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Monday, August 29, 2011

Potty Training 101

I can't believe summer is over and its already time for the kids to start school!! The kids have all learned to do so many new things Samuel has grown like a weed and learned to help his Dad cut tile (supposed to be a really safe saw according to Chance), Brianna had a birthday, Alexis ditched her booster seat, and Mackenzie was finally potty trained this summer!!! That marks the end of almost 9 years of having a kid in diapers; at times we had 2 in diapers.

Looking back on the first time potty training I can remember not having a clue where to start so for all you first timers or mom's who just want tips I'm going to share what worked for us. First of all you'll want to decide what kind of potty you want to use. Those little ones that sit on the floor are great because the toddler can be more independent but the pottys can get pretty gross! The ones that fit over your toilet are less work when it comes to clean up but you'll have to be ready to help them up and down every time depending on your child's agility. Second, you'll want to have some rewards on hand when your child reaches the goal. You can give your child a sticker, an M&M, make up a potty dance, you name it. Just make it fun, fun, and positive. Praise, praise, praise, your child when he or she does go on the potty. Whatever you decide make sure its something you can keep giving he or she several times a day. That's why I use 1 M&M and we do a silly potty song that we made up. 

You can start with putting them on the potty when they wake up, before bath, and before bed. It may take several attempts at putting them on the potty before anything happens but don't be discouraged! They are still learning things you might not realize like pulling their pants up and down, how to climb onto the potty (depending on age), how to flush. Try this routing of putting your child on the potty 2-3 times a day for a week or so. If your child does not go at all during this time or it just seems to be a crazy time for the family drop it...wait a few weeks..and try again. If your little guy or gal does 
go on the potty its time for the next step.

Once your child has proved several times he or she can go on the potty (it doesn't have to be consistent) find a week when you or a caretaker can be home with the child most of the time. (We did this with Mackenzie during a slow summer week.) Now, its time for training pants. You know, those underwear that are thicker than normal ones. The point of this is so that when your child has an accident he or she will sense a consequence. He or she will hear "uh oh", feel wet, and maybe make a puddle (hopefully not). You it to get your child's attention when he or she has an accident but you don't want a mess or to ruin your home so you might even stuff a cloth diaper into the training pants to absorb a bit more. 

Once your kiddo is sporting the training pants start putting your child on the potty every 15-30 minutes.  I always turn on the water because that helps. You may notice your child won't sit long enough to let anything happen. This is the time for a book or even a toy to entertain your tot while sitting a little longer. When you have success do the praise routine mentioned before. If he or she doesn't have success praise them for how well he or she climbed on the potty, flushed, or some other part of the new routine.

You will probably notice your child becomes more and more consistent. You may also have some set backs but don't give up! It will happen. You may want to put your child in a pull-up at night until the pull-up is consistently dry in the mornings. Some children can take quite a while to develop the ability to stay dry at night so don't rush that part.

If you have anything helpful to add feel free to comment!! Here's my Mackenzie on her potty...

And, my little man learning to cut tile.

Also, I have posted this lots of places and you may be tired of seeing it but we have our house for sale. We have a contract on some land not far out of town and will rent for a while with plans to build if God allows the house to sell. If you know anyone interested we would really appreciate you sharing :) Here's the house blog...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can it get any hotter??

Wow, what a crazy hot summer we are having. Here are some shots from two super sweet families who have braved the heat. It seriously amazes me that there are so many kind people that I get to meet along the path photographing children and families. It is such a blessing!

And, last but not least, my first baby girl turned 7 at the end of July, ending the even streak of our kids being 2,4,6, and 8. I will never cease to be amazed at her girliness. She was girly from the moment she was born, especially in contrast to her big brother. She's all for any kind of crafting or creating. Right now she's into beading. You may see me posting a few of her things on facebook. If she makes $6 she feels like she won the lotto. One of my favorite things about Brianna is the way she loves me. I have no idea why but for some reason she has always been so crazy in love with me. As a baby she didn't want to leave my side or go to anyone else and she still follows me around the house all day asking me questions (a sign of intelligence I'm sure). My second favorite thing about her is that she LOVES to give. This girl gives people stuff like nobody's business and I can see the verse about sewing and reaping lived out in her. She seems to get some pretty awesome stuff given to her in return. Well, here she is all decked out in her zebra dress that she picked out, of course.

Oh, and I am so disappointed in myself. I have the tradition of making wild, crazy, over the top cakes for my kids; party or no party. Now, I have to keep doing this because whoever has the birthday always remembers who got the cool cake before them and already has it planned. Brianna requested a hot pink, zebra striped cake (surprise) with a Bible and cross on top. And, guess who forgot to take a picture! Yep, it was awesome and you'll just have to take my word for it :)