Monday, May 24, 2010

Potty Training

***Editted to add...I am by no means an expert, just glad to have survived!!***

Last week I bit the bullet on something I'd been putting off for a while. In my mind, I'd planned on potty training ella around 23 months just before eliza arrived. I figured she'd be ready and it would be easier to only have one in diapers. Well, just about that time I took a friend's advice and decided not to rock the boat....and I am so glad I waited!

Before potty training her, I have to admit that I was very nervous! I read from all of my child rearing books about the "how's" and the "whens!" I read how to train your child in ONE day, how to train your child in THREE days. I talked to my friends about this and to my sister and mom who are much more experienced. I even read some great blogs about this! I kept telling Kevin that I was starting on Monday, but when Monday would come...I'd push it out another week!

I knew we had our big Disney trip coming so I decided to wait until that was over, and then we got home and that Monday I was swamped with lots of laundry and stuff to put away from the trip! So, last Monday I set my mind to "getter done!"

Ella has been pottying lots on her own initiative. In fact she'd say, "Mommy, I want a surprise...I go potty all myself." And she'd walk into the bathroom and go all by herself. We determined that she was was mommy who needed to be ready!

So last Monday morning I was up early. I was showered and prepped with a princess potty crown, stickers, and lots of prizes. I was prepared for a day full of accidents and lots of running to the potty! Ella blew me away! She stayed dry in her panties the entire first day! We did do tons of running to the potty...seriously like every 5-10 minutes! It was a lot of work...esp. with eliza! I had prepared to stay at home most of the week because I think that helps, but by the end of the week we did venture out a little! We had about three/four little accidents all week and I am so glad that the first week is over.

She is doing better at holding it longer and going by herself...even when mommy was in the shower! I am thankful to get over this hurdle with her with my sanity still in tack. Now we just have to work on her fear of public restrooms!!

These things were helpful for her:

1)Waiting until she was older. I think she was physically capable earlier but she needed to be older to "want" to use the potty like a big girl. A few times we tried it earlier she'd say, "No thanks I want my diaper!" It was a battle that I didn't want to fight!

2) She wants to go to preschool at our church so bad next year. She says, "I go to school like my cousins. I take my book bag and my lunchbox!" We told her that she had to learn to use the potty so that she's be ready to go to school. Things like this work for her!

3)I got a book at Target called Princess Potty. It came with a crown to make and jewel stickers. The book is by far not the best of children's literature...but ella did like earning the stickers for her crown. We've also read several other books about learning to potty!

4) I had lots of surprises. I had candy surprises and some bigger (dollar section) from Target surprises. This was def. motivating for her!

5) We put all of the diapers in a trash bag. I did not throw them away, but she thinks we did. I wasn't giving her the option of wearing one or me the option of getting frustrated and putting one on her!

6) We have used pull-ups for nighttime, church, and long outings. So far she is doing great not using them as a diaper and keeping them dry! I know many say to not use them at all, but for me I just an not ready to venture out too far yet! (Maybe next week!)

7)We praised her and praised her praised her for even the smallest little dribbles. We might have gone overboard because she started saying,"Yes, I'm awesome!" We'll tackle humbleness another day!

8)We carried a potty in our van. This was one of those things that I claimed I'd never do when I was a parent but yes, have a potty...will travel. It's's clean. Please Lord don't let that potty spill! I am just waiting for that to happen!

9)I always tried to put her in charge of telling me when she had to go. I'd say, "Make sure you tell mommy when you need to potty." Rather than, "Do you need to potty?" This worked great because she knows and is in control and I am not bugging her continually! I have been shocked at how pretty much every time she said she needed to go, she has!

Way to Go Elles! Mommy and Daddy are super proud of our big girl!

Thankful to just have one in diapers...but I must say that diapers are def. easier!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Disney World Day 4

On Day 4 we headed to Hollywood Studios in the am.

Autographing her own book!

I believe she was excited to see Donald and Daisy!

It was so much fun to take her at this age. She
walked right up to them like they were her pals.

Ella and Eeyore

The Disney Clubhouse show. I thought she'd think
she'd died and gone to heaven...but she just watched
quietly. She was tired by day 4! It was a cute show.
I sat on the floor trying to nurse Eliza
(I was fully covered).
I don't want to ever go back to Disney
while nursing a baby!
It was a lot of work trying to keep her cool,
hydrated, and
mommy covered. I am a very modest person
and do not like to nurse in public places but,
you do what you have to do. I did use
the baby care spot on Day 4 and I should
have used them more
often. They were awesome.

On the bus back to the resort. Both girls
were melting by this point on day 4.
Too bad there isn't a video of us
exiting the park. Ella was screaming...tired,
hot, and wanting to walk by herself.
Kev was carrying her while
sweating like crazy!Eliza was in my sister's
Ergo carrier and was bucking to get out and
screaming...and we were walking as fast
as we could to catch the bus back to
our resort so we didn't have to
wait an hour for the next one. As you can
see we made it all the kiddo's
crashed moments later and the parents
had time to cool down. Have you
noticed that when your kids are crying and
misbehaving, the stress level
rises like crazy? Whew...needless to say we
all took long naps that afternoon!

Monorail to Epcot on Day 4 Pm

Me and my lil sis!

Epcot...Mickey's big ball as ella called it!

We ate Dinner in "Germany!" That is
Kev and ella dancing
to a German Polka. It was a cool dinner.
You felt like you were
really in Germany! The guys enjoyed
the Brats and sauerkraut!
I guess by this point I was tired
of taking pics. We watched the Epcot
light and fireworks show. It was by far the
best one I'd ever seen!
Ella decided she liked the fireworks
by this point of the week! Epcot
had extra hours for resort people that
night until midnight. We stayed until
about 10pm and I just felt too weird
pushing my girls around in a stroller at
an amusement park at 10 o'clock at night!
We rode a few more rides and headed
back. The kids all crashed on the monorail.
Our Disney vacation was complete!
It was an awesome trip and a vacation
I will never forget. Thanks Jess and
Ryan for sharing the week with us.
Thanks also for your help with the girls.
We hope to do it again one day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Disney days 2 & 3

I have been much slower at finishing my vacation posts than I wanted to be. All of our Disney days are starting to mush together! I figured it was time to finish this before it is a fuzzy memory!!!

On the morning of day 2 we headed to the Animal Kingdom!
I was excited about ella seeing lots of different animals, since she has never been to a zoo!

Eliza sportin her cheetah pants!!

Meeting Goofy! We love Goofy!

Safari Minne!

The African Safari ride. It was neat. I don't think ella could see some of the animals too well but she still enjoyed it! Our stroller got a flat so we headed back to the hotel mid morning and then out in search of the right size tire tubing. Thankfully, we found a Super Target and amazingly they had just what we needed! I also enjoyed a little shopping while we were there!

Day 2 pm...back at animal kingdom. That is the Everest ride in the background! It was probably my favorite roller coaster of the trip!

Goofy and Pluto! This was actually Titus' turn to see them but as you can see ella had a hard time leaving. Thankfully, Titus didn't seem to mind!

Waiting for the bus to go back to the magic kingdom for the fireworks!!!

I love the Magic Kingdom at night! It is magical!

Day 3 am We took advantage of the extra hours for the resorts and headed to the Magic Kingdom for the early extra hour. I am proud of us for getting up and out so early!
Ella met Daisy upon entering the park!
She was so cute!

Heading to the Tea Cups for an early morning spin!

We had tons of fun riding this as a family! (We are headed to Blizzard Beach
which is why we are wearing swimwear!)

Blizzard Beach- Ella had fun on the kiddie slides! I spent most of my time trying to keep eliza in the shade and hydrated! Fun times!!! I would love to go back when my girls are looked like so much fun!

Day 3 Pm Magic Kingdom Light Parade

My girls!! We had just finished our giant "Plaza" Sundae! It was
huge and oh so delish!

My favorite picture of Eliza from the week!

I love that girl!
Waiting for the parade!!

Cinderella and Prince Charming!!

It received the two handed wave from ella!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Disney Day 1

On our first day at Disney we headed to the Magic Kingdom. I have been to Disney a few times in my life and this by far was my favorite trip! I have never been big into the whole Disney gear and pin trading....don't quite understand that...but I would have to say that I am now a huge fan. We are back on a big time budget but Kev said that whatever is left in my envelopes at the end of each month can go into our vacation fund. That is good motivation for me right now!!

Day 1 in front of the castle

The Epps on Ryan's favorite ride..."It's a Small World!"

Eliza thought it was pretty cool!

Life's good when you get carted and carried around the park!
This picture made my whole trip worthwhile...this is when ella first saw the real
Mickey and Minnie. I think she thought the statue in the lobby of our hotel was who we'd came to see...until this moment!
Of course she wasn't a bit shy....why in the world would I have even thought she might be....She grabbed Minnie's hands and began to dance a jig.! Perhaps she was doing the hotdog dance!!
Ella and Mickey!

Say Cheese!

We arrived at the front of the castle a little late for the show. We caught the end of it. A lady ran over my foot with a wheelchair...that had a person riding in it! Ouch!!!

We had 3 nappers who missed the show!

Mommy and ella waiting for the 3:00 Parade! It was hot!! We left after the parade and headed back to the room for a bit!
There is a story behind this one...eliza threw up at dinner. I think she got choked on her baby food! It was a mess....a huge mess. Kev being the super dad that he is agreed to walk back to the room and clean her, her car seat, and meet us back at the restaurant. When he got back I began to laugh so hard...he dressed our little bitty eliza in ella's 3T outfit. It was worked...he tried! It was so funny!

Ella was a little more shy with the princesses! I think she was star struck!

I never knew Sleeping Beauty was named Aurora! Did you??
Princess Belle!

We ended the night by watching the fireworks. We were at the back of the park and it was loud and not the best viewing position. It also was super crowded trying to get out of the park and on the monorail. We learned our lesson for the rest of the week. Ella liked the fireworks but was also scared. She kept getting confused on what they were called and kept calling them...firemen and fireplace. It was so funny!
Tune in tom..Day 2 Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

eliza's baby dedication

One of the blessings of having my dad as a pastor has been that he has been the one to dedicate each of our children to the Lord. We dedicated little eliza to the Lord from the first day we saw those two faint pink lines glaring back at us. We knew that it is the Lord who is the giver of life and we trusted Him with her little life. We dedicated her publicly in church on Sunday as a public commitment to teach and train her to know and learn about Jesus. We definitely need the Lord's help to be the kind of parents she needs and to help us as we seek to raise her for Jesus. We pray that she will come to know Christ on her own in a real and personal way and that she will grow to be a strong and pure Godly woman. Oh how I love her!