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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?

Parenting Without Feeling Guilty

It is hard to be a parent without feeling guilty at some point. It starts when you are pregnant and never really goes away. For some reason we all want to be the perfect parent. We don’t want to make any mistakes. We want to do it all right and we don’t want to be judged.

No matter what choices you make, there is always someone out there that would say you are making the wrong one. You really can’t win. For every parenting choice you make, there are a ton of articles out there that say you are wrong and just as many saying you are right.

IMG_8555What’s a parent to do about all that?

I think we should ignore it!

If I could do anything over again it would be to do what I feel is right and NOT feel any guilt for it. This is hard though. We moms want to know that we are making the right choices and sometimes it is hard to know what that is.

I always wanted to breastfeed. I worked so hard to do to it with my oldest and we made it to 17 months. So when I was faced with a decision to give my 2nd little boy formula at 9 months because he wasn’t growing like he should, I did what I thought was best. Maybe I was wrong, maybe I wasn’t. I don’t know. I know that once he started getting the formula he started gaining weight.

Did I feel guilty about that? Yes. Should I have? Probably not. Although I still think breastfeeding is the best way to go, sometimes formula is needed and sometimes it is just the way it needs to be. Does that kick me out of the pro-breastfeeding club? Maybe, but I have learned that it really doesn’t matter.

Guilt comes at all different times on our parenting journey. Sometime it is warranted yes, most of the time it isn’t.

How should a mom decide what is right and what is wrong? How are we supposed to know what to do? It is easy to have parenting ideals but what if they don’t add up to reality? What if life gets in the way? How do we know what we should hold onto and what we can let go?

When it comes to my kids these days, I try to do what is best. I try to do what is right. I read advice about what different people have done and go from there. And depending on the situation, sometimes I am okay with being wrong. Of learning a lesson through it. Because sometimes, it is really hard to know what is best for your child on a particular issue. And no one else can really tell you either.

So when guilt comes up, look at why you feel that way. Are you doing the best you can? If so, there is no reason to feel so guilty about things. I don’t think our goal should be to become a perfect parent.

I think our goal should be to be a good parent to the children we each have. And that is nothing we should feel guilty about.

Do you struggle with feeling guilty as a parent? How do you deal with that?

Friday Funday

10606256_10154661126145705_7525215711271235747_nHappy Friday!!!

How are things going?

This last week has been fall break at our house. I can’t believe it is over. Back to school for the boys on Monday!

Yesterday we took them all to the dentist. It was a new dentist since I really wanted to start going somewhere in-network. It went really well,  although my oldest needs to go back for some fillings. My middle son needs to work on losing a tooth and my 3.5 year old needs to stop sucking his thumb. We got lucky with our 7-year-old since he stopped the minute he saw his little baby brother do it. He didn’t want to be like a baby.

I got back from Colorado on Tuesday. I had such a great time! I had a blast hanging out with my brother and sister-in-law for a few days as well as my parents and my aunt and uncle. I wish we all lived closer to each other. It was great to see my cousin get married to the love of her life. I still remember when she was born. I was eight and remember it well as I only have one first cousin. And now she is a married women.

We spent three nights in Denver and two in Boulder. I also got to see a friend I met here at Ft. Campbell that is now at Ft. Carson. It was so nice to catch up with her. We explored Pearl street a little bit and found a used bookstore as well as a pretty cool pharmacy. Pearl street reminded me a bit of Santa Rosa. Colorado is really really amazing! Beautiful state!

I updated a few things on the blog yesterday. I went through the Blogs I Love page and deleted any sites that are dead or don’t seem to be blogging anymore. I am still working to add people to it too. I also added a Duty Station Guest Post page to have a list of duty stations that have been written about and to invite anyone who would like to write one to let me know.

I also am going to be posting a little bit differently than I have been. Not a huge change but I will be posting more about blogging, being a WAHM and my photography. I will also post more about being a mom and special needs. I will still be posting about Military life but as my life isn’t as centered around it as it used to be I wanted to start including some other topics. With the holidays coming up I might even start blogging more about baking :)

I also have a winner for my Coming Home Book giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Halloween is just a few weeks away and I am pretty excited about it. Every year I say I am going to dress up too and never do so we will see. We plan to go to a few different trick or treating type events.

I really want to see Gone Girl. I am hoping that can happen sometime soon. We have also been watching Supernatual! It took me forever to get through season one but now we are in season three and I am totally hooked. I am glad there are so many seasons.

I have been reading Written in My Own Heart’s Blood and don’t want to put it down! It is getting to that point where I think I might have to stay up until 2am to finish it. I love when I feel that way about a book.

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Other than a cub scout event and a birthday party I think we are going to have a pretty low-key weekend which I think I need.

What are your plans?

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