3 Day Potty Training

A few years ago my boss told me about potty training his first kid and they used a “3 Day Method”. I thought he was crazy, how could a kid potty train in just 3 days. Fast forward many years and here I am pregnant and with a toddler and thinking to myself “hmm, I think we should try to potty train before this new baby comes.”

So, as I often do, I went to my trusty Pinterest and started checking out potty training options. It seemed to be there were two camps – the quick and the drawn out. Everyone had an opinion on which worked best and I’m certain that for different kids and parents different ways worked best for them. In my time as a parent I’ve learned many things but especially that all parents and kids are different so what works for one set may not work for another.

Either way I figured I wanted to try this 3 day method. If it didn’t work I could easily go with the longer method. So here is our story of potty training in 3 days.

Preparing for Potty Training:

  • Get the kiddo excited about the potty, about wearing big kid undies, etc. Have them help you pick out the potty and undies and talk about what you’re going to be doing
  • Your kid is going to be NAKED, they will love it ūüėČ
  • Make sure you have an easy to use timer, you’ll be using it a lot. Make sure your kiddo understands that when the timer goes off we go sit on the potty
  • Get some potty books to read
  • Be prepared with towels and cleaning supplies to clean up any accidents
  • I recommend a tile or hardwood floor area of your house that you can keep your kiddo contained in (we used our playroom with baby gates up). If that isn’t possible I’ve heard many parents say they do this during the summer when they can spend most of their days outside
  • Remember that accidents WILL happen so be prepared to react appropriately with something like “ugh-oh we don’t go potty on the floor, we go in the potty” and then try on the potty even if they just peed a lake on your floor
  • You will need to watch them like a hawk so no Facebooking, laundry, etc. You need to have 3 days where you can sit and be with them at ALL times
  • Prepare a potty chart and some sort of reward. We did stickers for every successful potty and then a small piece of chocolate after 4 potties or a poop

Day 1:

  • We set up the potty in our playroom and basically just fed water to the kid ALL day long
  • Set the timer for 20 minutes and have them sit on the potty every single time
  • If they go praise them a ton and make a big deal out of it and how proud you are of them
  • If they don’t go just tell them good job and we’ll try again soon
  • Pay close attention to their cues, they may need to go potty between the timer and it’s your job to recognize those things and help them learn to recognize those cues
  • Make sure to talk about what it feels like when you have to go potty
  • Read potty books!
  • Expect a few accidents today, they are learning
  • Don’t sit longer than a couple minutes, there is no use making them literally sit on the potty all day

Day 2:

  • Hopefully Day 1 wasn’t too awful, you got this!!
  • Change your timer to every 30-45 minutes depending on how successful Day 1 was
  • Continue to praise a lot and watch them closely for the potty cues
  • Go with the same process as Day 1

Day 3:

  • Ideally you’ve seen some progression among the days here!
  • Set your timer for every 60 minutes today but remember to keep watching for cues
  • If the first half of the day goes well put on some undies for the second half to get them used to wearing them
  • If they are wearing undies give even bigger praise when they go potty
  • Ideally you’ll see no more than 1 accident on this day

And that was mostly it! By the end of day 3 we had gone on the potty enough times for her to know what it was and not be scared and she had begun to understand her own bodies cues. That doesn’t mean the work stops though! For the first few weeks a timer may still be a good idea, we stuck with every 60 minutes. It was actually a good reminder for myself too. And be sure to always remind them “make sure to tell me if you have to go potty”.

What NOT to expect:

  • Your kid will likely still need help getting their pants off and on
  • They’ll need help wiping
  • Sometimes it takes longer for kids to be ok with pooping in the potty
  • They may want to continue to use the little potty for a while but begin transitioning them to the big potty as soon as you can
  • Many kids are afraid of public restrooms for a while, there are lots of things to help (potty seats for your car or those that go on top of a public seat)

Give it a shot, really nothing to lose right? Well maybe except your sanity for those three days ūüėČ We are about 4 months in and at this point R has finally learned to truly recognize her own cues and let me know when she needs to go. I still take her before we head out of the house but when we are out she’s pretty great at letting me know if she has to go.

Have you tried this method? Did it work? Did you try something else? What worked for you?

Christmas Countdown

I¬†LOVE¬†the holidays! Growing up in Seattle was great because so much of my family was there. Every Thanksgiving we’d head out to the coast with my Grandpa’s side of the family and enjoy a day of lots of food and cousin fun. For Christmas we had SO many parties with so many different parts of the family! It was the best. I miss seeing all of my extended family during the holidays now that I’m not in WA. But it is fun creating new traditions with my new little family. Now I love spending Christmas at home seeing the excitement on little R’s face Christmas morning. Seeing life through the eyes of a child is an amazing experience!

 

It’s so fun creating new traditions with my fam. We host Christmas Even Brunch with our San Jose “family”, check out Christmas in the Park, went to My First Nutcracker this year, and created our first Advent Calendar.

It was super simple so I figured I’d share it!

I cut out stockings with my Silhouette cutter (this is literally my favorite craft tool I have!!) Downloaded this activities list from Etsy, cut them out and glued them to the back of the stockings. I decided I didn’t want to do many repeats so I pulled out some and made a few of my own. I added in Gingerbread House Making, Winter Artwork, Deliver Treats to a Neighbor, Christmas in the Park, and Check out the Lights on a Neighborhood Walk.


What I Learned –

25 days of things to do was ambitious! Sometimes I just don’t want to do things, this preggo momma is tired! Even though some were small sometimes the big ones were ¬†too much

Make sure you order the activities. This was my biggest mistake! I totally didn’t pay attention and ended up with big activities on weekdays when we didn’t have a lot of time. Opps!

In order for your little one to get into it you have to DO it. On the weeks where we did it most days R would get excited about it each day but if I forgot for a few days so did she. I think next year it’ll be more fun!


 

We had a fabulous holiday time with R this year. She got so into all of it, did an amazing job opening presents and actually played with all the things she got. I’m so excited to continue our family traditions and add to them when little man comes along.

What are your favorite holiday family traditions?

Toddler Schedule & Sanity

I’m a person who needs routine and a schedule. If I don’t have a plan for the day I am way more likely to sit and do nothing. I’m still trying to work out the best way to coordinate a schedule with little lady R and after months and months of trial and error I think I found one that is fun and simple.

weekly schedule

I found a few different ideas on Pinterest that I coordinated into my own schedule. I love that it gives us at least one thing each day that we can do. That way if we do nothing the rest of the day I still feel accomplished, we least kind of.

Make Something Monday
This is my favorite day because I LOVE crafts! On the days we do nothing, we at least do some sort of craft. I’m not afraid of getting messy with crafts either, I encourage paint, glue and I even have an upcoming project involving glitter! Yes glitter and a 2 year old!

dot paint qtip paint

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got paint dotters from a friend for R’s birthday and they are fabulous! All the painting sans mess! On the left we used a q-tip as our “brush”. We also swear by our Color Wonder markers!

Get Outside Tuesday
Pretty self explanatory but this is our guaranteed outside day, we get outside other days but this one I try to make longer. Park playdates, water play, bike ride and more.
This is an easy day too because, thanks to my amazing husband, we have an AWESOME backyard! On our most basic Get Outside Tuesdays we just hang out in the playhouse and enjoy the sunshine ūüôā

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What’s Cooking Wednesday
Another one of my fave days! I enjoy showing and teaching R about cooking and she loves trying out new skills. Plus it gets me cooking more; I’m not much of a cook so I enjoy this aspect too. She’s even started using butter knifes to cut bananas and a few other soft items.

make something
Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, Broccoli Cheese Balls and Strawberry Jam
coconut donuts
Coconut Date Donut Holes

A lot of the time I have her help me with my snacks or dinner for the evening but it really is fun for everyone. Added bonus? It keeps her busy while I’m cooking so she isn’t fussing at my feet, SCORE!

Time to Think Thursday
Science Day!! Last week we did baking soda and colored vinegar for fun eruptions.¬†We love sensory bins! Our favorite is our rice bin (if you have dogs DON’T let them eat this stuff, it’s not pretty!)
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How fun is this!! And easy, plus I get to eat the rest of the Skittles bag woot woot!! Another option for this day is checking out the library or library storytime. R loves books so this is her happy place. Today was a library day and she had way too much fun. We spent 2 hours there, most of it was spent rolling around on the floor and bouncing around the room. It was absolutely adorable!

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Tumble time at the library!

Fun Time Friday
Right now I’m part of a Friday Adventure Group so each Friday we find a fun activity in the area and head out. Hiking, amusement park, museum, etc. ¬†But once preschool begins we are only going to do the group once a month so R and I will find other fun adventures for the other weeks. There are SO many amazing things to do here in the Bay Area (be on the lookout for an upcoming post about my Bay Area Bucket List).

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BEACH DAY!

This schedule helps me keep my sanity and gives R fun daily activities. Plus it’s easy. One of my earlier plans was trying to coordinate more of a preschool schedule but I was too ambitious and most of the time we just ended up doing nothing I had planned. Plus Pinterest has way too many ideas and it was completely overwhelming. The themed days help narrow down the options too. Try it, see what works for you!

10 Things to Know for Camping with Tots

This past week was spent with R’s besties camping out in the woods and celebrating the little ladies 2nd birthday! I can’t believe she’s 2!

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A tradition Matt continued from his childhood is waking up to a room full of balloons, so even though we were camping we kept it going!

Outside of celebrating her birthday we spent lots of time enjoying the great outdoors.

Ok, so let me preface this by saying that I haven’t been camping in YEARS! I went a lot as a kid, both with family and Girl Scouts, but it was probably high school the last time I camped. This camping was “supposed” to be easier because it was in cabins. But I swear tent camping would have been easier than these cabins.¬†It was nice¬†to have a stove and electricity but otherwise these cabins were basically death traps waiting to happen! Okay maybe I’m over reacting a little but seriously there were nails sticking out, broken benches, ugh.

We had such a blast! But I gotta say I’m quite happy to be home. Sleeping in my own bed and having a playroom to “lock” my kid away in is pretty damn awesome. We were too¬†ambitious, we planned on staying 7 nights, we lasted 5….barely. So here are a few things I learned while enjoying the great outdoors with the little ones:

10.¬†Don’t Do It!
If you’re thinking of going, just don’t. Instead put up a tent in the backyard and play outside. It’s much easier

9. Wrap your Kid in Bubble Wrap
They are toddlers. They fall a lot. Enough said.

8. Don’t forget the First Aid Kit
Believe me, you’ll need it. The bubble wrap I suggested above will help but I swear you’ll still need it. Likely for yourself too. One of our mommas cut open the bottom of her foot on the first day, not a fun way to start out the trip but she was a trooper and stuck with it.

7. Man on Man Coverage versus Zone
As often as you can, try to have just as many parents as there are children, or at least older children who can help the tots. The ground is uneven, there are hills to fall down, streets to get run over on, animals to get stung by, and a million other things to mess up the kids so you need as much coverage as possible

6. Lots and Lots and Lots of Spray
Bug Spray – I swear everything bites while you’re camping. We had flies, mosquitoes, freaking everything! I hate the damn bugs. Sunscreen – apply, apply, apply! I know, applying sunscreen to toddlers usually ignites lots of screaming but imagine trying to apply sunscreen to a burnt toddler. Give yourself a chance of avoiding a crispy lobster child by applying constantly

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5. Remember, it’s Camping
That means it’s dirty. Really dirty. And toddlers attract dirt. They also really love putting dirt in shoes and then pouring it on each other and you

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4. Go During the Week
This will allow you the weekend to recover from the crazy. Originally we planned Saturday to Saturday but after 5 days we were totally done. The last day was spent sitting in the grass entertaining our kiddos in the campground laundry room. That’s right, the laundry room. But the good part is we then had¬†Friday-Sunday to get ourselves back to some semblance of alive before the hubby had to go back to work Monday

3.¬†Nap Isn’t Just for the Kiddos
The kid takes a nap so you should too. The sun is exhausting, it’s hot, and you deserve it. It’ll keep you ready for more beers (see below). Plus it’s a family trip (not a vacation because anything that requires you to chase toddlers and be up by 7am is NOT vacation)! The perfect time to attempt to catch up on your missing sleep

2. Bring Lots of Booze
After chasing your toddler for hours all you are going to want after bedtime is a very large cold alcoholic beverage. But don’t drink too much, you need to be prepared¬†to wake up in the middle of the night¬†when something “scary” wakes up your little one and then again at the crack of dawn with a tot screaming in your face for breakfast

1. HAVE FUN!
Even though we were EXHAUSTED by the end of every¬†day, we had such an amazing time. R had SO many firsts and it was¬†exciting¬†watching her explore. She went on a boat, she went tubing, had lots of ice cream, played horseshoes, played tether-ball and more. ¬†The adorable factor was on ¬†point for¬†80% of the week (the rest¬†was spent sleeping or stressing about safety). It was the longest and most fun week I’ve had in ages

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In the end it truly was a great trip but my final recommendation? Don’t plan on going for a week. ¬†I think 2 nights tent¬†camping would have been perfect. Next year we will still enjoy a 4th of July #bestiesweek, and R’s ¬†birthday, at a cabin but more VRBO or AirBnB style. (We might be wimps but oh well)

Enjoy a couple nights of outdoor fun and excitement and then head home to relax for the rest of the weekend. It’s totally worth it!

Runchkins – Kids fashion delivered to your door!?!?

If you know me well you know a few things – 1) I’m not great at creating my own stylish outfits, 2) I love StitchFix and 3) I love dressing my kid in adorable “mini me” clothes.

So when I heard about Runchkins, basically StitchFix for kids, I thought, “I HAVE to check this out.” I know what you’re thinking….why does she need fancy clothes for her little human that will outgrow them in 3 months anyway? Well I mostly did this just to check it out, I was crazy curious to see what they might come up with and yes, I’m a sucker for adorable boutique type baby clothes. Plus I figured the $20 styling fee was worth it even if I only keep one item.

My review? It’s an adorable idea but I’m not in love (like I am with Stitch Fix!!). The clothes just didn’t work for R. I’m kind of not surprised since she’s related to me and I struggle to find clothes that fit right. The outfits were pretty cute though! We had a fun fashion show ūüôā

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This one didn’t work at all, it has elastic in the legs which just doesn’t work for R (she’s still got her baby thighs hehe). I also just purchased something similar recently so although I love the look I wasn’t upset about it not working.

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When I opened the box I LOVED these shorts, so cute! But they didn’t fit at all! If you check out the pic you can see the right side of the shorts have crept up her leg. Ugh, I know how she feels ūüėČ

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Although cute it was actually too big. Sure I could keep it for future but I wasn’t totally in love. She did love the pockets, I too love pockets!

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This dress was not good. It’s actually odd, it’s long but a little short for a maxi AND the shoulder straps were way too long so if adjusted the length would have been even more awkwardly short. If it had fit I would have kept it though, it was really cute and fun!

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The shirt wasn’t really my style but I actually thought this one was so adorable! I was also in LOVE with the skirt. She wore it today and it was a hit! She looked so grown up in it too! I kept the skirt but not the shirt, I wasn’t sure if it was something I’d rotate through her closet since I don’t normally like screen printed shirts.
The shoes….I love the idea of these shoes because they are hand made in South Africa but who thinks white shoes for a toddler is¬†a good idea? They are also elastic in the back and R has always had those types of shoes cut into her feet:

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The last outfit was very cute! A navy dress with birds on it. Love it, has enough¬†detail to make it interesting, and she loved it! That’s how you know it’s a good purchase! I kept this one for sure!

If you want to check it out? Here is my referral link. Give it a try, worst that can happen is you pay $20 (styling fee) to have a fun fashion show with your little one. Totally worth the fun!

How to lose your sanity in 5 minutes or less

The answer? Have a toddler…

Today was supposed to be a great day. We had plans with our Friday Adventure Group, more on that later, to check out Rancho San Antonio and Deer Hollow Farm. Then in the evening a fun date night with the hubby.

As per usual, things don’t always go as planned. R wasn’t having a great morning and said she wanted to stay home. She was being extra clingy and cry-ey (totally made that word up) so I thought it would be best to stay home. I was probably wrong….

So this story actually happened over the course of the entire morning, not just 5 minutes, but each instance was less than 5 minutes and each of them got me closer and closer to losing my marbles.

Anyway, ¬†I decided it would be a great day to take the dogs for a bath at the groomer. Husband forgot to charge his car so he took mine and I had the brilliant idea of walking our two dogs and pushing a stroller the mile to Petco. One would think this should be an easy task right? Well not with my dogs. One likes to run and the other hates the leash but in the end we made it work without anyone getting (seriously) injured. After arriving at Petco we insert meltdown #1 – R was SO upset we were leaving the doggies behind. This meltdown was cute so I didn’t get upset and we went on our merry way.

Next stop, Target to get myself some coffee and milk (so I can have more coffee at home later). This is where we insert meltdown #2. Apparently leaving Target isn’t something a toddler wants to do. I totally understand, but if I stay too long I’ll end up buying the whole store so I drug her out and we headed home.

Back at home it’s time for lunch so I set R up with some homemade chicken nuggets and mustard (she ate more of the mustard than the chicken). At one point I had to “potty” (will I ever use adult words again?!?!) and I come back to find her bowl of chicken nuggets is now all over the floor. After asking her to help me clean them up and getting a very bitchy “no” back we insert meltdown #3. I put her in her Thinking Chair for 2 minutes with her timer and after the first minute she had calmed down. We talked and I convinced her to help me (as much as an almost 2 year old can and still with a bit of sass).

And lastly we have bath time. My kid LOVES the water, as do most toddlers, but I swear this kid is obsessed. Lately she wants a bath or shower daily, which was not our habit before. Either way, I let her do a LONG bath today because she was having a blast and we were practicing our ABC’s. She started to get whiny and after all the crying and screaming from earlier my ears and head just can’t handle much more so I decide it’s time to get out and have an early nap time (only 15 minutes early so shouldn’t be a huge deal right?). Getting that kid out of the tub….oh lordy. Kicking and screaming and yelling that she wants more water. Sorry kid, this is the exact reason we are heading for nap. Meltdown #4 is just too much for this momma.

Thankfully my kid also LOVES books so I sat down in her chair, pulled out a book and she came and cuddled right up and calmed down. Snuggling with that little human is one of my favorite activities and I try to soak it up as much as I can because I know she won’t always want my cuddles. But after that morning I sure was thankful for nap time!

In the end, what did I do? I worked out. Wrote up my own interval class, got out my yoga mat and rocked out in the backyard! I feel way better.

Out to Eat

I would consider Matt & I¬†to be some what foodies and this is definitely a trait we’d like to pass on to R. So I’d say we indulge often in the going out to eat fun ūüôā But as R has gotten older, taking her out to eat has gotten a bit more difficult. So one day I went on over to my trusty Pinterest and searched for “restaurant bag”. There weren’t a ton of ideas but this is the one I enjoyed the most: Restaurant Kit

The next day I went to Target and found the perfect bag. Deciding what to put it in was the hard yet fun part. I wanted enough things so that I wouldn’t have to change it out often (I’m lazy) but not too many that it’s too heavy for R to carry herself.

So here is my bag:

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It has two large compartments that have smaller compartments inside. Check it out:

 

In the end I included quite a few things that R loves. Here is my list:

  • Color Wonder paper that I cut down to fit on a small clipboard
  • 4 Color Wonder markers (I choose markers¬†so that crayons didn’t melt in the car)
  • 3 mini puzzles
  • 1 magnet board with alien magnets
  • Reusable sticker books (thank you to my MIL for getting these for our trip to Hawaii!)
  • A set of lacing cards
  • Mini books (also thanks to my MIL)

So…..quite the array of items to keep her occupied and happy. So far we’ve used it twice and it’s been great! I don’t pull it out right away. We start with just letting her be and then when we can tell she’s getting antsy, that is when it break it out. I love that it’s all contained in such a nice and compact way too! R also LOVES the bag. She gets excited to carry it and knows that fun is coming when we pull it out. So far I’d call this one a success!

What are your tricks to keep the kids occupied while out and about?

 

Growing up with Color

R is a toddler that tends to catch on to things pretty quickly. She’s always been great at recognizing things, especially animals. So when we started working ¬†on ¬†colors and it seemed to be going ¬†nowhere Matt and I were *kind of jokingly* worried. We both have color blindness in our family, and although rare in girls it’s not impossible.

So being the determined person that I am, I wanted to keep working on colors. I made up a very simple activity. Pulled out my trusty, and rarely used, scrapbook paper in all the colors ¬†of the ¬†rainbow and used a 2.5″ hole punch to make 3 circles out of each color. Then I taped one circle of each color to the wall, in rainbow order of course (ROYGBIV anyone??).

The exciting part was next. I put tape on the ¬†back of the other circles and mixed them ¬†up so they weren’t in the same order as the ones on the wall. And guess what?!?! My little genius matched up all the colors! Very proud momma moment! We are still working on learning their ¬†names but this activity definitely made Matt and I feel much better. Plus, it’s always so exciting when your little one finally gets something you’ve been working on.

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But this whole thing got me thinking….what would it be like to live without color. Our world is so vibrant and to not be able to distinguish between all of it…well ¬†I can’t even imagine. I know those who are color blind know no different but I’m definitely glad R will grow up with the ability to see all the color in the world.