Monday, January 25, 2016

Potty Training Twins!

We finally did it. We took the plunge and started potty training the twins! They've been showing signs up "readiness" for some time now that I've been trying to ignore because I didn't want to undertake potty training. It just seemed so overwhelming and time consuming. With baby number 3's imminent arrival, I decided to quit dragging my feet and just do it! We're now 2 weeks into the process and things are actually going really well! I won't claim to be an expert but I do feel a bit like a super woman for potty training 2 kids at once.

I didn't read a book or subscribe to a certain method, but everyone and their dog seemed to offer me advice (solicited and unsolicited) so I wasn't short on ideas to try. I just picked what sounded doable to me and went with it. In preparation for P-Day, I cleared my schedule for several days, bought stickers and treats, sewed some little trainers lined with an old towel, and talked with the girls about not wearing diapers anymore. We already owned a little potty as well as a potty ring to go on the toilet.

Day 1: When P-Day rolled around, I got the girls out of their cribs and immediately took their diapers off. I made a big deal about today being the day to start using the potty. I planned for them to be naked from the waist down, but both girls immediately freaked out about not wearing pants so I went back on my plans and put them in underwear and pants. I set them on the potty and..................nothing happened. Big shocker! Oh well, we'll try again soon. However, within 2 minutes of refusing to use the potty, they both peed on the floor. Oh boy, it could be a long day. After that first accident, I decided to go back to my original plan and have them be naked. They were just happy to have their wet pants off so they didn't fight me on it this time. So with naked bums, they sat down and had their breakfast. Normally they drink milk or water, so for a special treat I made sure to give them a ton of chocolate milk and juice throughout the day so they would have lots of opportunities to use the potty. I took them to the potty every 20-30 minutes to let them try. They each had another accident on the floor before having success in the potty. I really think it helped that they were naked for the second accident because then they knew immediately what was happening. When they had success, they got a big cheer from Mommy and sister, a little treat (m&m or smartie), and a sticker.  We spent the morning watching cartoons about potty training and reading books about it too. I kept them downstairs on the hardwood and tile so I would have to worry about the new carpet upstairs. I quickly discovered they couldn't make it to the bathroom on time so we brought their little potty out and set it in front of the t.v. I was delighted when right in the middle of watching Daniel Tiger use the potty, Eden ran over to her potty and sat down and pooped! My biggest fear of potty training was cleaning poop off the floor so I was beyond happy! By nap time we were all exhausted from the morning of training. I had already decided I was not tackling training for naps and nights yet so I put them back in their diapers and put them to bed. Then I put myself to bed to rejuvenate for the afternoon of training.

When the girls woke up from their naps. I took their diapers off right away and Eden immediately started crying, "No, I wear diaper!" Lydia tried to console her by saying "Eden, diapers are for babies." The afternoon went surprisingly well! I think they both only had one accident and made it to the potty a few times. They started getting really excited and cheering for themselves. "Yay me!" And they immediately ran to the kitchen for their treat and sticker afterwards. They both had one more accident when Nate got home from work, but I think that was because we were all distracted. It was a soggy first day but at least I didn't have a load of laundry since they had been naked!

Lessons learned the first day: we needed two little potties, stay patient, and keep them naked. I went to the store and bought a second potty that night and mentally prepared myself for the next day.

These little leg warmers were handy to have. The girls could be naked but not freezing! 

Day 2: Eden once again cried that she wanted to wear a diaper but got over it when I gave her a cup of chocolate milk. I followed my same plan that day; kept them naked from the waist down, gave them lots to drink, gave rewards, and stayed downstairs off the carpet! Lydia had zero accidents all morning! I caught Eden mid- accident and set her on the potty so at least I only had half the amount of urine to clean up :) I felt like we were really on a roll! That afternoon I let them wear undewear and pants so they could play outside. I think they got confused not being naked and both had accidents but I didn't care since we were outside and I didn't have to clean it up! Plus we were all a little stir crazy from hanging out in the living room for two days straight so we needed some outside time. The rest of the afternoon was accident free but just before dinner Lydia started throwing up. Ugh! I was prepared to clean up potty accidents but I hadn't mentally prepared myself to clean up vomit. Yuck! She threw up a few more times that night. I thought maybe her system was just a little messed up because she'd been drinking a ton and eating lots of candy. But after she went to bed and I started feeling sick, I knew it must be a virus. That night I was SO miserable. I lost track of how many times I was up throughout the night throwing up. I can not remember the last time I was that sick. The stomach bug is always miserable, but when you're 34 weeks pregnant it is sooooooooo much worse!

Day 3: I had heard that the third day of potty training is really crucial so I didn't want to back track, but I was so sick and miserable that day, I knew I had no energy to deal with it. So back in diapers they went for the day. Luckily, Lydia seemed to be fine and Eden never caught whatever bug it was. I spent most of the day in bed. Not sure what the girls did since I was sleeping :) Somehow we all survived the day,

Day 4: With everyone healthy and well, we jumped right back in. I was afraid we would be starting over at square one again, but they both did great! We spent the morning naked again, but I let them wear pants and their little trainers that afternoon. We even had our first outing and went to the park that day and they stayed dry!

Day 5 and beyond: The girls are pretty much accident free at home. Lydia will go to the potty by herself without prompting most of the time if she needs to and Eden has started to do that as well. But I still remind them and take them every so often if its been a while. We've slowly started venturing out on errands and to friend's houses as well. We've only had one public accident at a restaurant. Eden kept telling us she needed to go potty so we took her probably 3 times but she freaked out about sitting on the actual toilet and wouldn't go so she eventually went in the booth. I've decided I need to be one of "those moms" who packs a potty for her kids to use in the van. What have I come to? I drive a van and it has a potty in it. Sigh! Oh motherhood.

Like I said, I'm no expert. This is just potty training according to Laurel. I've been really pleased with how the girls have done. My only fear now is they will totally regress when the baby comes. Oh well, we will deal with that if it happens and there is no reason to worry about it now.

Friday, January 15, 2016

New Year's Letter

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family! I wanted to send out a Christmas letter this year but didn't get around to it on time. Oh well! This will have to suffice. What a year it has been! As I reflect back on everything that has happened this year, I am filled with gratitude and amazement.

Nathan left Wal-Mart and got a new job at America's Car-Mart home office this spring. This has been a huge change for our family, and a really great change! We do miss our 10% discount and gym membership; otherwise, the move has been really great for us. Being at a smaller company, Nate gets more exposure and opportunities to experience different types of technology. He is learning a ton and enjoying being challenged. I enjoy that he comes home less stressed and depressed!

The girls and I took a three week vacation to Utah this summer to visit our family. We loved spending time with everyone and had so many adventures while we were there. It was the longest Nate and I have ever been apart but somehow we survived.

Ah, the joys of summer!

Lydia holding cousin Carter

While in Utah, I found out some surprising news and was able to relay that to Nate through video chat; we're having another baby!!!! I say surprising not because I don't know where babies come from, but because we were so blessed not to have to go through fertility treatments this time around. We didn't know if we'd even be able to have another baby, so we're thrilled that we will be welcoming a baby girl into our family this February!

Wearing one of my own creations and showing off the belly at 34 weeks and 2 days. 

We'd been considering buying another house because my sewing business/the girls' toy room had taken over our living room. When we found out about the baby, that sent us over the edge. We found a beautiful home in Rogers (the next town over) for a great price that we just couldn't pass up. Fortunately, we were able to sell our old home within a week of being on the market. We have been extremely busy this fall doing some updates to our new home including new carpet, hardwood, granite and butcher block counter tops, backsplash, and appliances. Nate has done a lot of the work himself. It has been stressful, but he is pretty proud of his work! The house is still very much a work in progress but we love it! It's a great location close to Nathan's work, and we love having a bit more space.

Our beautiful, new home

We experienced two enjoyable trips to Seattle to see Nate's family this year. Once was for a camping trip on Moses Lake and the other for Christmas! On both trips we were privileged to see "the mountain" multiple days out of each week we were there.  It has become a running joke as Nate's whole family always points out to me when Mt. Rainier is visible since we always seem to have good weather when we visit.  On cloudy days, the mountain is not in sight.

Loving on their Anna and Elsa dolls from Grandma

My Etsy shop has kept me busy this year. It's been really fun to learn new skills and see my creations come to life. I plan to close the shop for a nice long maternity break. I hope to be able to open it again, but I'm sure it will take some time to adjust to caring for three small children. Did I mention we're going to have 3 kids under the age of 2 1/2?!?!?!?!

I absolutely LOVE my new sewing space!
The girls are growing up so fast that I can hardly keep up. They amaze me with the new things they learn every day. It's so fun to be able to actually have a conversation with them now. I'll admit, being a stay at home mom can be lonely and you end up talking to yourself a lot, so it's been nice to be able to talk to the girls now! They are sweet, funny, smart, crazy girls!

We have been blessed beyond measure! We are grateful for everyone who has been a part of our lives this year. We look forward with joy (and terror!) to Baby A joining our family in just a few short weeks.