these over the top.
I am so excited to have found these baking mixes that I can have on hand that I KNOW will be safe for the kids in my life and also on playdates! So moms rejoice and get yourselves over to The Pink Bakery to soothe your allergy woes!
Lets start at the beginning. First things first. The worst thing about breastfeeding is pumping. It's not latch or chapped nipples or waking up at night to feed. It the damn pump. Attached to you, draining every drop of gold, just for you to spill it on the counter because the baby is crying and you are rushing to transfer it into a bag to store. I HATE pumping, I think you would be hard pressed to find someone that found their roll as Bessy enjoyable. But, alas, we are not here today to dream about the moment we can finally set fire to are milk expression machinery. We are here to talk about the holy shit moment when I thought I had been wasting my life pumping and storing over 500 oz for my impending return to work all for...my baby to refuse a bottle. ALL THAT FROZEN MILK Y'ALL. Ready for the thawing. Waiting to nourish my sweet babe while I returned to the world of the living from Mombie land. Don't let this happen to you, don't be like Shauna.
Shauna Hyler, mommy of two beautiful girls! Working, blogging, and adventuring with the hubby and my sweet girls.