So far today Jackson has been:
-Space Captain Cowboy
And it’s only 10:30 😂
We are still here, waiting for baby brother! Due date is Thursday, but if he is anything like his big brother, it’ll be another 11 days after that. I’ll just continue dragging myself to work and eating milk & cookies until he decides to make his debut.
We have been soaking up the last days of my big boy as an only child. At 38 weeks, I am acutely aware that any day could be his last day as my only baby. I have to admit that as excited as we are to give Jackson a baby brother, I also find it to be a little bittersweet. I am hoping for a smooth transition into family of four, mother of two, big brother, but know that it could be really tough for my little man to have his world turned upside down. I wanted to be able to have a visual representation of his last days as the only baby to look back on and really feel the fun we always have, just the two of us. I know that we will still be able to have fun, just the two of us times, but also recognize that for the foreseeable future, it will be the three of us, four if you count daddy ;).
We had a play date with our buddies Becca + Peyton last week. It was a gorgeous, sunny, 75 degree day in NOVEMBER, so we knew we needed to take full advantage. We ventured to a local park with a lake and trails and trees, and while Jackson slept most of the time (bum!), we set P free and let her lead the way. Jackson finally woke up and I couldn’t resist taking 12894372842 photos that day. I love this season.
We did it you guys! I am proud that I can FINALLY say that my big boy is going on the potty these days! We have been diaper free for nearly three full weeks now, so i think it’s safe to say that we have made it past the point of no return.
I really wanted to get Jackson comfortable with the potty before baby brother makes his debut (anytime now little dude!). I knew that I absolutely didn’t want to be running him to the bathroom while trying to nurse a newborn 24/7. A few weeks ago was going to be our last opportunity due to work/school schedules to really buckle down and get to learning. Essentially, it was the last time before brother that there would be a solid week of days he was either home with me all day or at grandma + grandpas when I was in the office. Prior to this, we had started potty training no less than 10 times over the past several months, but man, it is really easy to throw in the towel (literally) and put him back into diapers. This time, I knew we needed to commit.
J was waking up daily with dry diapers for almost a year, and they say this is usually a sign that they’re “ready.” We have also been sitting him on the potty before bath for well over a year, and sometimes he would even go. So, a few weeks back I buckled down, bought a TON of extra undies and training pants (NOT pull ups. Those are just diapers that are harder to change. I’m talking the undies with a little extra padding in the lining), stickers, and treats and set to work.
Here’s a basic overview of how we tackled the potty:
- Committed myself to NOT leaving the house for several days straight. Also committed to not caving into diapers, no matter just how frustrating the accidents were. And let me tell ya, those first 2-3 days are full of accidents
- Talked to Jackson about going in the potty and provided with motivation and incentives (aka bribes)
- Day 1: visited the potty every 30 minutes. I know. It was exhausting. I also loaded him up with fluids so he could possibly make a connection with drinking and having to potty. There were DEFINITE accidents the first few days, but the key was to not scold him for it. I would just say “oh no! This pee pee is supposed to be in the potty! Next time, maybe we can try letting it out on the potty!” and other phrases along this line
- Day 2: we would sit on the potty every 45-60 minutes; Day 3 we sat on the potty every 90 minutes. By this point he was starting to understand much better and would go almost every single time we put him on the potty, but he still wasn’t telling us when he needed to go. We are still working on that one, but I find that if I ask him often enough and if I just make him sit on the potty when he wakes up, and every couple of hours throughout the day, we have exactly zero accidents.
The first time he went to school with undies on, I was really nervous and sent three pairs of pants/undies with him as backup. When Zac picked him up that evening, he was wearing the third pair of pants and no shirt. This past week, I sent the same amount of clothes with him, and luckily he had only one accident at school. Having him tell us has been the biggest hurdle, but he is definitely making progress, and can now hold it in until we get to the potty.
I think the most successful motivator for Jackson was the sticker chart. He loved picking a sticker every time he went on the potty and placing it on the chart, getting a visual of his progress. Treats were nothing to him-he could have cared less either way, although whenever #2 would happen he was pretty happy to get a Popsicle. The other real motivator was getting to brag about his progress. He would absolutely beam when we would say how proud of him we are. (I also get praise from HIM now for going on the potty too. I’m not gonna lie-it’s pretty nice to have someone tell me good job ;)). He has been great about going in public and has gone in not one, but TWO port-a-potty’s, in the forest, and at a handful of stores. With all of that under his belt, I think it is safe to say that he is officially potty trained - and just in time ;).
37 Weeks | Full Term
Final countdown ya’ll! We hit the 37 week mark today, and as you know, that means this baby can come at any time. I don’t have crazy high hopes for anything in the very near future, though. I mean Jack was two weeks late, so I have no real reason to think this one wants to come early.
I go back and forth between thinking how not ready I am to have this baby, and willing him to get the heck outta there already. With Jackson, I hit a point where I would do anything to get him out of there. I was beyond ready to meet that boy by the time he finally decided to make his appearance. I can’t say that I have really hit that point yet, but there are definitely moments where I feel like I have. Like when I have unbearable hip pain, mixed with heartburn, contractions, and other unpleasant things that come with the end of pregnancy. But most days I worry about how Jackson will handle his baby brother having the audacity to come out of my belly and into his little world. What was I thinking changing his entire life? He is going to be so confused when this tiny demanding being is monopolizing all of his mama time. what if he hates the baby? What if he is too rough with him and hurts him? what if, what if, what if… I am sure we will figure things out as we go along, and most of the time I feel really confident in my ability to give big love to two tiny boys, but there are moments where I am already feeling really guilty. He didn’t ask for this, so if he has a hard time adjusting, I will feel pretty bad about it. Only time will tell us what his reaction will be, though, so I these days I am savoring every single moment of these last days of Jack as an only child, and giving him as much love and attention possible.
We talk alot about his baby brother, and how he will come out of mommy’s belly soon, and I ask him what he thinks he will do when he comes out. My favorite responses so far:
"He will cry"
"I will play with him"
"I will rub his head"
"I teach him to play trucks"
He is dead on about the crying, and I can’t wait to see him do all of those other things. In the meantime, we will be over here soaking up our last days as a family of three, and waiting for this tiny boy to come out and meet us.
Lord of the Gourds
We visited our favorite pumpkin patch/corn maze this weekend! (You might remember that we also visited this same place last year) It is in a quaint little town, and has plenty of pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes, kettle corn, and barnyard animals you can imagine. Everything that makes October in Virginia lovely.
Grandma & Grandpa came along too, and Jackson had to teach grandpa how to milk a cow:
The highlight for Jackson was his prize pony ride. We have been working really hard on potty training this week, and I am so overjoyed to report that it appears to be working (many trips out of the house with no accidents!). I have found that bribery is my best tactic, and so I told him if he went potty (in a port-a-potty, no less!) then he could ride a pony. He did, so celebratory pony ride it was!!!
Grandma joined in on the pony-fun :)
He was also a fan of the slides:
The three amigos:
Of course, we did the corn maze too:
I can’t believe how much he has grown in a year:
Above: October 27, 2012 | Below: October 27, 2013
2.5 | Jack’s Half Birthday Tradition
Half birthdays rock. While birthdays are special and a great time to celebrate the life of a little one, I think I might be partial to the simplicity of a half birthday. Each year on October 17th (or a day early - i work in the office all day tomorrow, so I couldn’t be sure I’d have time for cake baking between work & bedtime) I make half of a cake for my little man, and we celebrate the joy he has brought into our lives. I have had people question this tradition, and tell me that it was a waste of time, or that ‘i should stop that now, because soon i will have TWO babies, and that’s a lot of cake to have to make…’ - um. its a cake. its not that hard to mix a box of powder with some eggs and water and let it sit in my oven for thirty minutes. Its also not hard to spread some sugary paste called icing on it. I make cakes all the time for no reason - I am happy to actually HAVE a reason for once ;).
Half birthday haters aside, I can’t say enough wonderful things about Jackson. He is so full of life, innocent, and FUN that sometimes I have to actually pinch myself to make sure that he isn’t a dream. I could tell you that he talks in full, complete sentences and uses every pronoun correctly, or that he loves puzzles and pasta and Mickey Mouse, along with a MILLION other things, but instead, I will just tell you that he brings so much joy to this life, and that even though it has only been two and a half years, I don’t know how I ever existed before him.
In keeping with tradition, I made a half cake (really its just one whole cake, cut in half and stacked - people keep asking what i do with the other half - there is no other half!) to enjoy after dinner. This year I did a tie dye cake with white icing and a sprinkle heart on top.
Jackson was REALLY excited about it this year, and kept pretending to eat the cake and threatening to stick his fingers in it. He did eventually eat it, and he was more than happy with the outcome!
In other news - today I found an old point and shoot camera that I had back in college, and told Jackson that he could have it. Kid was so flipping happy, and walked around for a good hour taking random photos of random things, all of which were hysterical. When it came time to have cake, he ran to get his camera and took some photos of it too ;).