Thursday, February 3, 2011

3 Day Potty Training Boot Camp

When I first started on this endeavor, I was going to do a blog post each day (for the 1st three days). We are now on Day 9 so I'm scratching that idea. Here's what has been happening the last 9 days at Potty Training Boot Camp.

First, I need to go back to December. Each day for about a week, I would see comments that a facebook friend was making about doing the 3 Day Potty Training with her daughter. As the days passed, with the exception of an accident or two, it appeared that her daughter had really been potty trained in 3 days. I became a bit curious but didn't inquire of her.

This would be a good time to tell you what a lazy mom I am when it comes to potty training. I crashed and burned early with Eli in the potty department and finally gave up until he made up his mind to do it. (as a sidenote since I wasn't blogging waaaaaaaay back then. He was 3yrs and 1 month old when he made that decision. It was Thanksgiving weekend. Philip and I were on an anniversary getaway and my parents were staying with Eli and EK. He walked up to my Dad and said something to the effect of "Grandpa, I need to poo poo." And that was it. All my frustrations from the previous year in vein.)

So when the time rolled around for EK, I just let it happen whenever it did. That turned out to be the fall that she was 2 1/2 when she started preschool 2 mornings per week.

Since the lackadaisical approach seemed to work best for me, I had planned on that same approach with Zane & Zander.

As mid-December came though, Zander kept showing more and more interest. 9 times out of 10, he would go in the potty on my command. (Hey Zander, you wanna go to the potty? Off he'd run and he would make it happen)

So I decided that I might should ask this facebook friend about the 3 Day Method. 'Cause I was thinking if I could get 2 boys trained in 3 Days rather than dragging it out, my life would be better.

The "method" is in an e-book format. My friend emailed it to me. I read it and thought it sounded good with the exception of 2 things.

  1. You basically had to clear your calendar for 3 days in a row. The author suggested no cooking, no computer, no doing laundry, etc... Just at home right by their side for 3 solid days.

  2. She also suggested they would wear underwear and T-shirt only for those 3 days. That would've been no problem if we were still in Florida, but a tad cold for this Arkansas winter weather.

So I read the book right after Christmas. Zander continued to go-on-demand. Zane would attempt it only after Zander produced something in the potty. But even then, Zane was usually unsuccessful. He just could not make it happen. (Keep both of those things in mind as you read further down)

The author of the book also said that after the age of 2 1/2, it gets harder to train using this method. My boys were 2yrs8mos in January, so if I was waiting on that warmer weather to happen before training, it sounded like it might be even harder.

I looked at our January calendar (which was already full), but saw that we only had one event the last weekend in January. I called my mom to see if she would come and help. My Dad said that they both would come. (THANK YOU!) He said he would take the big kids to/from their activities, take them out to eat, etc... and my mom would help me. (this is what my friend Lori called man-to-man defense. Me with one boy. My mom with the other. LOVE that phrase!!!)

Fast forward to the last week in January. I've got the calendar mostly cleared for the upcoming weekend. My parents are set to arrive Friday. I will start the 3 Day Method Friday morning and then they'll be here that afternoon to help me with the rest of Day 1 and then all of Days 2 & 3.

On Monday before boot camp is set to begin, I get a call from my Dad. He said, "Did you know the signs are right this Wednesday and Thursday?" I said, "What signs? What are you talking about?" He said, "Rita believes in the signs and she says the best days are Wednesday and Thursday." I follow up with, "What signs and who is Rita?" To which he replied, "To potty train the best days are this Wednesday and Thursday. Your mom is checking with someone else and if her signs are the same, then we'll be coming to your house tomorrow and train them Wed,Thurs and Friday." Well that conversation was over. I still had no idea what the "signs" were nor who Rita was.

I called my mom a bit later and asked her about the signs. The good ole Farmers Almanac. I laughed and laughed. And by the way, the person my mom checked with agreed that the best days were Wed-Friday. So that was the new plan.

My parents arrived Tuesday and I got everything ready to start Boot Camp bright and early Wednesday morning. I had previously emailed the book to my mom to read, but we both skimmed through it again Tuesday night to make sure we were on the same path.

The supplies I had were:

  • mini M&M's for going #1
  • gummy bears for going #2

40 pair of underwear... (my friend said her daughter went through 19 pair the first day, so I did the math. 19 for 1 child = 38 for 2 boys)

  • 28 T-shirts...

and 17 pair of socks.

(I did have a picture of the socks, but now its disappeared. And those of you who upload single pictures to blogger, know what a pain that is if you're already in the midst of your post. So you'll just have to imagine what 17 pair of socks looks like)

Day 1 began with breakfast as usual. After breakfast, I told them we were throwing all our diapers away because they were big boys now and they were going to be wearing underwear.

Eli was my underwear model. He showed them how big boys wear underwear....

We put all their underwear in what-used-to-be our diaper basket. I let them pick what they wanted to put on first. They could choose from: Thomas, Mickey Mouse, baseball and a few random Spiderman that a sweet friend gave to us. Zander immediately chose but Zane kept picking 3 at a time.....

I had bought all of them in size 2/3T. However, we quickly discovered that one certain boy's rear end is a bit big. They were T-I-G-H-T on his hiney!

Day 1 went so much better than either my mom or I expected. If I recall correctly (since it is now 8 days later), they each had 1 accident. This is probably also a good time to say that I didn't follow the book exactly. She suggests going cold turkey ALL the time. I like my boys to sleep. So for naptime and nightttime, I put them in a pull-up. So when I say only 2 accidents, that doesn't refer to when they were sleeping.

Day 2 was about the same except that we had our first poop accident. That was fun. I think it was Zane that did it. We also got to go outside for a bit to play and Zander had a pee accident while outside playing.

Here are their backsides on Day 2:

Zane on left Zander on right

Day 3: They both had #2 accidents. Fun times again. But neither boy had a #1 accident.

My parents left on Day 4. Philip was working and Eli had 2 basketball games to play. Whew. I was a Nervous Nelly. We were going to be gone for about 3 1/2 hours. I loaded up my car and diaper bag with supplies. I had 6 pair of underwear, 4 pants, 2 shirts, paper towels, wipes, trash bags and a "pee" bucket. (pee bucket was suggestion of same sweet friend that gave us the Spiderman undies) Throughout the course of the ballgames, I took them to the potty 4 times and only on the last and final trip were they successful!

It was also on Day 4 that we had poop actually go into the potty. Up until then, they had either done it in their undies or when they were napping. So that was another success!

Day 5 was church and I was once again a Nervous Nelly! Philip had to work so I debated about whether or not to take them. No way was I reverting back to diapers, so if I took them it would be in their underwear. Since they had done so well on Saturday (both at home and on their first "outing"), I decided to take them. My diaper underwear bag was packed and off we went. When we got to Zane & Zander's class, there wasn't a teacher. So I volunteered to stay for the first half. So thankful it worked out that way. I was able to see the bathroom situation (how small the potties were, that it seemed to be better for them to stand rather than sit, etc...). During the 1 1/2hrs I was in with them, I took them to the potty several times. Zane was successful once but Zander never was. I think this was partially because Zander cannot seem to stand and pee at the same time. So, again, thankful that I was in there to see all this so I know what we need to work on at home. (they are in childcare at church 3 times per week, so its important to be able to use the potties there!) When another set of volunteers came to relieve me, I went to my Bible Fellowship class, but was constantly looking at my watch. Wondering if Zander had gone in his pants. Wondering if I should go and check on them. The hour passed and I was pleasantly surprised when I picked them up that they were both dry! Another success!
Days 6-9: On Mondays we are mostly at home anyway, so I wasn't worried about Day 6. Monday night and into Tuesday morning, we were showered with a huge snowstorm, so the kids and I have been "snowed in" ever since. As far as potty training goes, being snowed in has worked in our favor. Normally, the boys would have been in childcare Tuesday morning for Bible Study as well as this morning for Mom's Day Out, along with being in the car taking Eli and EK to/from school, gymnastics, basketball, etc...
I would consider Zane 99.9% potty trained....hooray! He tells me without fail when he needs to do #1 and #2. I don't think he's had an accident since Day 3...but my memory could be failing! There have been times when he's done it completely on his own. Pants down, potty successful, and I don't even know until he comes running out to tell me. One of my favorite things he has continually said throughout this process is "spush." For example: after he goes in the potty he needs to spush (flush) it.
Zander, on the other hand, is probably 80-85% trained. Day 7 & 8 (which was Tuesday and Wednesday of this week), he had 2 or 3 pee accidents each day. Now, there were still plenty of other times when he told me he needed to go (both #1 and #2), so I know he's getting it...just not completely got it.
Do you recall way earlier in the post when I told you to remember that back in December and January, Zander would go on command but Zane never could make it come out? That is so interesting to me now after we've gone through P.T. Boot Camp. I just knew Zander would catch on so quickly, but its been totally reversed. They never cease to surprise me!
Having twins has been beneficial in the potty department. They love to clap and cheer each other on and are genuinely happy for each other when they are successful!

I guess because Grandma was such an integral part of their first few days of Boot Camp, they still occasionally say they want to tell her after they go #1 or #2. Emma Kate took the picture below of me calling Grandma to tell her that Zander had poo poo'd in the potty....

Overall, I'm highly satisfied with the outcome. It went much easier and better than I anticipated. Thank goodness for facebook or I might never have known about the 3 Day Method!

Photo of the Day

Because we buy our yogurt (and many other staple food items) at Sam's, we keep it in the fridge in our garage. When the boys decide to eat yogurt, they like to go out to the garage by themselves to get it.

I loved the attire they were wearing this morning as they went out to get their yogurts:Keep in mind it was 4 degrees outside.

One doesn't want any clothes.
The other wants to be covered from head to toe.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Random Thoughts

We're ending our 2nd Snow Day this week, (although our teachers did email work for the kids to do today), and we've already received the email that we're out of school tomorrow also. Basically that sentence should read: I've been in the house since Monday afternoon and haven't gotten out. Looks to be another repeat tomorrow. So I've got a lot to say.

Since I have no adult interaction other than the 2-3hrs that Philip is home before he goes to bed, I'm just going to write down the random thoughts that are going through my head.

  1. Mollie is much better today. Walking, sitting and sometimes laying like normal. She really likes the chicken flavored baby food (which is what the vet recommended we feed her this week)
  2. Speaking of Mollie and baby food. You know what baby food looks like when it comes out of a babies behind? Well, FYI, it looks pretty much the same when it comes out of a dogs behind.
  3. Since the kids and I have been snowed in for 2 days, I haven't gotten out of my pajamas. Still got the same ones on that I put on when I went to bed Monday night. I bet Philip just loves to see me in the same clothes when he gets home at night as I was in when he left early that morning. Maybe tomorrow I'll go all out and change. Probably into different pajamas.
  4. I went to Walmart Monday night and stocked up on some groceries. I wanted to get eggs but there wasn't a single egg to be found. Now, 2 days later, we are running low on eggs, butter and orange juice. Those things won't make me venture out tomorrow though. We can just do without.
  5. I discovered tonight that its really hard to bake cookies, cook dinner, and assist in trips to the potty all at the same time. Turns out I cannot successfully do all three. Cookies came out okay, but the onions that I was sauteing burnt and some of what was supposed to end up in the potty ended up on the floor. (use your imagination here)
  6. Final thought...I have been a Verizon customer since before it was Verizon. Way back when I got my first "bag" car phone (circa 1995), I was on Alltel. Been with Alltel ever since and now with Verizon after the buyout. I have really no complaints with Verizon except that I've been yearning for an iPhone. Most of last year, I debated if I was going to renew my contract with Verizon or switch over to AT&T so I could get an iPhone. I was plum giddy when I heard in December that a Verizon iPhone was in the works. And now I'm even more excited to say that.......the time has come!!! Tomorrow morning at 2am, Verizon customers who have "signed up" can order their iPhone online on a first come first serve basis. So yes, I will be setting my alarm and waking up a little before 2am in the morning to order my phone. All good things come to those who wait!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lego Table

Sometimes reading & following other blogs can get me into trouble. So many of the well known bloggers out there are either: kitchen gourmets, bargain hunters, or crafty. And I am none of those three. I like to cook but am no gourmet. I love a good bargain but will not spend hours hunting one down. And crafts. Oh crafts. I would love to be a crafty girl, but honestly, I can barely use my hot glue gun that was bought for $1 at the Dollar Tree. And I certainly can't even sew on a button.
So when I'm reading some of these blogs, I see their amazing recipes, awesome bargains, or totally cute craftiness and I wish to be like them. Thankfully for me, I do have a husband that is pretty good with tools (no doubt because of his amazingly handy father). So occasionally when I see a craft that I know he could do, I get excited.

The latest such project was a DIY Lego Table that I saw at The Idea Room.

Eli loves to play with Legos, but they were taking over my breakfast area and dining room table and computer desk. I'd find creations or little pieces everywhere. I thought this souded like a great idea to have a place to play with them.
We didn't want to spend much money on the table, so I searched and searched on Craigslist for a cheapo. Never found one that seemed quite right.
I finally found this one at a furniture outlet. It had a small crack in it, so it was fairly reasonably priced. Now, if you've read about the table at The Idea Room, you know that she suggests having a "lip" around the table. Well the one we found did not have a lip, but that handy husband of mine said "no problem." He made a lip and stained it to match pretty darn perfectly to the original table color.

Next, we ordered these baseplates from Lego. Again, I tried to go cheap, checking for these on Ebay, but no luck.

After the baseplates came in, Philip got busy gluing them to the table. He even used little Lego men to help hold them together!

After all the baseplates were glued on, he used some big thick books as well as clamps to hold them down while they dried...

The table was finished and brought up to Eli's room. He immediately got busy scattering pieces out all over the table.

And then he went to creating masterpieces....
like this:

Star Wars Battle of Endor...
and this:

Atlantis Underwater Exploration Station....

I'm so pleased with how the table turned out. Philip did a great job! And Eli has already spent several hours during our snowed-in week at home upstairs in his room at his Lego table!
So glad God gave me a husband who can pick up the slack in some of my non-gifted areas!

Mollie Dog

This is Mollie Valentine.
(I know that picture is really blurry, but she's scared of my camera. So when I get it out, she won't be still)
She is 6yrs old and we have had her since she was about 10 weeks old.
She has turned out to be like a teacup breed of Maltese, although she wasn't advertised as that. We knew she was a Maltese and expected her to weigh between 6-10lbs like her parents.
She weighs 2.5lbs. She has never weighed more than 3lbs. She's soooo tiny and bony. We've had her on high-calorie dog food and it doesn't matter. She just doesn't gain weight. (it would be nice to have a bit of that problem)
Yesterday was not a good day for Mollie Dog.
I took her to get her teeth cleaned. Her breath was really stinky, so we decided it was time for a good cleaning.
When I took her in, one of the assistants told me about the procedure. Because of her size, they wanted to do bloodwork to make sure her tiny body could handle the anesthesia. Then, they also wanted to put a catheter in to keep her hydrated (again because of her size). I asked for an estimate for the procedure and was quoted around $300. (this included pain meds for afterwards as well as her heartworm meds for 6months). However, if she needed any extractions, they said the price would increase.
They told me they would start the procedure around mid-morning and that I should be able to pick her up late afternoon.
I received a call around 1:30 or 2:00. Here is what I recall of the conversation.
Me: "Hello"
Vet: "Mrs. Jackson, this is Dee, the Vet. Mollie is waking up from anesthesia and she's doing fine. But, I'm sorry to say that she has no teeth left."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Vet: "Yes ma'am. I'm sorry, but her teeth were just awful. They were infected and we really didn't even have to work to get them out."
Me: "So she has NO teeth left?"
Vet: "Right, but I assure you she's going to feel much better."
Me: "I didn't know she was feeling bad in the first place."
Vet: "Her teeth were really bad and just practically fell out."
Me: "How will she eat?"
Vet: "She'll do fine on soft food."
The conversation went on for a bit longer but the details after that are unimportant. We hung up and I felt completely sick to my stomach. I would go back and forth between thinking I was going to throw up and then feeling like I was going to cry.
She is just a dog. I get that. But, no teeth? That's just not right.
In the conversation, I was told to wait until around 5:00 to come and pick her up so they could continue to watch her. Philip was supposed to get home around 5:00 so I decided to wait until he got home to go get Mollie, so I wouldn't have the distraction of all my busy blessings being with me.
As it got closer and closer to 5:00, the knot I was feeling kept getting tighter and tigher. It traveled. Going from my stomach, up to my throat, back down to my stomach, etc...
Philip came home and it was time. Emma Kate asked if she could go with me. Although I would've rather gone by myself, I said yes. I later had a thought that her going with me was probably God's way of keeping me calm and Christian-like when I spoke with the 2 Dr's.
The vet is only about 5 minutes from our house, but with each passing minute during the drive, I was getting madder. And sicker. We went in and they called us back into an examining room. Two Dr's that helped with her procedure came in to talk to us. I won't go through the details of that conversation, but 2 things happened:
  1. I calmy let them know how unhappy I was that no one called until AFTER it had been done.
  2. I actually felt much better about Mollie's prognosis after hearing their explanation.

Then it was time to see our Mollie Dog. Surprisingly she looked almost normal. They had said the main difference we would probably notice would be that her tongue might hang out or be wobbly. Because she doesn't have a place to "rest" it and therefore doesn't really know what to do with it.

We brought her home and she acted much better than I anticipated the first 2 hours we were home. As evening rolled around though, she just wasn't herself. She wouldn't go into her "house." (which is very strange b/c that's where she likes to sleep and its her safe haven away from all the noise and chaos of our house). She also would barely sit or lay down. She just stood.

When it was time for Philip and I to go to bed, she still wouldn't go in her house nor lay down outside of her house. I put her in bed with us and was able to curl her up next to me. She stayed in our bed the entire night (which is a big no-no for Philip. When we first got her, I wanted her to sleep in our bed and he immediately nixed that. In hindsight, I'm glad she has her own bed and we have ours. Thankfully though, I think he knew how critical last night was and he didn't make me put her down). She slept pretty good. I heard a couple of moans from her, and I had to make her lay back down a few times.

She still isn't herself today. Her front 2 legs are very stiff and she still won't sit or lay down. The vet called this morning to check on her and said that if she's still acting that way tomorrow to give them a call.

I felt so sorry for her and it hurt me to see the way she's still acting today. So I've resorted to this...

Carrying her around in a pouch.
Go ahead and laugh if you want. But don't let me know about it. She's just not herself and if this makes her feel better, I'm going to do it.
This carrier is from Build-a-Bear. Emma Kate got it one time for one of her bears. (sidenote: Praise the Lord we no longer have to go to Build-a-Bear and spend WAY TOO MUCH MONEY on stuffing and dressing bears.)
It's just the right size for our Mollie Dog.
Lovely picture, I know. Its a snow day. It's 2:03pm and I'm still in my pj's. Don't be a hater.
Emma Kate has enjoyed carrying Mollie around today, too.

Hopefully she'll perk back up in the next day or two.
Story to be continued....

Blessings to this Momma's Heart

Before I share what's on my heart this morning, let me make a disclaimer that Eli and Emma Kate are by no means perfect. They argue. They throw fits (well that's just mostly Emma Kate). They complain. And the list goes on.

But what I want to share today is how they've made my heart happy in the last 15 hours...and without even realizing it.

Last night, they asked if I would download some songs onto their iPod Touch(s). Every song they asked for is a Contemporary Christian song. Specifically, they asked for songs by: Brandon Heath, Britt Nicole and Group 1 Crew. (the grandparents reading this won't recognize those names, but most of the rest of you reading know who those artists are).

I love that this kind of music is what they think is normal. I hope they always want to listen to music that is written to glorify God.

Secondly, this morning they crawled in my bed since its a snow day (HOORAY!), and as usual, I was on my iPad. (that seems to be my favorite iPad bed). They both asked, but at different times, if we could download the Bible onto their iPods. oh Father, let me seize this moment. A 10 and 8yr old asking for the BIBLE to be put on their iPods. Thank you Father for what you are pouring into their hearts and what they are retaining. Thank you for all the Godly people and places you have placed in their lives (2 of which are school and church). Finally Father, let them finish this race to your Kingdom with endurance.

Some verses that have popped into my mind as I've been typing this:
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
  • ...and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1b-2a)

Amen and amen. All glory and praise be to HIM!