Struggles and Triumphs

I’m sure everyone is reading my title and thinking this is a political post.  As much as I could talk about politics, I’m referring to the struggles and triumphs in our home.  This has been a tough week for me.  Everything was going swimmingly with nursing….or so I thought, until this week.  I realized early on that Davis was “lazy” at the boob and liked to nibble and hang out at my breast and not actively suck and swallow, but it wasn’t until his two week check up that I thought it was a concern.  At his two week appointment last Friday, he was weighing at 7 pounds 3 ounces, still 6 ounces less than his birth weight.  Our pediatrician said he should be at least back to his birth weight by two weeks.  I nursed him all weekend and finally went to a lactation group the following Monday, at the group his pre-feeding weight was 7 pounds 8.7 ounces and after nursing him he took in a little over two ounces, I was feeling pretty good and felt like things were going in the right direction.

Monday morning I had a follow-up weight check with the pediatrician’s office.  He was back to 7 pounds 9 ounces.  The nurse I met with said to nurse him for 10 minutes on a side  since he tends to fall asleep and follow with pumping to get my milk supply up.  Monday night however was when things went south.  During the night, when I normally feel really full in my breasts and Davis is usually a vigorous nurser, on Monday neither was happening and I was feeling devastated.  He was really fussy as I wasn’t having let downs and he clearly wasn’t getting enough milk.  He will usually go for a four hour stretch between feedings at night, but was waking every 1-2 hours since he wasn’t getting much milk.

Yesterday was the toughest day I’ve had since his birth, I was feeling extremely anxious and panicked that my milk has dropped significantly and that he no longer wants to nurse. I cried when Hubby got home because I felt like things were going so well and now everything took a nose dive and I am still confused how my supply and his nursing changed in what seemed less than 48 hours.  Hubby is always the voice of reason and said that I’m doing the best that I can and that I need to take it easy, drink lots of water and pump and not worry about everything so much.

Today I was sad for obvious reasons, but I felt better about breastfeeding.  I’m still attempting to nurse Davis (even if it’s only 10 minutes), but I’m following each nursing session with pumping and giving him a bottle.  I don’t know if my supply will keep up with his demand, but like with our twins, if I can give him even some breast milk I will be happy.  I went through this same situation with the girls and I got through it and they are happy and healthy.  They aren’t any worse off with being given formula and there is no sense in having anxiety and panic over the situation.  I’m going to go back to the lactation group tomorrow and will follow up with a one-on-one appointment next Tuesday with a lactation consultant, just to see what the issue is, but I’m not going to let it devastate me any longer.  However, has anyone had a similar situation?  Where your milk supply suddenly plummets?

As far as triumphs go….Jemma and Zoe have had a language explosion.  They are talking in sentences, using phrases such as “I want….”, “Help me….” and it’s just amazing how much they say and pick up on.  They don’t miss a thing and it just amazes me that these small two year old girls know as much as they do.  They are also starting to do lots of imaginary play which is so fun.  They like to ride on a “bus” that Daddy makes out of our sofa cushions and they pretend to go to the beach, Daniel Tiger’s house, Pete the Cat’s house, and they often have to stop to use their tools to fix the broken bus.

They also have been so wonderful with the new addition to the family.  They have expressed any jealously and are so sweet to him.  They always want to give him kisses and cuddle “baby brother” and never question how much time I’m having to dedicate to him.  Even when I go upstairs to pump, they haven’t whined or cried about it and just say “bye bye Mommy” when I go upstairs.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their maturity of adding another sibling to the family.  I think it helps that they have each other, even though they fight with each other.  Typical sisters-not wanting to share their toys,  pulling hair, pulling clothes, wanting a certain colored plate, etc.

The girls went trick or treating for the first time this year and had so much fun. They were reluctant to put their costumes on at first, but Hubby bribed them with a piece of candy and after they hit their first house and realized what trick or treating was all about they were ready to hit house after house.

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Happy baby

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How can I be unhappy when these are my three miracles?!

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First time trick or treating, our little superheros!

Hope everyone is doing okay, I know it’s been a tough day for many.  I want my children to grow up in a world of kindness, love, and acceptance.  I hope that the future will show us that these virtues still exist.

xoxo

Birth day!

We welcomed Davis Z. into the world at 12:51 PM on Friday October 21, 2016 via a scheduled repeat C-section.  He came into the world crying loudly weighing 7 pounds 9 ounces, 20.5 inches long and with a 14 inch head.

I was hoping all last week that I would go into labor and hoping that I would be able to have a successful and smooth VBAC delivery.  However, baby D had another plan and stayed cozy until his scheduled delivery date.  I ended up seeing exams all week at work and didn’t even have many contractions throughout the week.  On Friday morning, we woke up as usual, got ready (Mama did her hair and make-up), got the girls up and gave them breakfast as usual.  My Mom has been here with us since the sixteenth of the month in preparation of baby’s arrival and was home with the girls when we left for the hospital to be there for a 10:30 AM check-in.

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Getting ready to leave for the hospital. Zoe is not happy about it.

My dear friend, who is a labor and delivery nurse and had been there for the twins delivery requested to work so that she could be our nurse again (even though she works at a different branch of our hospital now).  I couldn’t have imagined our day without her, she made sure we had an awesome anesthesiologist, had a comfortable room and just made us feel comfortable on a day we were both anxious about.  We were super excited to meet our baby boy, but had some anxiety over the whole process with all of the complications we had last time.

She helped us with all of our paperwork, got my IV going and by a little before 12:30 PM we were walking down the hall into the OR.  My OB was present (different doctor than who delivered J & Z), but the assisting OB was the same as our delivery before, 2 nurses, the anesthesiologist and Hubby.  I received my spinal and was laid down and everything was prepared.  Like I said above, Davis came screaming into the world by 12:51 PM.  My OB used the same incision site and said it was a little tight for Davis’ larger head!

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Back in our room after the C-section. Our first photo with baby Davis.

God is so good!!!  I had been hoping to go into labor all week, but by the grace of God did not and thank goodness.  Davis had a knot in his umbilical cord and had I gone into labor and tried for a VBAC, I would have ended up having an emergency C-section, which could have been a much more complicated and serious situation.  Also, the OB said that had the knot been any tighter, there is a chance we could have had a stillbirth.  The thought of that is devastating and I couldn’t even imagine that type of loss.  We are so thankful and blessed that everything happened as it did.  This time around everything went just as planned and was routine and straight forward.  A C-section is still a major surgery with a slower recovery, but our experience at the hospital was worlds better than last time.  We were moved into postpartum by 3:30 PM and stayed two nights before being discharged.  We had the most wonderful postpartum nurses who took excellent care of myself and baby.  One nurse in particular helped so much with nursing the baby and had such a wonderful spirit and demeanor.

On Friday evening, my in laws and Mom came to the hospital with our girls so they could meet their baby brother for the first time.  Jemma was very apprehensive about the meeting and kept her distance while Zoe was very excited and animated.  We made sure Davis had brought them a present-two Daniel Tiger books and Daniel Tiger figurines (their absolute favorite show!).

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Meeting baby brother for the first time!

We checked out late afternoon on Sunday and have been home getting settled since then.  My Dad was here since the day of the birth and just went home today.  He cooked us some delicious meals and helped my Mom take care of the girls while we were away.  My milk came in yesterday and luckily I’ve been able to nurse Davis exclusively so far and have only pumped to help with engorgement and to have a breast milk supply for when I go back to work in five weeks.  I had a very difficult time nursing the twins and pretty much had to pump exclusively, so I’m happy to have breastfeeding going so much smoother this time.  I hope he’ll continue to nurse well.

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Heading home with baby boy!

Davis had his first wellness check at the pediatric office today.

Weight:  6 lbs 15 ounces (down still from his birthweight)-27th percentile

Length:  20.5 inches (same as birth length)-78th percentile

Head circumference :  35.4 cm-66th percentile

The doctor hopes his weight will increase now that my milk is coming in and that we’ll see an increase in BM and wet diapers.  He said that baby is slightly jaundice (he passed the screening at the hospital) but that we can observe for now.

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Three days old-home and happy!

We are so thankful for all of our family and friends who were thinking and praying for us on our special day.  And for all of the generous gifts for Davis, gifts for the girls, meals, etc.  We are already so in love with our baby boy and feel so happy and blessed to have three healthy children who are truly miracles!

xoxo

Waiting…

Thirty nine weeks and three days…..I think this little man is holding out until my scheduled C-section to come into the world.  I’m at work right now, I’m not seeing any patients this week but I’m here doing exams for my hygienists since I’m still pregnant and waiting for baby.  Yesterday I had the chance to work on his baby book, get some grocery shopping done and get to the gym.  I’m trying to stay active, hoping I’ll put myself in labor and just to stay active overall to help with an easier recovery should I have the C-section.

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Riding the elliptical machine at the gym yesterday, trying to bounce this baby out!

Last weekend I went to my bestie’s house to watch Justin Timberlake and Chill on Netflix hoping to put myself into labor!  Many of us who went over had see his 20/20 concert when he was here in Seattle in 2014 (I was newly pregnant with J & Z) and this was his last concert at the MGM Grand in Vegas after touring for two years!  He’s such an amazing performer and easy on the eyes!

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Ain’t no party like a JT party!

We also made it to my assistant’s wedding last Saturday.  It was a beautiful wedding and I’m so happy for her.  They were predicting a huge storm in the Seattle area, but it didn’t end up being a big storm at all, I was glad the weather held out for them.  I did my fair share of dancing on the dance floor, but still didn’t get things moving.

I’m so glad this pregnancy has been so easy and I pray that my delivery will be much easier and smoother than last time as well.  I’m getting very anxious about my delivery since I nearly died last time and I have huge fears of any complications.  My OB reassures me that all of what happened last time is very unlikely but it’s still scary.

Hubby and I are so excited to meet our son, I do get a little nervous thinking about how crazy our life is going to be like with three children, two toddlers and a newborn!  The girls have not been napping and have been having lots of tantrums and meltdowns.  Ever since we moved them into their new room, naps have been hit and miss.  I’m not ready to let go of naps yet, everyone is going to need the break once the baby comes.  I think separate rooms would help, but unfortunately, we don’t have that option.  My MIL suggests a large divider for the room.  Any suggestions to help us get our twins back on track with naps??

Name is still undecided, I suggested that we could wait until we see the little guy, but Hubby thinks we should have it picked out before we arrive at the hospital!  We’ll see….

Until I write again…….just waiting!

xoxo

Thirty eight weeks

Thirty eight and a half to be more precise!  I’m at work right now, my schedule has lightened up a bit and this is the last week that I’m seeing patients.  However, I don’t think baby boy is planning on making an early appearance yet.  As of my last appointment, my cervix is fully closed and I’m not having many contractions.

I signed off on my C-section paperwork last Thursday, my OB and I are still hoping for a VBAC if I go into labor before next Friday, but like I said, I’m not too hopeful about going into labor.  She went over the risks such as an emergency C-section or uterine rupture (both of which I am terrified of given my last delivery) and we agreed that if things are not progressing with a VBAC that we’ll shift gears to a C-section sooner than later.

My assistant is getting married this coming Saturday, so I would love to make it to her wedding and then baby can come anytime after that.  I would love his birthday to fall on Sunday, 10.16.16 (but again, wishful thinking!)

Our cat is now on Prozac, he hasn’t had any “accidents” since he started it, but has been quite lethargic.  The vet said that it is normal for our cat to be lethargic and lazy as he acclimates to the medication, but I hope he gets a little pep back.

I’m very excited for the arrival of our son, but getting a bit emotional about how our family will be changing.  The girls have been my “babies” for over two years, I love them so much and can’t imagine sharing my love with another human (even though I know I will).  I know they will be wonderful big sisters, but I worry about their envy or possible jealously over the new baby and I don’t want them to feel like I have less time for them.  I keep telling them that Daddy will be helping them more when baby comes since I’ll be busy with their baby brother.  I’ve seen pictures on social media of Moms giving their older children hugs as they leave them for their delivery and it brings up so many emotions for me.

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Thirty seven weeks

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Thirty-eight weeks (38 weeks 3 days)

Today is a beautiful sunny fall day here in Seattle, a storm is on the horizon tonight that is suppose to last through the weekend.  I’ll be seeing my OB again on Friday…..I’ll keep you all posted!

xoxo

The Final Countdown

24 days!!!!  That is the most amount of days that remain before baby arrives.  I have my scheduled C-section for October 21st, but I hope and feel like baby may arrive before then. This pregnancy seems to have flown by, especially compared to my first pregnancy with the girls.  Overall, this pregnancy has been so much easier and I’m glad that it followed my more difficult twin pregnancy and not vice versa.  I have had no food aversions, no nausea, no swelling (so far!), no carpal tunnel and have just overall felt much more mobile and semi-normal.  My only recent complaint is that I came down with a cold (which I caught from one of our daughters) three weeks ago and am still fighting it off.  I started with a scratchy throat, which turned into a cough, chest congestion, head congestion and finally a sinus infection.  I’m currently on Augmentin (I really wanted to avoid antibiotics, but I had to give in with how crappy I’ve been feeling) and have been using my neti pot religiously!  I never thought I would like my neti pot as much as I do now.

The nursery is pretty much ready to go, I still need to wash baby’s crib sheets and some of his new clothes, but I think it’s come together pretty well.  On my list of things to do is to pack my hospital bag, have Hubby put the girls’ new car seats in my car, which are narrower than our existing ones, so that we can put all three kids across our back seat.  We had the girls in the Evenflow Symphony and just switched them to the Diono Radian.  We are avoiding having to get a new vehicle for the time being.  However, we can’t take any other passengers with us as is, and this can be especially difficult since my Mom stays with us from out of town when she is helping us with the kids.  We think we’ll eventually look at the Honda Pilot as our family car.  Any thoughts for those of you with twins plus one?

The girls are getting excited for baby.  They always talk about my tummy and baby brother.  They have lots of books preparing them for the arrival of a little brother and they always point out any baby and say “baby” when we are out and about.  They are extremely mommy-centered right now, so I hope that they won’t be too jealous when the baby arrives.  My husband is super hands-on, so I have a feeling he’ll handle them and make sure they feel special once baby comes.

Hubby was out of town recently and I felt like I finally saw a bit of the “terrible twos” coming out with the girls.  They are gaining independence which is wonderful, but while he was gone, they had several tantrums and meltdowns.  They didn’t want to listen to any of my directions, wanted to do everything for themselves, acted defiantly, and overall gave this tired Mommy a lot to deal with.  I called Hubby and wished him a nice time in California, but told him that I couldn’t wait for him to come home.  I have even more respect for single parents out there!

Jemma is completely potty trained and Zoe is in pull-ups.  Zoe has pretty much lost interest in using the potty, but she isn’t upset about it and doesn’t mind that Jemma goes in the potty and she doesn’t.  In fact, she still continues to cheer for Jemma when she goes.  She even cheers for me-“yay Mommy!” when I’m successful on the toilet!  Haha!  Jemma is doing so well with her potty training, she even went to the bathroom, shut the door and went without even telling me she had to go.  She still refuses to wear underwear, so it’s commando for now.

The girls vocabulary has exploded, they talk all the time and have so many words and phrases.  It continues to amaze me and I’m always fascinated by how much they pick up from the world around them.  They are very observant and notice everything!  We have to be careful what comes out of our mouths!

Our family is excited and anxious to welcome another child.  I have to admit, after having such an intense and tough delivery last time around, I am nervous about the birth and recovery, but I hope it will all go smoothly and uneventful.  Hubby and I still have not decided on a name, we have it narrowed down to a couple of names, maybe baby will look like one name more than the other.  Jemma wants to name the baby “Bubbles” and Zoe wants to name the baby “Carlo”.  I don’t think we’ll be going with either of their choices.  :)

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Evening at one of our neighborhood parks

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On the bouncy see-saw with Mommy

One last thing-we are dealing with one of our cats acting out.  He has been acting out on and off since the girls became mobile and more vocal-I guess around the time they were six months or so.  He’s a wonderful cat that we’ve had for about 4 years or so, he’s very loving and sweet, but we are continually having to deal with his bad behavior.  He peed and pooped on the baby’s brand new rug in the nursery.  My husband is more attached to him, so it’s been a difficult conversation.  I think our cat is anxious with all of the changes in our home, which there are about to be more!   I think he would do well in a household without young children.  I told Hubby he can try getting our cat onto a prescription for his anxiety, but if that doesn’t work, sadly, we need to find him a new home.

I’ll keep all of you posted, hopefully I’ll be able to post a couple of times before baby boy arrives!

xoxo

Expectations

Why, hello fall, are you just around the corner?  I’m definitely feeling fall-ish, still holding onto the last of the Seattle sunshine, but the cool, crisp mornings, football games and back-to-school supplies are making me crave scarfs, pumpkins, golden leaves and that feeling I love that fall brings….but wait….oh there is a baby arriving also!  Eeek!

My amazing girlfriends (friends I’ve had since grade and high school) threw me the most amazing “geometric” boy baby shower.  I told my bestie that I would only let her throw me another shower if we had the opposite gender this time around.  So, with the soon-to-be arrival of a boy, my friends were so generous and spoiled me and this little guy!  It was such a fun time and I really enjoyed laughing and eating with some of my closest friends.

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The wonderful gals who attended and look at that amazing wall art my friend Kory made!

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The beautiful hosts and my besties!

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My bestie Alex who hosted the lovely shower at her beautiful home!

We’ve had an amazing summer, the girls are getting to be more independent and so much fun.  They do make me a little crazy from time to time when they are running around, not listening to me and doing as they please after I’ve told them not to do something.  But, they smile their mischievous grins and I can’t help but laugh.  I get a little worried how life is going to look for us and our Moms who do our childcare once a baby is in the mix, but my husband says we’ve just gotta “go with the flow”.  I hope I can breathe that mantra in and out when I get frazzled!

The potty training was going really well until this past week.  All of a sudden, Zoe got really resistant and would get so mad and upset when you’d tell her to use the potty.  Almost into full on tantrum mode.  I referred to Jamie Glowacki’s website to see how to handle twins and she said that it is okay if one child is getting it and the other isn’t quite there yet, she said it’s okay to rediaper one if you have to.  That made me feel better and we now have Zoe in pull-ups telling her they are her “special undies”, she will still use the potty on occasion, but seems more content to go in her “undies”.  Jemma is pretty much potty trained, she only wears a diaper at nap and bedtime and will tell us when she has to go.  She will go when we are out and about and doesn’t have a problem using a public toilet.  We have her wearing underwear but she sometimes prefers to go commando.  I don’t fight her on that.  So, my expectations for potty training both before the arrival of the baby didn’t turn out as I expected but I think when Zoe is “ready” it’ll be easier than if we hadn’t tried at all.

Hubby and I have been off work this week and we have been busy busy (he more than I since I’m not physically as mobile as usual).  We moved the girls into their big girl room and are getting their old room ready for baby boy.

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Baby boy’s nursery, Hubby just finished painting it

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Still need some wall art and a new lamp to match

The girls had a tough time transitioning into their new room for naps.  We moved them a week ago and they have only napped three of the seven days they’ve been in there.  The first two days we didn’t have anything covering the windows behind the blinds and it was too bright in their room, blackout shades are on the way, but cardboard coverings have helped the last few days.  I think the newness of the room and the layout has had them much too excited to sleep.  When the girls don’t nap I tend to feel very anxious because I  know that everyone will be crabby and that our afternoon and evening will be very challenging.  Luckily they have been sleeping well through the night.

During this week off, we took the girls to their second Seattle Mariner’s baseball game.  They had a fun time this second time around and loved meeting the Mariner Moose!

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Meeting the Mariner Moose!

We also celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary this week and had a night away at Willows Lodge located just outside of Seattle.  Jemma and Zoe excitedly had a night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

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Seven wonderful years with this guy!

I’m 34 weeks pregnant today…..only 6 weeks to go!  I have a scheduled C-section for October 21st but am hoping to go into labor before then.  The 21st of October is already a week into my short six week maternity leave from work, so I don’t really want to be waiting around during a precious week I could be spending with our new son.  I am still hoping to try for a VBAC if I go into labor prior to October 21st, but again, we’ll see.  Expectations don’t always meet reality.  This pregnancy continues to feel so much easier than my last one with the twins.  I pray that the delivery will be the same.  With such a traumatic post-partum recovery last time, I’m anxious and nervous about how this will go.  I just pray that all will go smoothly and uneventful.  Hubby and I are still undecided on a name, picking a boy name has been much harder for us than picking the girls’ names.

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34 weeks, still able to do some light workouts….often 30 minutes on our elliptical machine at home

Hoping to post a couple more times before baby arrives.  We have a busy month trying to see friends before baby and Hubby will be out of town next weekend.

I hope all of you with kids back in school have had a great first week of school.  Hard to believe we’ll be sending the girls to preschool next year!

xoxo

 

 

Potty Training

After reading Oh Crap!  Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki we started potty training our twins this past Friday.  Thank goodness it was a hot Seattle weekend because we had the girls naked all day on Friday and Saturday.  So far, I think we are making progress….

We had been preparing the girls all week leading up to the weekend, we kept telling them that the diapers were going “bye-bye” since they were getting to be big girls and that we were going to start using the potty all of the time.  I hid all of the diapers in their closet and we placed our two potty chairs in our living room.

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Side by side potty chairs in our living room

Friday morning we brought the girls downstairs in their pajamas, took off their pajamas and diapers and had them sit on the potties.  Zoe was a little traumatized being completely naked, but got over it in about 5 minutes.  After that we sat them down in their seats (we have seats attached to our counter for meals instead of high chairs now) and they ate breakfast in the buff.  Around 9 AM I gave them each a juice box to get more fluids in them.  Jemma was a rockstar going on the potty but Zoe had about four accidents in about thirty minutes on the floor (I don’t think her bladder could quite handle the extra fluids).  Jemma made it to the potty every time on Friday, Zoe had a few accidents.  I don’t think Zoe was quite making the connection between having to go and getting to the potty.  Luckily, Zoe did have a tell tale sign of grabbing between her legs when she needed to go.  We would let the girls help us carry the insert to the bathroom, place the pee in the toilet and flush. They thought it was pretty exciting to dump the pee in the potty.  Of course we cheered and praised their behavior.

We placed diapers on at both nap and nighttime, we specifically would tell them that the diapers were only for sleeping since it would be a long time before they would be able to use the potty again.  We would make the girls sit and go potty before both naps and bed.  Jemma had a completely dry diaper on Saturday morning and Zoe had a completely dry diaper on Sunday after a 3+ hour nap!

Saturday was another naked day.  Zoe had zero accidents and Jemma had two small ones.  One when she was distracted playing and another when she was in the bathroom with me watching me go (for more encouragement).  Jemma had 2 poops in the potty, Zoe had one in her diaper during nap and another that hit the floor!  Her poop literally happened when I looked away for five seconds.  Zoe always stands on her tippy toes while pooping, so I have a feeling that sitting will be more challenging for her.

Sunday we dressed the girls in tank tops and loose fitting shorts-no diapers or underwear.  Since we had the girls clothed, we finally let them go out to our backyard to play and they definitely enjoyed being outside again.  The day went well.  We would always say “PUSH your shorts down”.  (Jamie says this makes much more sense to a toddler than “PULL your pants down”).  Zoe had a small accident while playing outside and Jemma had a bigger accident while we were on the sofa watching Daniel Tiger (I think she got too immersed in the show to think about going to the potty).

We are definitely having to prompt them to go, they aren’t quite self initiating yet, but I feel good about the progress we’ve made.

My Mom is home all day with them on Monday and Tuesday while Hubby and I are at work.  My office is closed Wednesday and Thursday, but I have a four day dental conference that I will be attending, going back and forth between home and the conference which is here in Seattle.  We are taking the girls with us to Tillicum Village on Thursday from about 4 PM to 8:30 PM, so I’m nervous to see how that goes.  I may try Jamie’s Red Solo Cup trick-taking a plastic cup with you to have your child pee in if a bathroom isn’t immediately available.

Jamie highly encourages those who are expecting a baby to start potty training before rather than after the arrival of the new baby if your child is between twenty and thirty months.  She states that delaying will only prolong the process (time waiting for baby, months of keeping your head above water, and finally leading up to actually starting training) and your child may be beyond the window that she recommends starting if you wait as well.

We aren’t done by any means, but I feel good about where we are so far, and I’m thinking positively that we’ll be trained in a month.

xoxo

 

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