Friday, 28 March 2014

On a Roll...

It was just one of those days...we built a fort, we learned some phonics, new words and math...I did some laundry, washed the front of the cupboards...then we made cookie letters to spell out our names. 
You know those days? They don't happen often.  That day when you are just "on " and everyone is with you. 

The boys took their tasks seriously. Bubblegum used his muscles for mixin ! 

We even utilized the flour on the counter; writing out letters with our fingers. 

Today I learned that Bubblegum knows how to spell his name. Those middle kids pick up so much sitting alongside...

Munch wanted to try his own worked!! He had me write it out for next time...
While Munch did this, Bubblegum and I made concoctions; baking soda and vinegar, cornstarch and water. I enjoyed it as much as he fact I played with that cornstarch here and there all afternoon. 

Now, I am spent. The boys went to bed well and I am heading there soon as well. 
Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

10 Things I Learned about Parenting Through Potty Training

1. You can be the boss and your kids will be okay with it. In fact, they probably really like it.  I watched one episode of Nanny 911 last month on Netflix and it was profound.  In this day and age, where generations are so disconnected, I can see why that show does so well. Those ladies got some wisdom. Anyway, the episode I watched brought us through the journey with a mom who was afraid to be the boss becoming a loving yet firm and boundary-setting mom.  It was beautiful to see how her children responded to her confidence in authority.  I wasn't as bad as her but me being a "peace at all costs" kind of girl, I could see areas in my parenting where I did not stand up and be the boss my boys needed me to be. I applied this to potty training.  I did not do it (potty training) sooner because I feared the fight.  However, when I confidently put my foot down and said, "This IS what we are doing.  There will be no more diapers and that is that.", Bubblegum complied with no fuss and almost seemed to gain a whole new respect for me. Huh. Cool.

2. When I am not distracted with everything else, I really enjoy my kids. Having three full days of nothing but focusing on playing with the kids was great. The house work was not priority, the meals lacked creativity but my kids and I were connected.  I thought, "We should just do this all the time." Then reality set in; there were people to contact, groceries to buy, toilets to clean (especially now that are three peeing boys in the house) and laundry to be done.  So no, I can't play all day...but I can be more intentional a couple of afternoons a week and really connect with these amazing children. 

3. I love Mini Eggs.  That isn't really about parenting but it's a good fact. I secretly cheered when we went to the potty, not just for the accomplishment of putting one in the pot but also for the celebration egg we all got afterward! 

4. Favouritism hurts.  I think Ryan and I are pretty good at sharing the love in this home. We believe God when he tells us not to and then gives great testimonies of the danger of showing favouritism.  These last few days, Bubblegum has been getting a lot of accolades, hugs and mommy-daddy time and Munch, who is ordinarily a well-behaved kid was really struggling.  The whining and fighting was more than I could bare.  Ryan brought to my attention the fact that he may be feeling slighted as he too, loves encouragement and hugs.  So, I cut down on my, "This isn't about you." lectures and settled for a little more love his way and it's been good ever since.  

5. Sometimes, what we are afraid of does not really exist.  I have learned this in way harder circumstances but it was a good and gentle reminder.  I have mentioned a few times my expectation of the last three days but now sitting on the other side, I realize it was all in my head.  I am glad we pushed through. 

6. Boys are fascinated with the workings of their bodies.  Not just their bodies but others too.  Each potty time, there are spectators watching keenly.  No one is shamed there. Not at all. 

7. It is good to study and really get to know your child.  If it wasn't for Ryan and I praying and asking God to show us who Bubbs was and then really watching him, I don't think we would have been as successful.  I look forward to continuing to discover who God has made this little man to be.  In this process, I have become acquainted with the funniest, most passionate and most conscientious little boy and I love him more than ever. 

8. Maybe it is okay to wait until they are three. I am almost ready to take back what I said about how you shouldn't wait so long to potty train.  It seems that his ability to reason and communicate have been very helpful to the process.  However, I really don't know so that leaves me to say....

9. There isn't just one right way to train up a is different for each child.  That seems like a lot of work when you have a few children but it only makes sense, really.  

10. I still have so much to learn. I mean, the kid is only three.  This was just peeing in a toilet. We still have homework, chores, dating, learning to drive, personal hygiene, jobs....
I am glad I have a relationship with The One who made my little men, who knows how many hairs are on their heads and what the greatest and worst things they will do are already. I am so glad I can trust this God and can communicate with Him because Jesus Christ made a way.  I am so glad he tells me not to worry about tomorrow but just to accept his mercy for this morning and he will make my path straight.  I can just take a breath and move forward.  So thankful. 

I share my potty training story not because I am so narcissistic that I think you need to hear about my kids' toilet habits.  All my posts are to encourage you moms...or dads who just need a laugh, a reminder or some encouragement in your parenting walk.  I understand I also have a few kidless readers too...I hope this encourages you to your future as a parent (or scares you into celibacy) and helps you to laugh at and understand the weirdness of your parent friends.  
I hope our three days of potty training have served one of those purposes for you. If it has, please feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you.  

Oh yah, I didn't update you on Day Three....totally dry all night and all day.  I don't even think I can take any credit.  It has been a breeze.  It is a miracle that our boy who claimed to love diapers and walking around in his pee and poo is now saying he loves underwear and going to the potty.  Victory in The Natural Mom house! We celebrate....with MINI EGGS! Nom, nom, nom!!! 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Easy Pee-zee! Day 2 Potty Training

Someone asked about the picture of the toilet in the last post....NOT MY TOILET!!! My sons would never go the bathroom if that was ours. 

He got to wear this great outfit all day!
Well, my surprise and delight, day two of potty training was easy and fun.  There were literally NO accidents....okay, I take that back. One time he peed all over himself instead of into the toilet but... moms of boys get that and "it happens".
I am trying not to brag but I am just amazed at his response.  You have to understand that just two days ago, he was stomping his feet and screaming, "You have to go to the store and BUY MORE DIAPERS!!!"  On day one he put up a bit of a fight but when I firmly said this IS what is happening, he totally backed down.  (I think I have been giving this kid to much credit in the stubborn department, he is actually waaaay more relaxed than I thought!)
For the morning, I had to coax him onto the toilet "just to see".  Sitting on a toilet for no apparent reason to this three year old seems ludicrous.  However, when he witnessed that pee come out for the first time, it was like "WHAT??!! That is what happens?? That is so cool!"  After that, he was able to tell me when he "thought" he had to go.  Sometimes, I think he and his brother were just trying to get a "one for trying" Mini Egg, but at least we were going.
Soon enough, it was happening and he was the proudest three year old on the block.  One thing to note was that in recent months we had been trying to figure out his love language.  There had been some major behavioral issues that seemed to be caused by a lack of attention.  We soon discovered that he is a Words of Affirmation kid.  He thrives on encouragement and positive conversation and tone.  We used this in building him up toward potty training, knowing also that he is a perfectionist.  We would encourage him that we are potty training because we know that he is a big boy and CAN do it.  With each little stride, we encouraged him.  It seems that he had the confidence and trust in us to "try" this potty training deal and after each accomplishment, he grew more and more excited.  We even caught him drumming and singing about getting Mini Eggs.
I do realize that we have yet to leave the house.  That in itself is another struggle.  Both Bubblegum and I get highly distracted by the big world around us so this could all go south as soon as we step out these doors.  Once again, I am going to remain prayerfully optimistic.
Another exciting thing was that Baby Goose (we changed his name from Goo to Goose, in case you wondered), peed in the toilet too.  He caught on to the whole treat thing and insisted on giving it a go.  So, we may be closer than we thought!
Stay tuned for tomorrow where I will share the 10 things Potty Training Taught Me about Parenting.
Have a great day! 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Getting on the Pot

It was a big day in our household today. We finally put our foot down and told Bubblegum that he could no longer wear diapers.  Of course, we prepped him for the big day; counting down the size 5s that were left from the last purchased box, shopping for a comfortable potty seat and picking out special treats.  I think he thought we were teasing because he seemed quite shocked when I handed him the little Lego tighties this morning
  You know though, it hasn't been as bad as I anticipated.  There was way less screaming and resisting than I imagined.  There was a lot more outfit changes and puddle cleaning BUT it was the greatest celebration when he surprised himself with a big BM in the toilet bowl (I promise, that is as detailed as I will get).  
Our home will continue to be filled with rounds of gum balls, Mini eggs and extra loads of laundry.  I promise to share the result of Day 2, as I hear that can be a total nightmare. Once again, I hope to be surprised. 
One lesson I can leave you with tonight though is this: don't wait until your child is three and a half to potty train.  I thought it was hard at two and a half with Munch but really is easier when they are younger.  There is less explaining, arguing , coaxing and debating.  The older they get, the more complex their thinking is and the more independent they are.  It is just that more complicated. As much as this isn't horrible, it really could have been easier.  That being said, as soon as we are done with Bubblegum, Little Goose will be next.  He is already excited (he tried to push Bubbs off the pot today so he could try!). 
Good times at The Natural Mom household! Catch ya later! 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Very quick post with stuff to do

Are you stir-crazy yet? It is c-c-cold and I am sure most of you are planning on cuddling up to watch movies and drink warm drinks. However, if your kids are like mine, the movies lose their luster half way through the first one.  Here are some fun ideas that are easy. Enjoy!


And don't forget, if you have extra mitts and toques in your house, drop them off at your local shelter.  Stay warm and help others stay warm!