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Potty Training Stubborn Boys and Living To Tell About It

potty training sucksIt’s done. It is finished. After almost 10 years of diapers, my boys are potty trained. Still working on nights, but that can take a while.

I am so happy to be here. Not only do we get to save about $50 a month but I no longer have to change diapers. YAY! What a wonderful feeling that is!

I am also done with potty training. This is huge because, I HATE POTTY TRAINING! I hate it. My boys take forever. It sometimes felt like they would head off to college in diapers. Seriously. If you are someone whose kids got it right away, this post is not for you. This post is for my friends who struggle with potty training too.

I am not an expert on this at all. What worked for my kids might not work for yours, but since we are finally at the finish line, I thought I would share a little bit about what we did to get there. And what we shouldn’t have done. And all of that.

My oldest took FOREVER and a day to get there. Two years of really trying with him. Of taking him to the potty and hoping that he would one day GET that you should use the potty. Two years!!! Finally, I had enough. With the encouragement of his preschool teacher, I switched him to underwear and didn’t look back. This was hard. The mess. The frustration. But I kept at it. It took exactly three weeks. I remember sitting at the kitchen table hearing him run down the hall towards the bathroom yelling, “I’ve got to go potty!!!” He finally got it. I was so happy! So very happy!

With my second little boy, we tried earlier but he didn’t seem to get it either. I was super pregnant so didn’t worry about it all that much. We could do two in diapers again, not a big deal. Really, it wasn’t. A lot of people worry about the two in diaper thing but it isn’t as scary as it sounds, I promise. Anyway, it was a mix of Grandma and Daddy taking him all the time and of him seeing the baby wearing diapers, but he got it right before his fourth birthday. Yay! Only one more to go.

Now, I was optimistic. This third child was going to do it early. He was going to be the one to ask to be out of diapers, to wake up one day and get it. NOPE. We semi tried last spring and he didn’t get it. Fine. He is only three. We will wait. So summer started and I was done. At his preschool, you just have to be potty trained by the time you are four which is the next month. So I knew we had time but I really didn’t want to have him start the new school year in his new class.

So we worked hard. We put him in underwear and dealt with it. Finally, like a week before school started he finally got it. It took all summer. Tons of accidents and he finally did it. YAY! Finally! (And in the last few months he has had accidents here and there but I think that could be normal?)

Anyway, looking back over the years I learned a few things:

1) Going straight to underwear is the key, although it might take longer than a few days.
2) Sometimes Mom and Dad are not prepared or are not able to handle how long it will take after you switch to underwear.
3) Sometimes you have to take a break from it. This was the case with my oldest. It was hard to stick with it and I had to take a lot of breaks. Ben was gone and I just couldn’t emotionally deal with it at the time. I know, “they” say not to do this but it was my reality at the time.
4) It is okay if your kid is not potty trained by their third birthday. It really is. Especially if it is a boy. I have heard boy moms freak out because their two-year old is not trained yet. It’s really ok.
5) In some cases it might take until they are 4+. Some boys take this long. That is okay too as long as there isn’t something medical going on.
6) You need encouragement from friends. It seems like this is what I needed to get through this stage. Friends that said, “You can do it, I know it is hard, but you can.”
7) Your kids will learn how to use the potty. It might not seem like it. But it will happen one day. And you will celebrate.

Has potty training been a struggle for your family?

Halloween Week

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Halloween week! Yay! I love Halloween. I have so many good memories of it growing up and I enjoy making memories with our own kids.

Daniel’s first Halloween was when he was just one month old. We dressed him up in a little pumpkin outfit and visited a few friends at different church festivals. Yes, he was way too young for candy but people gave it to us away. We didn’t complain about that :)

When my boys were younger I had all the say over their costumes. Like that one year they were Darth Vader and Baby Yoda. As they have gotten older they definitely have their own opinions about what they want to be. I would love for my 7-year-old to be Harry Potter, he looks like him anyway, but he isn’t having it. Maybe someday!

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Every year we usually do about three-four Halloween activities within that week. It really just depends. Clarksville has quite a few activities going on for kids which is a lot of fun.

Yes, we get too much candy, but we never eat it all. Maybe all the Reece’s though ;) I love looking at all the other costumes out there. And it is too cute when one of the boys ends up near another child wearing the same costume. I also love when they spot a character they love.

It is also really nice to get out into the community that way. You never know who you might run into, a few nights ago we went to Fright on Franklin and we ran into one of Daniel’s old teachers and a few other friends. It was the first year we had ever been and there were a lot of people there. We figured out that if you did the side areas, the lines moved a little quicker.

Last night we went to G.H.O.S.T. which is at the college. All the campus clubs have a table and it is a lot of fun but it took forever! Way too long. We have always enjoyed it in the past but this year just seemed to take a lot longer. We had to stand in line for about an hour just to get in. Not sure we will do that one next year.

Fright on Franklin

By the end of Halloween week I am ready for the start of the winter season. I am ready to put fall behind us to start thinking of Thanksgiving and Christmas. But during that week, our family has a blast and we enjoy making a lot of memories together having a good time.

What do you do for Halloween?

The Importance of Voting As A Military Spouse

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My husband and I had a date today. We usually have dates during the day when all the kids are in school so we don’t have to pay for a babysitter.

We decided to go vote! Ben will be starting school next week and the kids have off on election day so we figured that voting early would be a smart thing to do.

We both vote now in TN because that is where we live and we intend to be here for a while. As a Military spouse, I had been voting in KY until I switched it even though I only lived there one year. The local elections meant nothing to me. I wanted to have more of a say over what is happening locally. As a smart friend pointed out, when you have kids in school, it is a good idea to be able to vote in that area.

This November we get to vote for mayor and I am excited about that. I actually have an option about it because I am actually voting where I live. It is nice!

I know this isn’t something all Military members and spouses decide to do. A lot of people have ties back home either to their state or hometown. As much as I love California, I haven’t lived there since 2005 so I really don’t want to be voting there either.

After every election, there is always a lot of complaining. Not everyone wins so that is expected. But I wonder, how many of those people voted? How many times do we hear about an issue as a Military spouse and get frustrated over what the people in Washington DC are doing?  And I am not even just talking about the President. I think so many times we focus on who is in that role and forget about congress, even though they have so much power.

This November 4th we will not be voting for a new President but we will be voting on a lot of other things. We will be voting on congregational elections, gubernatorial elections as well as different amendments for different states. Here in Tennessee we are voting on abortion rights.

This election really matters!  This is not something any of us should be ignoring, Military or Civilian. Voting as a Military Spouse

Yes, the Presidential election is important but everyone should be voting in the non-presidential elections too. Do what you can to get registered and then research about the candidates. Find out what is going on where you will be voting and make a decision about it.

I think if more people did that, we would have a better system. If only 50% of the population votes, how do we really have the men and women the people wanted in office? If we as Military spouses want some changes made, one step is voting for the right people to get the job done. We can’t just sit back and let someone else have a say. We have the right to vote, we should be doing it, each and every election.

Even if the person we wanted doesn’t win, we at least did what we could to try to get them into office.

As a Military family, you can vote absentee if you don’t live where you are registered. This is great because you can vote from anywhere, I did it from Germany.

 

Here are some resources that can help:

  • GovTrack- Follow who voted for what and find out who your representatives are.

 

Are you registered? Do you vote in person or absentee?

 

Dear Asperger’s, You Can Shove It

IMG_7707My son has Asperger’s. We have known this for almost three years now. It has been a challenge for us, some days more than others.

I don’t have Asperger’s but I sometimes can understand why he feels the way he does. Why he gets so frustrated. I get it. Not 100% and not to the degree that he does but I can understand a little bit.

I get why he gets so frustrated when things don’t go the way he thought they were going to go. It is almost as if he wakes up every morning with a list of what is going to happen that day. And if things don’t happen the way he wants them to, he has a very hard time. Some days he wakes up not wanting to go to school. So then getting to school is a problem. It wasn’t on his “list.” The older he gets the more he will understand that there are certain things he has to do each day and school is one of them. We have already seen some improvement with that but still have a long way to go.

When it comes to food, he only likes certain foods. More than just one or two which I am thankful for but still, it can be frustrating sometimes. Like tacos. He loves tacos we make from home but try to offer him a taco from a restaurant and forget it. He has serious hate for Taco Bell too, which happens to be his brother’s favorite place to eat.

He has a few snacks he likes and wants to have each day. Apples, tortilla chips, milk and yogurt if we have it. He might eat crackers or goldfish but it depends. Carrots he will eat with dinner but never ever as a snack.

He can’t stand certain things and sometimes it seems quite random to me. But I am sure he has his reasons, even if we don’t understand them.

It’s hard for me as a mom sometimes. The other day he was having a lot of trouble with getting to school and I just broke down about it. Why doesn’t he get he goes to school each day? Why? It could be something as little as his brother asking him the wrong question. We can talk about it and sometimes he will tell me. That helps but it is still hard.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking about how different things would be if he didn’t have Asperger’s. Then I feel bad because he is who he is because he has Asperger’s. He would be a different kid if he didn’t have it.

At the end of the day I know that he will be okay. He will figure out school and will eventually learn how to act right even if it is hard for him. He will start to figure out the world. But even so he will still struggle. He might always hate non homemade tacos and my never be able to get over it when someone says certain things. But hopefully he will be able to learn how to act and be able to handle it better than he does today.

Some days I just need to tell Asperger’s to shove it. To yell at it and tell it that it is making my little boy’s life really hard. But that won’t do anything but make me feel a little better. Because Asperger’s will always be with him and we will also be there to help him through it. The best way that we can.

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