It Starts With P and That Rhymes with T and That Stands for Trouble

Yep, I'm talking potty training. I was intending to wait until after our Christmas trip to TN to tackle this, but it suddenly hit me that we had another big trip in January and that I'd really be waiting until almost February! So we plunged in.

Look at that cute little underwear boy helping to decorate the Christmas tree! There is nothing cuter than a 3-year-old in underwear.

So how did we work it? We started on a Sunday afternoon after church (the day of the picture taken above). I told him he was done with diapers and he was going to wear underwear now. He gave no argument. The first 2 days I gave him 3 M&Ms for every time he sat on the potty. I set my timer to go off every 30 minutes and had him sit on the potty and try. After 2 days he was getting tired of that routine and so was I. Plus, I could tell that he had fully accepting this potty thing, he just needed to "own" it and figure out for himself when to go.

So I introduced this sticker chart. He got a sticker every time he went potty and kept his underwear dry. I thought he'd fill the chart in 3 days, but it ended up taking 5. Five rip-my-hair-out days. It seemed like Austin announced his need to go potty 1 second before it came out of his body. We changed a lot of underwear and spot cleaned a lot of carpet. Obviously, we didn't go anywhere that week. I suppose I could have used pull-ups, but I wanted to get this over with, no handicaps. Finally, on day 7, I had a heart-to-heart with him and asked him if he was trying or if it was just hard. He sincerely told me that he was trying and that it was hard. He was cute. And I decided to have more patience. But, joyously, we woke up the next morning and bang! he'd figured it out. He went dry that day and many a day since!

This was Austin's prize for filling up the sticker chart. For the first 3 days he asked every time he went potty if he could play with his "surprise" now. It was so hard for me to hold out and not give it to him but I wanted him to have a reason to keep trying. It turned out to be just right actually. When he finally earned this, he was so happy! He played with this toy for a solid straight week.

Looking back, the potty training actually went fast, but that one week was excruciatingly frustrating. He only had one poop on the floor incident (phew) which I made him clean up - and I'm pretty sure that convinced him to never do that again. Now he's doing great. We still get wet underwear about once every other day, but he knows how to get himself cleaned up so I'm feeling patient with it. Last week we did another sticker chart to practice wiping himself (that's so nice!). The only big thing left is night-time training and I'm not sure when I'm going to tackle that.

I'm so happy the hardest part is over. He seems so much older and more responsible now. It's definitely changed the way I perceive him and what I expect of him. My little man is truly growing up. And he's at that magical age where he couldn't be prouder.


Ruthie is 1!

My little baby turned 1 on Nov 15th! How did she get so old so fast? I swear the year has flown by. We celebrated her birthday in style with the whole family and her very own cake to destroy. Everyone commented that Ruthie was the most bold of all the kiddies - digging in almost right away. Her big bday gift from mom and dad was a stroller and baby doll that she instantly loved.

Here is the video montage of the cake destruction. Can she get any more cake in those little hands?

A few fun memories of my little one-year-old, as recorded on her first birthday:
  • She has the funniest head shake when she's "talking". For any Johnsons out there it's rather reminiscent of her Opa.
  • She picked up a little phrase from cousin Tyce who frequently calls out "Heidi" whenever I'm around. Now Ruthie walks around saying "Ei-Eee", "Ei-Eee". I get called Heidi before I even get called Mom!
  • She plays "duck duck goose". Seriously. Somehow Anthony taught her this. She pats his head saying "du. du." and then runs around with him. It's pretty much their favorite game.
  • She climbs onto the kitchen table. So not my favorite thing. That would be quite a fall!
  • She loves containers. Loves to move items from one container to another.
  • She can say "bye", "hi", "da" (dad), "ma" (mom) and "ei-ee" (Heidi)
  • She can sign the words for "bye", "more" and "dad". Actually, when she says "da" she waves her little hand bye. She's associated her dad with waving bye to him when he leaves for work.
  • She has yet to refuse to eat anything - except ground turkey.
  • She has recently been going through a mommy-hold-me phase. For a long time she has been content to just wander around doing her own thing, but lately she wants to be in my arms, so I'm having to relearn my one-handed skills.
  • She's learned to cry whenever Austin gets near her. It gets mommy to come running before Austin can even pummel her.
  • She goes down the kiddie slide all by herself, feet first on her tummy. No fear.
  • She feeds herself almost exclusively. She accepts it if we feed her sometimes, but she's had to learn early to feed herself since I'm only too happy to have my hands free for other things.
  • She currently takes 1 90 minute nap each day. Very consistent. Very easy to put to bed. Definitely the easiest kid to put to bed I've ever heard of. Often she doesn't even want a wind down time - no stories or songs. Once you get her in her PJs she starts to cry until you lay her in her bed. Then she's instantly happy, sucks her thumb and is ready for sleep.
  • She still wakes up in the middle of the night. We're working on that.
  • She is a forager, constantly ready for food. If you are eating anything, she will come up to you, hold out her hand and make begging noises until you share.
  • She has just started to watch TV. This is important to me because this how I sneak in my extra naps.
  • She loves bath time.
  • She smiles every morning.
  • She has a funny fake-sounding laugh.
  • She has fine blond hair and deep brown eyes.
  • She loves her cousins, aunts, grandparents and all.