Potty Training Boot Camp- The 3 day Method!

Potty training can be a real struggle! I used this 3 day method for all of my children; they were 2&1/2, just over 2 &1/2 and my youngest just went through “Potty Training Boot Camp” two weeks ago; she will be 2 at the end of the month. Here are my tips for a successful Potty Training 3 day Boot Camp! Here are some of my tips to help your child become diaper free!

First, be sure your child is ready! Here is a link to help you determine if they are ready to lose the diaper and use the potty for good! http://www.babycenter.com/0_potty-training-readiness-checklist_4384.bc

Planning!!

Calendar Image-1524x975

  • Clear your calendar– You will want at least 3-4 days of obligation free time to focus on your potty training mission. Going out to grocery shop, to visit friends/family, doctors appointments….leaving home to do anything will be an issue. For my second I planned during Spring Break vacation when my older one was off from school. If you are a working parent you may need/want to take a day or two off before or after a weekend, or plan with your childcare provider on handling the final days.
  • Set the date and do a “countdown”– Buy some big kid under pants and do a countdown the week before. In the morning say, “5 more days and you will be wearing your new Frozen or Cars underwear like a big boy/girl!” This gets them thinking about it and excited for the change.
  • Commit FULLY! You need to be prepared to stick with it 100%! If you put them in underpants for a day or two then go back to diapers it will get harder and harder to get them to want to wear underpants all the time. This can be HARD! With my son (my second to be potty trained) the first night he needed to go #2 and he kept trying to stand up. They aren’t used to sitting all the time when they go #2, and I kept helping him sit. This turned into him getting hysterical, crying for a diaper, not understanding, and me questioning myself and crying along with him. I gently pushed him to sit as he finally went! I had worried I may have scarred him for life not giving in, but when he saw that he had gone, he clapped and cheered that he was a “big boy and went poo on the potty!” Stay strong but be calm and comforting.

mop-and-bucket-photo-by-KPEL

  • Be prepared for the mess!
    1. The first day they are likely going to pee all over themselves. They are learning to control their bladder; they will not have any idea how to stop at first. That is what you will be helping them learn over the next several days.
    2. Have a mop, bucket and disinfecting floor cleaner. I typically put in scolding hot water with cleaner and left it in the first floor bathroom tub for a few hours at a time, then replaced as needed.
    3. If you have carpet, I recommend borrowing or renting a carpet cleaner, if you don’t own one. (On a side note, owning a carpet cleaner has been a must have with 3 kids and animals). If you have areas that are only tile or hardwood, try to use only those spaces as much as possible to avoid the carpet mess.
  • Be present and aware– You can’t be emailing, distracted by TV, in another room and so on. You NEED to be with your little one learning their queues and helping them to understand when to get to the potty. Timing is everything! My youngest just went through this training and she didn’t say much when she had to go. She would take a quick breath, raise her eye brows and look for me. If I wasn’t right there, she would have kept having accidents. These are the teachable moments. When she gave this queue I said, “Potty! Run, run, run!” And we would run together and I would congratulate her on a good job.

EncourageWordle

  • Most Importantly, ONLY give praise and acknowledge for positive and do not scold them for accident for at least 3-4 days. This is so, SOOOO important!! They are not going to understand at first and how you react will make a huge difference in how they take to the training. For example; on day one when your little one starts crying or gets upset because they went to the bathroom all over themselves, tell them, “It’s ok. Next time run to the potty when it starts coming out.” You may need to mop a trail to the bathroom the next time, but they will start to know to get to the bathroom.

Training:

Ok! It’s time to do this! (Make sure you talked a lot the night before about the excitement of wearing underpants the next day on the Eve of training. Get them pumped about it!

Day one:

  • In the AM remind them that they will be a big boy/girl from now on and will be going on the potty. Show them again where it is and have them sit down to get comfortable as soon as they get up. From there I set a timer for every 20 minutes and they needed to sit and “try.” The first day they might not go at all during those times, but it is setting a routine.
  • If they have an accident, encourage them to run to the bathroom and sit and then continue to set the timer again. Often times if they have an “accident,” they will start stopping the flow of urine and may need to go more. Having them sit right away will help them learn to control their bladder and empty it fully when they sit.
  • **I recommend having them wear just a t-shirt and underpants the first 3 days.**

Day Two:

  • Repeat day one. At this point they should be learning that they have to go. Keep an eye out for the queues that they need to and encourage them sit on the potty.
  • Recognize all new accomplishments!! For all my kids once they started actually going on the potty we would cheer, give a high five and I would have them flush and say, “Goodbye tinkle!” All three of them thought it was the greatest and got excited to use the potty and then flush and wash hands like a big kid.

Day Three:

  • Try to stop using the timer if you still are. They should know now when they have to go. Ask them instead. This way they have to think about it and answer instead of automatically just trying.
  • On day 3 I typically found they were able to get to the bathroom and sit, but they often times had a little bit of an accident on the way, but not totally soaked themselves. Keep MANY pairs of clean underpants handy!! And remember to only use words of encouragement. Around this day I would say, “Great job! You’re being such a big boy/girl. Next time try to get to the potty a little sooner and your underpants won’t get any mess.”

Day Four and on:

  • I took their lead based on body language/queues from this point on. All 3 of my kids were pretty much accident free (minus a few early releases that required just a change of underpants, but pants were clean) from around days 6 an on. Yes, they still had them sometimes but it wasn’t frequent.
  • Keep encouraging all progress and be patient. The first day I took my youngest to the grocery store (Day 9) she needed to go to the bathroom twice. Fun times!

Success-Meme-355x284

You can totally do this! They can totally do this! Now plan, execute and have a good supply of wine available to help you through! 😉

cheers-brian-roberts

Until next time……Thea 🙂

If you’d like to read more select “follow” on the bottom tool bar from your PC OR “Like” me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rusupermom.

10 Way Not to “Lose Yourself” in Motherhood

It’s so common to lose yourself once you become a Mom. You spend a majority of your time caring for your children, caring for your spouse, cooking; cleaning….the list goes on! So it makes sense that during that time you can start to lose yourself a little when you’re rarely putting yourself or your needs first. So here are a few things I do to hold on to the person I once was, the person I am and the person I want to continue to be.

1) Keep your Hobbies– Before I had my first many people told me I was going to need to quit my hobby of playing sports. I was playing on 2-4 recreational soccer leagues a week and softball in the summers. Clearly, I was going to need to cut back but why would I need to stop playing all together? I felt like I got flack from people when I was insistent I was going to go back after the baby arrived. It’s something I LOVE to do! It keeps me active, I see my friends, and play with my sisters. Oh and it’s a great stress reliever as well. I’ve continued to play, usually only once a week for soccer and I’ve kept summer softball, which I play with my husband on a co-ed league. It’s been great to get out 1-2 times a week and it’s helped me to continue to feel like the same person I have always been! Whatever your hobby is, reading, writing, gardening, scrapbooking or exercise; I encourage you to keep making just a little bit of time to do those things

2) Curse– I used to have a bit of a potty mouth. I am now reformed since I am with my children basically 24/7. But when I’m out with adults sometimes it feels good not to have to worry about what I say! Tossing out an F bomb or a Holy S***, somehow becomes relaxing and refreshing!

3) Lean on your Spouse– If there is anyone that truly knows you, it’s your spouse. They’ve known you before, during and after children. They are your partner in everything; your supporter, confidante, champion, and your love. Talk to them about anything and everything. Lean on them and it will help you keep centered.

0331151818

4) Stop Worrying About what Other People Think! I used to want for people to like me. I still do in some ways because I try to be a kind and thoughtful person; and I genuinely care. But spending time trying to please others just ends up making you try to be someone you’re not. So stop worrying about others and focus on you! You’re got enough to worry about supporting your children and husband.

5) Be Ridiculous! In the summer I like to roll the windows down, with the wind blowing in my hair, sunglasses on, jamming to some tune that is now considered “Classic Rock,” and sing my heart out! Sometimes, I try to convince myself that I am super cool while doing this! It takes me back to a time when I was young and carefree; a version of myself that I think of fondly. Bring that girl of the past out sometimes, even if you’re alone and there’s no one to see her. Keep her present!

Sunglasses

6) Keep having Sex! Yes, I went there! I tell people being a mom is the most amazing and exhausting thing I have ever experienced. Well, the exhaustion part for parents can really put a damper on the lovin! I can’t tell you how many couples I know who are rarely having sex. Remember before you had kids when sex didn’t take the effort? Well, those days are likely gone, but the effort is worth it! Make the effort, make the time. The connection with your spouse, the stress relief, the link to that once carefree sexual person; it will keep you feeling like YOU!

7) Have a Cocktail– As a mom you are always “on.” At any age there are little eyes always watching, observing and learning from you. Give yourself a break and have a drink everyone once in a while. Hell, make plans to go out a couple of times a year to really let loose. Going out on the town with some girlfriends to drink and dance the night away…. that keeps me in touch with my love to have fun self!

wine

8) Take Time for Yourself- This is the HARDEST thing for any mom to do; working, SAHM, it doesn’t matter. We ALL love our kids and want the best for them and taking time away from them is hard. Go for a massage, take a bath, or even a 30 minute drive to Dunkin Donuts to sip coffee alone and check Facebook. That little bit of time can be rejuvenating and all you need to recharge.

9) Exercise– Who are we kidding ladies, our bodies change after children in many way. Even if you have never been someone who exercised, working on your body will help you keep respect and appreciation for it. Your body may never be the same again but loving and accepting it will make you feel comfortable and confident. The added perk with this is setting a good example for your children. When I run on the weekends my oldest always wants to run with me. After I get back we always go on our own little run just the two of us!

0921141748

10) Never Give up and Keep Dreaming! The reality is that as the years go on our children will need us less and less. Someday they will be grown with families of their own. I know that I’ll always need my parents love and support. I need it now still as an adult, but I don’t depend on them like I did when I was a young child. We are living our lives now! So don’t give up on some of the things you love to do, want to do or dream of doing. Keep a notebook, make a bucket list! Just never give up and keep on dreaming!

Doing these things has helped me keep myself during these early, demanding years or motherhood. Well, mostly anyway! And that in turn is helping me be the best Mom I can be to my three beautiful children!

0410151746

Until next time….Thea 🙂

If you’d like to read more select “follow” on the bottom tool bar from your PC OR “Like” me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rusupermom.

Ultimately, I really just want my kids to be nice!

kindness

There are many things I want for my children. I want them to be happy, confident, successful, hardworking….the list goes on! But more and more I am realizing, the #1 quality I want my children to possess, is kindness.

I feel like in our society today, being nice is so under appreciated. This is a generalization, but I feel like our society is focused on getting ahead, parents want to give their kids a “better life” than they had growing up, and our children have a sense of entitlement. The most basic expectations we had as children, please and thank you’s, seem to be a rarity with the children of today. Let alone, general kindness to others. Bullying is a norm for young children to deal with in schools, on the bus, at the playground…..where has our sense of compassion gone? I’m not sure if it’s because there are more distractions with technology today, for parents and children that everyone is fighting for attention; or if our society overall is just under valuing the basic benefits and value in being kind!

While growing up my Mom always told me if someone’s being rude, picking on you, don’t lower yourself to their level, just “kill’em with kindness!” It was great advice that I still use today. Now there is a point in which you have to stand up for yourself and I also learned from my parents to not stand for being disrespected; but there is a way to stand up for yourself without lowering yourself to someone else’s level.

I’ve been trying to teach my oldest, Piece’s, who is in Kindergarten, to simply call people out on their behaviors. If someone is being mean, simply tell them, “You’re not being very nice right now,” and if someone else is being mistreated to stand up for them. Sadly, I don’t think this is a common practice among young children these days….

In my personal experience and opinion, being a kind, polite person generally leads to getting kindness in return. The age-old saying of, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” is most definitely a simple and true one. Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect; I have times where I should think more before I speak. But in general, I feel being nice has helped me be more successful in my career and has made me a better mother, wife, friend…the list goes on.

karma

I’m not a very religious person, but I believe in karma; I believe that the type of energy we put into the world comes back to us in that way. The more positive, polite, kind I am the more and more I will get that in return. So that is what I am trying to teach my children. And I hope more than anything that they continue to grow into strong, hardworking, confident and most importantly NICE people!

Until next time….Thea

If you’d like to read more select “follow” on the bottom tool bar from your PC OR “Like” me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rusupermom.

Hormones….you suck!

hormones making women crazy

If anyone has seen my sane self around, please return her! I told my husband the other day I am just feeling straight up crazy lately. He gave me an eyebrow raise and said, “This is different from the usual how?” He’s right! I am a bit nutty regularly. I tell him he’s my rock and he tells me I’m his tornado, LOL! But really, after having 3 children in less than 5 years I’ve dealt with the ups and downs of pregnancy hormones, to the nursing hormones, to a state of postpartum depression!

I’m on my second type of birth control since June and I will be switching to another here shortly. I’ve always been sensitive to them (they make me feel crazy) but since I’ve started taking them again this time around my body just seems pissed off!

Lately, I’ll be happy kissing and loving on my little ones,

happy mom

and within 5 minutes I snap!

angry-mom

They are usually doing something they shouldn’t, or not listening, but snapping at a degree that is not needed. And it just feels like an out-of-body experience sometimes. The highs and lows of hormonal changes at this age take me back in time to those years of teen angst. When you feel like you have no control because your brain can’t keep up and register the insanity that is going on!

I was talking with one of my besties recently about my frustrations and she said to me, “These are the things people don’t tell you.” And she’s right. People talk about the joys of motherhood, but they don’t talk about the effect it takes on your body physically,  mentally and hormonally! It’s totally worth it, yes. But sometimes just knowing you’re not alone, that how your feeling, what you’re going through, is normal. That can give you some inner peace.

Being a girl is tough! I love that I was able to have the experience of having my kids! I did not particularly enjoy pregnancy, but I’m glad I was able to have that experience three times. The joy I feel from seeing my little ones grow up is something I can barely put into words, but I just want to get back to being myself again……

So in closing today, I’m just going to say, “Hormones, you suck!”

Until next time…. Thea 🙂

If you’d like to read more select “follow” on the bottom tool bar from your PC OR “Like” me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rusupermom.

DIY Children’s Winter Wrist Warmer/Protectors

Remember playing out in the snow when you were a kid and the annoying snow that would get on your wrists and ankles when your coat and snow pants would rise up?!? Well, this is cheap, simple and very effective way to protect your little ones wrists from the cold winter snow and wind.

My son has very sensitive skin. With the extreme cold this winter, even being outside on a warmer day for 15 -20 minutes, he will end up with frost bite. After telling my husband about how bad the frost bite was on his wrists (they were raised and white/red for a couple of hours), my husband suggested we make little wrist protectors to keep any snow from getting on them. Here is what we came up with!

What you will need:

  1. An old pair of kids socks; full length.
  2. A pair of scissors

Directions:

pic 1

– Cut off the tops of the socks

Pic 2

– Next cut a V-shape in the heel area of the sock.

pic 3

– Here is what they will look like with the holes cut in both places.

pic 4

– Now simply put them on before your child’s coat and put their winter gloves over top. Here is what they look like on my son without, and with the gloves over top.

pic 5 pic 6

Extra Tip! You can also use these on their little legs. Simply put an adults full size sock on under their clothes to the knee. That way if their snow pants rise their little legs will be protected from the snow.

Until next time…… Thea 🙂

If you’d like to read more select “follow” on the bottom tool bar from your PC OR “Like” me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rusupermom.

February’s Successes and Failures

I heard on the news that February here is the Rochester area was the coldest month on record! It was a doozy of a month…! It was so cold and snowy all month that it left everyone cranky and full of cabin fever! I tried to stay positive and did take some really cool pictures (below), but I am ready for warmer weather and some time outside!

The picture on the left is of Lake Ontario. Check out how frozen it is!! I don’t ever recall seeing ice as far as the eye can see, pretty cool! The other pictures are of my side and back yards.

Winter Collage

With all the cold and snow, well, I just can’t run outside safely. There is very little shoulder on the sides and snow and ice all over the roads. With my track record of injuries and the state of my back, it just hasn’t been worth chancing it. So my half marathon training really just started yesterday. It was a sunny, 20 degree day and the roads were pretty clear for the first time in a long time. It felt great to get out!

Here’s an overview of my successes and failures for February in regards to my resolution goals. (2015 Resolutions)

Health and Fitness:

  • Even though I got in limited running miles for the month I am still feeling confident I’ll be able to get in enough training for my half marathon in late April.
  • I did however do strength training twice a week, Yay! I am going to switch out my cross training to one day of yoga for runners and one day of Pilates. This will help me keep a focus on my core (which needs constant work to support my back issues; especially after 3 c-sections), but also keeping my cross training activities impact low and focusing on stretching and flexibility.
  • So far for the year I have lost 8 pounds. I’m actually at the lowest weight I have been in about 8 years!!! It’s crazy when I think of that. I’ve done the clean eating challenge three times since the New Year and I am also following the Weight Watchers program online. Well, being honest, I haven’t been as committed to tracking on Weight Watchers, but one thing I have learned over the years of having children, and losing weight, is that even following the program 75% of the time helps me maintain and lose small amounts.

Connections:

Vday me and Jon

  • The Hubs:
    • This month my husband and I were able to get out on Valentine’s Day for an afternoon lunch at Cheesecake Factory and then to see American Sniper! It’s been so nice to have one-on-one time, out of the house, two months in a row. I am definitely going to keep this as a priority going forward.
    • My sister also let us borrow all except the final season of Sons of Anarchy, which is really awesome! We’ve already watched two seasons this month. One of my favorite things is to just sit together and watch TV, I have no idea why, but it’s my fav. That being said, we don’t always like the same shows so when we find something we both enjoy and want to watch together it’s a total win!
  • Friends:
    • Weather and sickness really put a damper on seeing many friends this month. I had to cancel dinner and a movie with one of my best girlfriends because the roads were just terrible and it was about 2 degrees! Plus, we had to reschedule a family gathering because my girlfriend and her daughter were sick. Really, Spring, you can come now!!
    • I was able to see some good friends to celebrate their daughter’s birthday this month. Only Piece’s and I were able to go because our younger two were sick, big surprise I know! Our busy, growing families have made our get togethers limited, so we rarely see each other anymore. I was very happy that I was able to see them since they moved this weekend out of state.
  • Family:
    • We were able to have some great family fun this month. I went with Pieces & Mr. Man, my Mom, Sister, Nephew, and a few cousins and their child to Disney on Ice. It was SOOO much fun! I love to just watch them watch and experience new things. The look on their faces is priceless!
    • My big girl Piece’s got her hair cut yesterday! This might not seem like a big deal, but she cut off 10 inches to donate to Lock of Love, so it was indeed a big deal and so exciting! I think I was more nervous than she was. I am definitely attached to my hair! But man, I was so proud of her for being so brave and donating her hair to a great cause! (picture below)

Reese Hair cut Collage

De-cluttering:

  • Yikes, as usual this was my downfall! As I mentioned in an earlier post this month, (Little Victories), I did have some small successes but I didn’t come close to my 40 bags in 40 days challenge or make much progress with de-cluttering other areas of the house. This week however I was able to clean out the main floor bathroom closet. I couldn’t believe how much stuff was in there! I am going to work on this area in March.

March Goals:

  • Stick with my training schedule for the half marathon and follow the Weight Watchers program more closely. I have considered doing the Beach Body 21 Day Fix but I haven’t been able to come up with the money for the cost yet, so we will see.
  • Reschedule and have that movie and dinner night with my girlfriend G!
  • Date night with the Hubs
  • We have two family get togethers scheduled already for this month. Looking forward to them!
  • Make a cleaning schedule for each week on Sundays.
  • List the items I have been accumulating to sell on eBay!
  • De-cluttering; clean out the two other closets on the main floor AND sort through and get rid of some older, unused toys! We have WAY too many!

Hoping I can keep to these goals and really make March count after a lack luster February! I’ll likely be posting only 1-2 times a week because as much as I love it, it does take up a lot of time. Plus, I’m picking up a part time job once a week and with all the additional running I’ll be doing, I am going to need to cut back!

Have a great month everyone!!

Until next time… Thea 🙂

If you’d like to read more select “follow” on the bottom tool bar from your PC OR “Like” me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rusupermom.

Mommy Wars- Can’t We All Just Get Along!

I’ve read and heard a lot about the “Mommy Wars” going on these days. Mom shaming seems to be everywhere! I know some level of judgment is natural. We all feel that what we are doing what’s right for us, so sometimes, we may feel that our choices are the right choices. But every mother, father, child, family; well they are all different. So really, what’s with all this mommy drama!

high school drama

Here’s a great example!!!

mom enough nursing

So you’re nursing your kid till they are in preschool, kindergarten, a teen, whatever it may be! Well, good for you. People either love or hate this it seems. Breastfeeding has become a really hot topic these days. I’m a big believer in breastfeeding; I nursed my kids till they were 4 months, 8 months and 13 months; but some people just can’t! It just doesn’t work for them for a variety of reasons, or medically they can’t. Whatever the reason you are not a “better” mom because you nursed (regardless of how long). You are just a mom who nursed! And nursing them longer than the average person, well I do commend you for that. I was sad, but ready to be done at 13 months with Miss T. And for me I felt having them drink independently at the age of one was a good thing. But that is what I think is best for my family.

fitness shamer mom

And here’s another example….Wow, you look great! Way to go! I might have found your story motivational had you said, “You can do it,” “Here’s what I did!” But no, you had to use the condescending angle. This really pisses me off as an active mom who tries hard but will probably never have a body like that. And honestly, it’s not an “excuse.” My body is different than yours AND I enjoy some sweets and wine on a regular basis, which can be a bit counterproductive, LOL!

sahm-vs-working-mom

The SAHM vs working mom battle! This one is so complicated to me because I’ve been on both sides. I went back to work full time after I had my first child for almost two years. I left my job after my second child was born, but worked part time until 6 months ago (for 3 years) to make ends meet. It wasn’t an easy decision to stay home. I had a good job making good money. We went from financially stable to pinching pennies and we are just starting to see the light! But that was a decision my husband and I made for our family. And no, I don’t think I’m any better of a mom than a working mom. I feel for the working moms who want to be home but they can’t. I respect and appreciate the working moms who want to work and are kicking ass in the work force. And I feel for the stay at home moms who are making sacrifices to stay home. None of these options are easy!

So what’s our problem?!?! Why are we all trying to say we are “doing right,” instead of saying “way to go?” I mean regardless of what decisions you make from feeding, to working, fitness and more; being a parent is freaking HARD! I don’t know all the nuances of your family and your situation to know what is best for you. I only know that I am trying my best to be the best mother, wife and person I can be. I don’t think I am right, I just know that I am trying my best for me and my family!

So to all of you moms (and dads) out there, I want to change the tone and say, Keep up the good work! And way to go!!

Until next time….. Thea

If you’d like to read more select “follow” on the bottom tool bar from your PC OR “Like” me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rusupermom.